Calculus Placement Exam

Math 30P, Math 30 & Math 71

The Calculus Placement Exam (CPE) is offered to students who want to enroll in Math 30P, Math 30, or Math 71 without having to meet the prerequisites some other way. Note: The CPE does NOT waive the ELM requirement. For more information about the ELM, visit Susan McClory's website. Students, who took the AP Calculus Exam, should refer to the Pre-Requisite Page for more information.

Course Prerequisite
Math 30P Earning a "C" or better in Math 19*
Math 30 Earning a "B" or better in Math 19*
Math 71 Earning a "C-" or better in Math 8*
OR Earning a "C-" or better in Math 19*
OR Earning an ACT score of 23 or higher
OR Earning an SAT score of 550 or higher

*Students with transfer credit should check the SJSU course articulation agreements to see if their transfer credits satisfy the prerequisites.

More information about the Calculus courses, please refer to the Placement Page.

Math 42

The prerequisite for Math 42 (Discrete Mathematics) can also be satisfied with the CPE if the score earned is sufficient to place a student into Math 30P or Math 30.

What is on the CPE and what can I do to prepare?

As a placement exam, the goal is NOT to "pass" the CPE. The purpose of the exam is to place students in the MOST APPROPRIATE Math course. Therefore, while it can be helpful to review material that will be on the test, extensive studying or "cramming" can be detrimental to a student's overall success by placing them in a class more advanced than their current level. Likewise, guessing is discouraged as it may lead to a higher score than is appropriate for the student.

The CPE has two parts. The first part cover topics in College Algebra. The second part covers material from Trigonometry and Precalculus. Students who want to place into Math 71, Calculus for Business and Aviation only need to take Part I. Students who want to place into Math 30P, Math 30, or Math 42 will need to take both Part I and Part II. There are practice questions for the CPE available online.

CPE Registration Information

Please read the following instructions carefully.

You MUST sign up for the exam PRIOR to the day of the exam (CPE Schedule). Registrations are not allowed on the same day as the exam.


Class CPE Sections Required Score
Math 30P & 42 Parts I & II at least 35/57 combined score
Math 30 Parts I & II at least 47/57 combined score
Math 71 Part I at least 20/32 Part I score
Students who earn less than 35 are only eligible to take Math 19 (for Math 30P/30 and 71)  or Math 8 (Math 71 only)
Math 8 is recommended for anyone who scores less than 20.

Math Department Workshops

The Math Department offers a series of workshops to help students succeed and excel for particular Math courses. Students in Math 19, Math 30, Math 30P, Math 31, and Math 71 are required to register in a workshop section when they register for the lecture--both courses need to be in your shopping cart when you check out. If you have trouble registering for any of these courses, please contact the Math Department Office: MH 308 or phone: (408) 924-5100. Voluntary workshops are also offered for Math 8, Math 32, and Math 42. The Math Department Workshops page has more information about workshops and addresses common questions about enrolling in workshops.

Additional Information

ACT, SAT and AP Calculus AB/BC

If a student meets a requirement or prerequisite because of a test score, but the score is not part of their official record yet, they can submit an unofficial score to the Math Department in person or via email ( The official scores still need to be submitted to the registrar to become part of the student record.

Open University Students

Students, who are repeating a class or who are taking the class through Open University/Continuing Education, CANNOT register before the first day of class. These students should attend a section of the class and the instructor will have further instructions.

ELM/Math Remediation

The CPE does not exempt students from passing the ELM requirement. Likewise, the ELM is not sufficient to qualify students for Calculus, but is one of the required prerequisites. The ELM and CPE are two different tests, administered by two separate departments. Any questions regarding the ELM should be directed to Susan McClory