You must have a math/stat placement result to take any mathematics or statistics course during your time at Swarthmore. We have three placement exams: the Math/Stat Readiness Exam, the Calculus Placement Exam, and the Statistics Placement Exam. Below details which exam(s) you should take.
- Unless you have Calculus AP/IB credit, take the Math/Stat Readiness Exam
- Already taken some calculus (but do not have Calculus AP/IB credit)? In addition to taking the Math/Stat Readiness Exam
Already taken some calculus and have AP/IB credit? You do not need to take the Math/Stat Readiness Exam. We strongly recommend that you take the Calculus Placement Exam as outlined above to find your most appropriate placement.
Placement results will be available on mySwarthmore by Orientation Week. Note that you will only be able to register for the courses listed in your mySwarthmore portal. Your scores on our placement tests are merely a starting point in a conversation to help determine the best first course for you. We encourage you to contact the placement advisor if you want to register for a course not listed. There is additional information from our department here.
Credit and Placement for AP/IB Exams
Credit is awarded as described below. Students who are eligible for credit for a course because of an AP/IB exam but who take the course anyway will forfeit the exam-based credit. We strongly recommend that students with AP or IB credit also take the Calculus Placement Exam to get the most appropriate placement.
THE AP STATISTICS EXAM
THE AP CALCULUS AB EXAM
THE AP CALCULUS BC EXAM
This exam has two scores, an AB subscore and a score for the BC exam as a whole. The possible credit earned by the AB subscore is as above. The possible credit earned by the score on the BC exam as a whole is given below. Should the credit earned by the two scores differ, students will be awarded the better of the two possibilities.
The IB math HL exam
The International Baccalaureate Higher Level math curriculum does not exactly correspond to the first year calculus sequence offered at Swarthmore College. The credit and placement listed below may work well for many students, but we strongly urge incoming students to take the Readiness Exam and the Calculus Placement Exam in order to determine more accurately the correct math course for them.