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ESM 120

A solid foundation in mathematics is central to many of the disciplines represented by the majors at Cal Poly. It should come as no surprise therefore, that for freshman, making good progress towards degree really comes down to making good progress in the math curriculum. Making good progress in the math curriculum begins with starting in the right class. We obviously don't want students repeating material they have mastered (at the college level, a very important distinction), nor do we want to put them ahead of their readiness, skipping important material and setting them up for failure in the future.

If your major requires Calculus but the information currently on record with Admissions is not sufficient to confer that eligibility, you should have received an invitation to take the MAPE PC40C86, a placement exam by which you can demonstrate readiness for Calculus at Cal Poly. This exam is offered virtually until August 31st, but we urge you to take it before July 15th. Block scheduling begins in July, and they will put you in the math class indicated by the information on record at that time. If you later advance your placement via the MAPE you will have to manually adjust your schedule, dropping the (now incorrect) math class they assigned you, and attempting to enroll in the right course. There is no guarantee that there will be seats available in a section that fits your schedule, or any seats at all for that matter. If you've missed the deadline, however, it is still important to determine your correct placement.

In past years, students have expressed some worry that the vicissitudes of summer have started to blunt the edge of their previously well-honed precalculus prowess. To help mitigate this, Cal Poly is piloting an online course to review the skills necessary for success in Calculus. This three-week experience begins on July 31st, and consists of 22 modules, each with a video by Cal Poly math professor Dr. Tully-Doyle in which he reminds you about the key concepts you learned in your previous precalculus course and followed by a worksheet to practice these skills. You should expect to devote at least 45 minutes to each module, though it may be longer for sections that give you trouble. The modules will drop at regular intervals, and you will have three days to turn in the corresponding worksheets---these will be returned to you with feedback within a day or so of each submission. The course will culminate with the MAPE exam, and if you earn a sufficient score on the MAPE you will be eligibile for Calculus. The course itself will be graded on completion, that is, you will receive a unit of college credit for ESM 120 if you complete every assignment and take the MAPE.

Students who can benefit from taking ESM 120 have been sent an email with enrollment instructions.

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Please contact the Math department at (805)756-2206 or email

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