Calculus II Basic Skills Exam

The Calculus II Basic Skills Exam ensures that students coming into Calculus II classes in the Department of Mathematics at Western Michigan University can complete basic differentiation problems and simple antidifferentiation problems. This test is meant to tell you and your instructors whether or not your basic skills for these problems are adequate for Calculus II.

Test information

  • The skills tested on this examination are a small subset of the skills that you should have learned in Calculus I. Passing this test quickly is very important since if you do not pass this test quickly, it will interfere with the rest of the class. Almost all students who passed Calculus I will be expected to pass this test by the second retake with, at most, a moderate amount of studying. Some Calculus II students can pass this exam without any studying, but all students should review the topics before taking the exam.
  • The material on the exam is divided into two areas:
    • Differentiation: The exam includes 10 differentiation problems that require you to know the derivatives of trigonometric, exponential and logarithmic functions and how to apply the constant multiple, sum, power, product, quotient and chain rules.
    • Antidifferentiation: The exam includes two antiderivative problems that involve finding the antiderivatives of trigonometric, exponential and polynomial functions and the antiderivative of 1/x. (Remember the constant of integration.)
  • The exams are randomly generated by a computer program out of a collection of problem types with random constants.
  • The first attempt will be administered in class before the drop date by each Calculus II instructor. You may retake the exam two times beyond the initial in-class testing. There will be a period of two weeks after the drop date when there will be times to retake the exam. For fall 2019 this is Sept. 3.
  • Each problem will be graded as correct or incorrect. Any mistake means that the answer to the problem is wrong. To pass the exam students need to get nine out of 12 problems correct.
  • If you do not pass this basic skills exam your final grade will be lowered by a half letter grade at the end of the course.
  • You will have 40 minutes to finish this exam.
  • The only things you are allowed to use when taking this exam are a pencil and an eraser.

Practice exams

Practice exams are available in three different ways.

  • Print and try the practice exams:
  • You may take an online test from on campus or off campus. You will need to create an account for MapleTA and log in. Choose the Calc II Skills Practice link to practice the exam. To practice an online version of this exam, you will be required to enter your answers in calculator syntax. You may check your answers at any time using the "How am I doing?" link on the page with each question. The computer testing program is very forgiving of different syntax, but may cause you some problems. Online test takers need to be careful with their notation. Do not use implicit multiplication as it will not work in some instances. You must use (cos(x))^2 for cos(x) squared.
  • Print a randomly generated copy of the exam by going to one of the links online and choosing the printer icon to print the exam. To get a new exam you must grade the exam you have printed.

Skills test retakes

Skills test retakes will take place in the second and third weeks of a semester. Testing for Math 1230/1710 students will be available only on the dates and times in the test schedule. Check back frequently for updates on the schedule.

  • All skills exam retakes will have the same format as each original in-class exam, with 12 problems consisting of 10 derivatives and two integrals. The retakes are generated using MapleTA.
  • In order to be allowed to take an exam, you must have your own pencil (and eraser) and a picture ID.  Students without IDs will not be allowed to take an exam.
  • You may not use any aids while taking the exam. Only pencils and erasers are allowed.
  • Only two retakes are allowed.
  • Allow enough time to finish the exam before the test center closes.
  • You may not get your exam back for several days.
  • You may not leave the room while taking a test. Use the bathroom before you get a test.