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Calculus Readiness Exam

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Information as of December 15, 2022

General Information

Click here to view full details about the Calculus Readiness Exam.

Many majors require one of the calculus courses, Math 11, Math 30 or Math 35. Business majors, with a few exceptions, take Math 30 (Calculus for Business I), Life Sciences majors take Math 35, while other Science and Engineering majors take Math 11 (Calculus and Analytic Geometry I). All three courses are traditional calculus courses and require that students have a solid background of high school mathematics.

The purpose of taking the Calculus Readiness Exam is to determine whether you should start with Math 9 (Precalculus) or a calculus course.

You are not required to take the Calculus Readiness Exam if:

  • You will not be taking Math 11, 30, or 35.
  • You have taken Math 9.
  • You received AP Calculus exam credit for Math 11 (a 3 or higher on the AP Calculus AB exam or a 3 or higher on the AP Calculus BC exam).
  • Or you received transfer credit for Math 9, 11, 30, or 35.

Additional resources:


To take the Calculus Readiness Exam, log into your eCampus account, go to Academics, and click on Calculus Readiness Exam CRE.

Trouble with your eCampus account? Contact or 408-554-5700.

As you will read in the detailed instructions (click on the tab below), it is your first session with ALEKS that will determine your placement.

Dear student,

Welcome to Santa Clara! If you plan to take calculus during your time with us, please read this letter carefully. Calculus is required for all students in the Schools of Engineering or Business, and for all students majoring in economics or the physical sciences. So we ask you to pay careful attention, unless you have placement credit for at least one calculus course or are certain you will not need to take calculus at Santa Clara.

The Mathematics and Computer Science Department wants to help you start off with a good experience in mathematics. Therefore, we require you to take the online Calculus Readiness Exam (CRE/ALEKS) by June 15, 2022. We want to make sure that you register for a class that fits your level of experience. You will not be able to register for Math 11, Math 30, or Math 35 without taking this exam or having transfer credit for precalculus.

Before you begin: You will need a Windows or Mac computer (Chromebooks are not supported) that enables you to install software. The computer will also need a functioning webcam and microphone since you will be recorded during the assessment.

How to Take the CRE

Here are the steps to follow (please read through to the end before taking any action):

  1. Log into eCampus
  2. Click on the “Academics” tile
  3. On the left side of the page, click on “Calculus Readiness Exam (CRE)"
  4. Follow the prompts to continue
  5. Click on "Calculus Readiness Exam, Academic Year 2018-2024/Higher Education Math Placement"
  6. You will be asked to install LockDown Browser

The ALEKS placement assessment requires the installation and use of LockDown Browser and a webcam. Even if you have previously downloaded LockDown Browser for another course or assignment, you will still need to download this version as it is unique to ALEKS Placement Assessments.

Instructions to install LockDown Browser:

If you have any problems with LockDown Browser or the webcam setup, contact SCU Technology Help Desk at 408-554-5700 or open a support ticket at

Time Limit, Number of Attempts & Permitted Resources

You will have 48 hours to complete the CRE once you begin. On average, it takes about an hour and a half total. Please complete the exam by 11:59pm PST on June 15, 2022.

You will be ALLOWED ONE ATTEMPT at the placement even though the screen will say otherwise, so PLEASE take the work seriously and make this one chance count. Help us help you by giving this your best effort. Also, please do not use any extra help: no books or notes, and no calculators except for the one provided online during the test. Do not let anyone help you! You should have pencil and scratch paper handy, just in case. We need an accurate picture your current, active knowledge of mathematics, so we can help you succeed in your future classes.

(Note: the exam will show a message saying you may take this exam twice. Ignore it! For SCU students the exam is only available for one attempt.)

Upon completion of the exam you will receive your score. To the right of your score you will see the following message: “Find out which class you can place into.” Click on this message to see where you have been placed in calculus.

Want to Practice for the CRE?

Here is a website that contains some practice tests that may be helpful in preparing for the CRE. In particular, I liked the problems in the links called "ALEKS Questions 1" and "ALEKS Questions 2."

Transfer Credit & AP Scores

If you already have credit for Math 11, 30, or 35 and so do not intend to take those courses at SCU, then you need not take the CRE. If you have transfer credit for precalculus then you need not take the CRE. The University usually receives AP scores around July 15. If you have an orientation session before the university receives your AP Calculus score, and if there is a chance you will not score at least a 3 on the Calculus AB exam or a 3 on the BC exam, then you should take the CRE.

For more information go to:

Requesting Test Accommodations Due to Disability

Students can take as much time needed within a 48 hour window of time to complete the exam. On average, students take an hour and a half, but we do not want time to be a limiting factor for any student which is why we give 48 hours.

Students requesting accommodation(s) other than extended time must register with the Office of Accessible Education by applying online at and selecting the “Calculus Placement Exam” in the application. Once the student has provided all the necessary documentation and completed the application, the Office of Accessible Education will notify the CRE coordinator and contact the student with testing instructions.  For more information about requesting accommodations on the CRE, please contact the Office of Accessible Education at (408) 554-4109.

Thank you in advance for participating. We look forward to seeing you here!

Mary Long & Luvreet Sangha
Directors of Placement, Math/CS Department

Video Instructions for the Caclulus Readiness Exam


December 12, 2022 for students beginning enrollment in January 2023
June 15, 2023 for students beginning enrollment in September 2023


Contact: Mary Long & Luvreet Sangha, 
Directors of Placement, Mathematics & Computer Science Department