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 First Year Students

Skip Navigation LinksGrenfell Campus / Division of Science / Mathematics / First Year Students

What is the MPT?


            MPT stands for Math Placement Test. It is an entrance exam to determine the mathematics background of students so that they may be placed in the correct course. The MPT may only be written ONCE.


Do I need to write the MPT?


            At Grenfell Campus, students planning to take Math 1000, Math 1090, Math 1050, or Math 1051 should write the MPT. For those students who completed Calculus (3208) in high school, you will have a chance to obtain credit for Math 1000, by writing the Calculus Placement Test. If credit is granted for Math 1000, then you do not need to write the MPT and may register for Math 1001. If credit is not granted for Math 1000, then you will have to write the MPT. Note that the St. John's Campus has different requirements for who must write the MPT.


When and where do I write the MPT?


            Most students write the MPT on the first Saturday in June.  Students register for this test through their respective schools and write at the nearest designated MPT site. Grenfell is the designated site for students in Corner Brook, Pasadena, Deer Lake, and the Bay of Islands; there are other sites throughout western Newfoundland and the rest of the province. The MPT is also written at Grenfell Campus in early September and early January, usually during the first week of classes.


What type of questions are on the MPT?


            Testing of level III high school students is coordinated by the St. John’s Campus. Sample questions can be found here and the solutions here.


What mark do I need to pass the MPT?


            Students who attain a mark of 75 or more on the MPT and have completed level III advanced mathematics in high school are eligible to take Math 1000. Students who do not attain this mark or completed academic mathematics in high school are eligible to take Math 1090, Math 1050, and Math 1051. Note that the St. John's Campus has different requirements.


What is the CPT?
            CPT stands for Calculus Placement Test. It is an entrance exam to determine if students have the background to obtain credit for Math 1000 (Calculus I) and take Math 1001 (Calculus II) in their first semester.
Who can write CPT?
            Any entering Grenfell, who has completed a bona fide calculus course in high school is eligible to write the CPT. This includes those students who completed Calculus (3208) in high school.

Should I take Mathematics in my first year?


            The short answer is yes! Most university programs require mathematics. There are some programs at university that do not require a mathematics course in particular, but mathematics courses still fulfill course requirements in most of these programs.


What Mathematics course should I take?


            This questions can be somewhat determined by your score on the MPT. If you are eligible to take Math 1000, it is recommended that you do. Don't be scared, this is the logical next step for you, that is why you wrote the MPT. If you are not eligible to take Math 1000 but the degrees you are interested in require it, then you should take Math 1090. Math 1090 is a course designed to fill in the gaps in the background knowledge needed to take Math 1000. Once Math 1090 is complete, you are eligible to take Math 1000 in the next semester. If your program does not require Math 1000 and you are interested in learning a different type of mathematics, then you may wish to take Math 1050 and Math 1051. These are courses in finite mathematics.


What are some tips for avoiding difficulties in first year Mathematics?


            1. Make sure you attend all your lectures and labs. A typical mathematics course has 36 classes. That means about 3% of your total year is covered in each one. If you start missing class those percentages add up.


            2. Keep up on your work. Set aside time between each of your classes to go over notes, do practice problems, and make sure you understand the material before your next class.


            3. Go see your professor. This may sound silly, but many first year students don't know that they can meet their professor outside of class time to ask questions and go over problems. The person that knows the most about the course is the professor.  Your professor will be making up and marking your exams, so they know what you should expect and what they expect of you.


            4. Don't fall behind. If you don't understand something, make sure you figure it out as soon as possible. There is lots of help available; all you have to do is ask.


            5. Think positively. You won't believe the things you can do if you just put in the effort. If you are having problems don't get down: Work hard, get help if you need it, and you will get it in the end.


Where can I get help if I experience difficulties in first year Mathematics?


            The first thing you should do is see your professor. Drop by their office during their office hours or set up an appointment with them. They will be able to help. There are also mathematics laboratory instructors who are in their offices to help you. The learning centre has a math assistant and offers peer tutors, as well as, supplemental instruction in many courses.  


Do I need to do work at home if I have a Mathematics lab?


            Yes. Absolutely! The lab isn't for doing homework. The lab is a place for you to learn by asking questions. If you have done your work at home then it will be much easier to understand the material in the lab and you will know what questions to ask.



What is the difference between Calculus and Finite Mathematics?


Calculus: The study of Calculus is divided naturally into Differential Calculus (Math 1000) and Integral Calculus (Math 1001). Differential Calculus is the systematic study of changing quantities while Integral Calculus systematically develops techniques for computing areas. In Math 1000, you will be taught techniques that will enable you to calculate the rate at which a function changes - this process is called differentiation. In Math 1001, you will learn how to compute the area under a curve given by an equation of the form y = f(x). Both of these subjects have very important applications in the sciences; it is for this reason that calculus is often called the language of science, and why the completion of at least one Calculus course is required by any Bachelor of Science program. The study of Calculus requires a good grounding in Algebra and Trigonometry.

Finite Mathematics: Increasingly over the past few decades, especially as a result of the computer revolution, questions have emerged that require a different kind of mathematics for their solution. To give one example, if you are designing a new microchip, you will be interested in the most efficient way of designing your circuits. Obviously, there are only a finite number of possible solutions to such a problem, and you want to identify the best of these solutions. At the core of many of these kinds of problems lies a body of mathematical theory and technique - called Finite Mathematics - that is very useful, interesting and in many cases, quite elementary. In Math 1050 and/or Math 1051, you will be introduced to some of the basic ideas of this fascinating branch of math.



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