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Placement Tests

Because students come into our Freshman Year with a wide variety of backgrounds, we have some suggestions here to assist you with placement and self-evaluation.

I. Placement:

First, if you have already taken a rather advanced high school course that is potentially at the level of the corresponding freshman course, you may be eligible to write one of the McGill Math & Science Placement Exams. These exams are held on the downtown campus during the time period when most students arrive on campus - the last week of August and/or first week of September, approximately (see the website link for details). Before applying to take the exams, you must contact the Macdonald Campus Student Affairs Office to determine your eligibility to write them.

II. Self-Evaluation:

We have made available a self-administered math test (Pre-Calculus) intended to help you determine if your math preparation is adequate for entering the freshman year of the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. 

Please note that although a high school physics course is not a requirement for entrance, if you have the opportunity to take one, it will of course help you.


Sample Pre-Calculus Test:

Part A - Download the test

The test is provided as a pdf file. The file can be downloaded onto your own computer as follows:

  1. Right-click on the link below (a small menu will pop up in your browser).
  2. Select "Save target as ..." or "save link as..." (depending on your browser)
  3. Save the pdf file on your hard disk in some convenient location.

Download the pdf file for the Math Test (also known as the pre-calculus test)

Part B - Print and write the test

The downloaded file can be viewed and printed from your own computer as follows:

  1. Open the pdf file in Acrobat Reader (available free of charge from Adobe), and print it.
  2. Set aside some uninterrupted time to work on the test.
  3. Write the test by choosing and recording the best answers for the multiple choice question. Each question is worth 2 points, for a total of 100 points (there are 50 questions). You should be able to complete the test in less than 2 hours, without reference to textbooks or notes, and without a calculator. If the material is familiar to you, you should be able to do the test with very little difficulty in the time allotted and be able to obtain a satisfactory score of approximately 80%.

Part C - Assessing your performance on the test

When you have finished writing the test, try to be realistic in your self-assessment. Were you unsure of your answers? Did you have difficulty answering the questions? Did you wish you could refer to your past texts or notes? Were you unable to respect the time limit? Did you need to rely on your calculator?

Grade your tests with the following answer keys:

Precalculus Math Answers Precalculus Math Answers

Give yourself two points per correct answer, zero for an incorrect answer. If your score is less than 80/100, or you got more than 80% but you had to struggle with the test, then you should try to improve your skills. Any extra studying that you can do will help with your freshman courses.


If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Freshman Program Advisor.