Campus Life

Getting Out of Too-Easy Algebra Class

Question: When I was in high school I took an advanced calculus class and received good scores in that class. But when it came to my placement exam for college and I was given a few math questions, I rushed through them without completely finishing it on time. Now my college is trying to place me in a college algebra course. In reality I am way past that level but because I rushed through my placement exam, the results don't show that. I am not certain what to do because I don't want to take that class. What can I do to avoid taking that easy class. Thank You

If you have not done so already, contact the head of the math department at your university (or your academic advisor) and explain that you are worried that the algebra class will not challenge you. Did you take an AP Calc exam or other equivalent test (if you are international student)? If you did--and you scored well--then present your results as ammunition. You can also try providing a letter of reference from your high school math teacher, if you can get one, attesting to the level of math you have reached.


If you didn't take a calculus exam such as the AP, ask if you can try the placement test again. If the answer is no, and you seem forced into algebra, ask if you can also sign up for a back-up class and then drop the algebra if the professor agrees that it's too easy for you.

Good luck!

(posted 6/28/2011)