# Courses Below Calculus at Western

The Core Math Flowchart on the Math Advising Page shows how the introductory math classes at Western are related to one another and details the relevant class prerequisites.

The information below is intended for those whose first class in mathematics at Western is likely to be a class below the level of calculus. Students who intend to take a calculus class as their first class in mathematics at Western should consult the relevant advice posted at Calculus at Western.

## Math Placement

Placement in beginning math classes is usually based on either the score obtained on the **ALEKS Math Placement Assessment (MPA)**, or on college level math classes completed elsewhere including AP Precalculus or AP Calculus classes. Details on taking the MPA can be found on the MPA page, which also lists the classes for which students are eligible based on their MPA score. For students who have completed college level math classes elsewhere, the Transfer Equivalency Report (TER) details how those classes transfer to Western. That includes any AP, IB or other special credit-bearing classes that students may have completed. A list of the math classes students are eligible to take based on AP Precalculus or AP Calculus exam scores can be found on the Core Math Flowchart on the Math Advising Page. Note that the TER only lists classes completed by the student of which Western has been informed at that point in time; it can take a considerable length of time for transcripts and grades from other institutions to reach and be processed by Western. The TER may thus not be entirely complete and up to date, and it is wise to keep a copy of unofficial transcripts readily available for consultation during class planning and registration.

**Students who have not taken the MPA and who do not have any college math credits or suitable AP exam scores may only be eligible to register for Math 99**, which may be far below their capabilities and aspirations. Such students are strongly advised to take the MPA. The MPA score not only provides access to Western math classes, but suitable MPA scores also serve as acceptable prerequisites for classes in several other academic departments at Western; this is another reason why **taking the MPA well before registering for classes at Western is strongly recommended.**

Our data indicates that students who register for a math class based on their MPA score have at least an 80% chance of passing that class, whereas students who register for a Western math class based on a transfer class have a substantially lower likelihood of success. The MPA score is thus a good indicator of success in a math class, and taking the MPA is recommended even for students who have completed prerequisite math classes elsewhere. Students with an MPA score below the eligibility score for the Western math class they wish to take, but who have completed an acceptable prerequisite college math class elsewhere, will still be permitted to register for the Western math class, but do so at their own substantial risk.

## Class Selection

The Core Math Flowchart on the Math Advising Page shows how the introductory math classes at Western are related to one another and details the relevant class prerequisites. In many cases students will have a range of Western math classes for which they are eligible to register; we discuss below the optimal class choice for different academic objectives.

**Math 99** is for students who do not qualify for any other math class, usually due to weak or very rusty mathematical foundations. This class builds algebraic skills and understanding to prepare students for Math 107, Math 108, Math 111 and Math 112. This class does not generate any degree credits, but it is treated as the equivalent of a 5 credit class for the purposes of meeting the credit requirements for financial aid, dorm eligibility, tuition, and so on. It is graded as Successful/Unsuccessful, which has no effect on the student’s GPA.

**Math 107 and Math 108** are designed to meet the needs of students who are taking math classes only to satisfy the General University Requirements (GUR) in Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning (QSR). They specifically aim to meet the needs of students who may not do well in a traditional math class, and most students really enjoy these classes. There are numerous ways to satisfy the QSR requirement; completing both Math 107 and Math 108 is one of them. These two classes are not sequential and can be taken in either order. Another way to complete the QSR requirement is to combine one of Math 107 or Math 108 with Math 112, but Math 112 is aimed at students who need a more formal math training in preparation for higher level math classes and is thus not well suited for students solely aiming to satisfy the QSR requirement. Conversely, Math 107 and Math 108 are not suitable for students who need to take more advanced math classes to satisfy the requirements for their major.

**Math 112 **(Functions and Algebraic Methods) prepares students for subsequent classes in mathematics. Students who need to take Math 112 but whose MPA score is slightly below the threshold to be eligible for Math 112 may nevertheless be admitted to Math 112, provided that they register for the co-requisite **Math 109** class (2 credits) at the same time. Math 109 provides support for students with slightly lower MPA scores to succeed in Math 112.

**Math 240** (Introductory Statistics) is a required class for several different programs and satisfies the QSR requirement. It is a particularly appropriate choice for many students in the social sciences, especially psychology, and other disciplines in which some basic statistical expertise is useful. Even students who do not do well in a traditional math class often do well in, and enjoy, Math 240.

**Math 99 - Math 112 – Math 114 – Math 115 – Math 124 **is the sequence for students who need a significant amount of mathematics to complete the requirements for their major, such as most STEM majors. Generally students should register for the highest level class in this sequence for which they are eligible and that is required for their major, unless they feel that review of lower level material is warranted. Math 114 – Math 115 is the two quarter precalculus sequence and Math 124 is the usual first calculus class. Passing any class in this sequence provides access to the next class in the sequence. The classes in this sequence can also be accessed by a suitable MPA score or AP Precalculus or AP Calculus exam score or by transferring to Western with college credit and a suitable grade for an acceptable prerequisite class in mathematics. Beware that not every College Algebra class transfers as the equivalent of Math 114; thus some students who have completed such a class may need to take Math 114 before they can take Math 115. Passing **Math 118** is another way into Math 124. Note that Math 118 is an exceptionally challenging class, combining the content of two quarters of precalculus into one quarter; it is aimed at very strong and highly motivated students who have a good foundation in precalculus and simply need a refresher before they embark on the calculus sequence.

**Math 156 – Math 157 **is the sequence for students** **committed to a major in the school of business. For those considering an Economics major or those who want to keep other major options open, Math 114 is an acceptable prerequisite for Math 157, and Math 124 is an acceptable substitute for Math 157. Thus the sequence Math 114 – Math 115 – Math 124 is an alternative route business students might consider taking, especially for those considering graduate school, though it is longer and more challenging.

**Math 371 – Math 372 – Math 373 **and** Math 381 – Math 382 – Math 383** are sequences for prospective elementary school teachers. Only students who have been admitted to the Woodring College of Education, and who also have a suitable MPA or AP exam score or a grade of at least C for a college math class at the level of Intermediate Algebra or higher or have passed Western’s **Math 111** or Math 112, are eligible for these sequences. Admission to these sequences is typically not an option for entering freshmen, and prospective students should consult with a faculty advisor well before they intend to take Math 371 or Math 381.