Mathematics Proficiency Examinations

The Department of Mathematics offers proficiency examinations in Math 220, 225, 231, 241, 285, 286, and 415 to allow students to obtain college credit by demonstrating proficiency in the course material. A proficiency examination is comparable to a three-hour written final examination in that course, and a grade of B- or better is needed in order for course credit to be awarded. Proficiency examinations are not for placement or diagnostic purposes, but are only for awarding credit to students who demonstrate thorough knowledge of the course material.

These examinations demand more than an elementary acquaintance with the course material. The student must have solid command of the concepts and problem solving skills for the course and therefore should attempt a proficiency examination only after proper study and preparation. Students may get a course syllabus from the Department of Mathematics syllabi webpage. Students may also check in the mathematics library (216 Altgeld Hall) for old exams to read to prepare for the exam.

Timing and Sign-Up for Proficiency Exams

Proficiency examinations are given twice during the fall semester, once in the first week of spring semester, and once during the summer session. Students may register for only one exam for each exam date.

Registration for each exam does not open until two weeks prior to the exam date.

Click here to register for proficiency exam

Conflict Option
Students who cannot take the exam at the regular time because of religious obligations, conflicts with other proficiency exams, scheduled University classes/labs and other compelling academic conflicts, may request to take the conflict option. Conflict exams are usually scheduled for Wednesday evening 7-10 pm following the regular Saturday exam time; for the September 2, 2017, proficiency exam, the conflict date is Wednesday September 6th, 7-10 pm. To request the conflict option, email at least one week before the exam date, indicating the proficiency exam you would like to take and providing details of your conflict (e.g., course and name/email of instructor in case of a conflict with a class). Conflict requests are subject to approval by the Undergraduate Office and will only be granted for compelling reasons such as those mentioned above (but not, for example, to accommodate personal travel schedules)

Special Accommodations
Students who would like to request a special accommodation such as wheelchair accessibility, extended testing time, distraction free environment, etc., will need to contact Liz Vonk ( AFTER registering for the exam.

Cancelling your exam
If a student wishes to cancel their registration for the exam, they will need to send an email to requesting to be removed from the list. Cancellations will be accepted until 5 pm the day before the exam. Any emails received after the deadline will not be accepted.

If a student signs up for an examination but does not appear and write it, that will count as an attempt (see "Number of Attempts" below). However, a student may cancel a signup without penalty up until 5:00 p.m. the day before the examination date.

Proficiency Exam Date Signup Deadline
9 am, Saturday, September 2, 2017, 1320 DCL Wed., August 30 at 5 pm
9 am, Saturday, October 7, 2017, 314 Altgeld Hall Wed., October 4 at 5 pm
9 am, Saturday, January 20, 2018, Location TBA Wed., January 17 at 5 pm
New Student Proficiency Exam

For Math 220 only, a one hour, multiple choice exam on the material covered in Math 220 is given only to new entering students on the Thursday of New Student Welcome Week. For Fall 2017 Semester this exam will be given:

Thursday, August 24, 2017, 1320 DCL

No sign-up is necessary. Please arrive at 12:30 p.m. to check in; the exam begins at 1:00 pm. You must bring a valid photo ID and your UIN number. No calculators are allowed. For information about the material covered in Math 220, please see the syllabus for Math 220.

You may take an exam for Math 220 at other times, but it will be a 3-hour exam.

Number of Attempts

For Math 285, 286, and 415 only one attempt per student is allowed. Two attempts are permitted for Math 220, 225, 231, 241. If you have previously taken one of these courses and received a grade, you are not eligible to sit for the proficiency.

Examination Conduct

Students are expected to turn off or silence their cell phones and put them away before entering the exam room. Cell phones are not to be checked or used again until the student leaves the exam room. Anyone found on their phone during the exam will be asked to turn in their exam and leave the room.

Students should arrive at the exam 30 minutes prior to the start time to check in and find their seat. Anyone arriving after the designated start time will not be allowed to take the exam and will be asked to leave.

Important Information on Exam Materials

The exam and any scratch paper MUST be turned in at the end of the exam.

No exam materials will be allowed out of the room.

You may only bring a pencil and i-card to the exam. Calculators and notes are not allowed.


The assigned grade is Pass or Fail. Results of the proficiency will be available online within two weeks of the exam date. To check your result, follow the same link used for registration.

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding the Mathematics proficiency, please contact:

Liz Vonk
(217) 244-7310