Before placing students into a math class, please consult the student’s curriculum to see what math courses are required. For example, students in the Curriculum in Kinesiology don’t have to take Math 1550, even though they might qualify for placement into Math 1550. On the other hand, some students who are not required to take Math 1550 may choose to take it anyway.
Below is counseling advice of a general nature. For more detailed advice, please click here.
Placement in and credit for LSU math courses can be based on any one of the following:
- the quantitative score on the SAT (QSAT) or the math ACT (MACT);
- scores on the ALEKS Preparation for Calculus program;
- the scores on the LSU Math Placement Tests for Math 1021 (College Algebra), Math 1022 (Plane Trigonometry), and Math 1550 (Analytic Geometry and Calculus I);
- the results of the AP, CLEP, and IB exams in College Mathematics, College Algebra, and Calculus.
- dual enrollment/transfer credit.
LSU Math Placement Tests for Math 1021 (College Algebra) and Math 1022 (Plane Trigonometry)
- Students are strongly encouraged to take the LSU Math Placement Tests to try to improve their MACT or QSAT placement and to earn course credit.
- A student’s appropriate scores on the LSU Math Placement Tests can result in placement in a higher-level math course than the MACT or QSAT placement but cannot result in placement lower than the MACT or QSAT placement. Low scores on the LSU Math Placement Tests cannot nullify any credits that a student has earned from other exams. Sample questions similar to those on the LSU Math Placement Tests can be found at https://www.math.lsu.edu/ugrad/PlacementCredit. Credit for Math 1021 College Algebra can be earned by making the required score on either the MACT, QSAT or the LSU Math Placement Test for College Algebra, and credit in Math 1022 Trigonometry can be earned by the LSU Math Placement Test for Trigonometry but not the QSAT or the MACT score.
- The LSU placement tests are a better predictor of success in algebra and trigonometry than either the ACT or SAT exams.
- The College Algebra Placement Test is not available during orientation. To schedule this test, please contact the Office of Assessment and Evaluation at 225-578-1145.
Retroactive Credit for Math 1021 (College Algebra) and Math 1022 (Plane Trigonometry)
- A student receiving a grade of “C” or better in MATH 1431, 1550, or 1551will receive retroactive credit for MATH 1021.
- A student receiving a grade of “C” or better in MATH 1552, 1553, or 1554 will receive retroactive credit in MATH 1022.
Math 1023 (College Algebra and Trigonometry)
- Math 1023 (College Algebra and Trigonometry) is recommended only for students who plan to take Math 1550 (Analytic Geometry and Calculus I). Math 1023 is a 5-hour course, and this course alone does not fulfill the 6-hour Gen Ed Analytical Reasoning requirement.
- A student may not earn credit in both Math 1021 and 1023, or in 1022 and 1023, since the 1023 course duplicates the content in both Math 1021 and Math 1022.
Math 1029 (Introduction to Contemporary Mathematics) and Math 1100 (The Nature of Mathematics)
- Math 1029 (Introduction to Contemporary Mathematics) and Math 1100 (The Nature of Mathematics) are intended primarily for liberal arts and some social sciences majors. There are no course prerequisites for either Math 1029 or Math 1100, and the two courses may be taken in either order. Math 1100 is not offered in spring semesters.
- Both Math 1029 and Math 1100 are Gen Ed courses and may be used either together or individually with any other Gen Ed analytical reasoning course to fulfill the 6-hour GenEd analytical reasoning requirement.
The ALEKS Prerequisite for Math 1550 and 1551
A score on the ALEKS test of 70% or higher for Math 1550 (Analytic Geometry and Calculus I), and 75% or higher for Math 1551 (Honors Analytic Geometry and Calculus I), is the only prerequisite for registering in these courses. However, for advising purposes, students with a Math ACT score of 27 or higher are allowed to provisionally schedule calculus on the presumption that they will achieve the requisite ALEKS scores. Students currently taking LSU’s Math 1022 (Plane Trigonometry) or 1023 (College Algebra and Trigonometry) are also allowed to provisionally schedule calculus on the same presumption.
ALEKS is both a placement test and a learning module, both of which you can do at home. If you get help from a person or an open book while taking the ALEKS Placement Test, you run the risk of placing yourself in a course for which you are not adequately prepared. Don’t do it.
For the purpose of learning the material covered by ALEKS, you may use any resources available: the ALEKS Learning Module, books, and other people. But once you enter the “Take the Placement” portal (see “Two portals into ALEKS” below), you will want to do your own work with books closed. Otherwise, the ALEKS score will not reflect your mastery of these topics and may result in your getting a bad grade in Math 1550/1551.
For additional, important information on ALEKS, including when to take the ALEKS and how to sign up, see: https://www.math.lsu.edu/ugrad/ALEKS.
Credit for Math 1550 and 1552 (Analytical Geometry and Calculus I and II), and other courses
- Credit for Math 1550 (Analytic Geometry and Calculus I) may be earned either by an AP or CLEP Calculus exam or by the LSU Placement Test for Calculus; no ALEKS score is required. Credit in Math 1552 may be earned by the AP Calculus BC exam or by an LSU departmental credit exam. Credit in more advanced math courses may be obtained through departmental credit exams; contact the department for more information about these.
- The AP Statistics exam does not currently provide advanced-standing credit for any course offered by the math department (but may give credit in other subject areas).
Prerequisite for Math 1431 (Calculus with Business and Economic Applications)
The prerequisite for Math 1431 is Math 1021 or equivalent; no ALEKS score is required. Math 1431 does not require knowledge of trigonometry.
MACT score below 20
- Students with an MACT score below 19 are generally not admitted to LSU. Student with an MACT score of 19 are generally not placed into Math 1021. The remedial algebra course MATH 0092 is no longer offered at LSU. Students needing remedial algebra must either take Math 0092 at BRCC or Southern, take the course through Continuing Ed, or sign a Math Waiver (available from UCFY) to take Math 1021 regardless of the warning that success is unlikely. Students with a MACT of 18 or 19 can be successful in Math 1021, but only if the student has a very strong work ethic and invests considerably more than the required minimum 3 hours/week in the math lab.
|Placement Into Math 1021, 1022, 1023, 1029, 1100 and 1431 by MACT or QSAT Scores|
|MACT Score||QSAT Score||Credit||Placement|
|25 or higher||570 or higher||Math 10211||Math 1022, 1029, 1100, or 1431|
|23–24||540–569||Math 1021, 1023,2 1029, or 1100|
|20–22||480–539||Math 1021, 1029, or 1100|
|19||460–479||Math 1100, 1029, or off-campus intermediate algebra|
|1 The MACT or QACT score must be no more than 24 months old on the student’s first day of classes at LSU in order to receive credit in Math 1021 based on the MACT or QSAT score. Credit in Math 1021 is a prerequisite for registration in Math 1022 and Math 1431.2 Math 1023 fulfills 5 hours of the 6-hour General Education Analytical Reasoning requirement. A second Analytical Reasoning course will still be required. See the Catalog.|
|Placement Into Math 1550 and 1551 by ALEKS Score|
|Fresh ALEKS score of 70% or higher: placement into Math 1550|
|Fresh ALEKS score of 75% or higher: placement into Math 1551|
|See https://www.math.lsu.edu/ugrad/ALEKS for details.|