Purdue AP credit

If she knows the material well (based on the old exams), repeating it would be a waste of time and tuition. Better to have more elective space (later) to take additional interesting courses (in or out of major) instead of wasting time and tuition on something she already knows.

1 Like

She would need a 5 on AP physics C to be able to use it to fulfill PHYS172 (mechanics) or PHYS272 (E&M).

And here are Purdue’s old exams for these courses:


I think that she shouldn’t repeat a class unless she doesn’t feel comfortable with the material.

While the math series at Purdue is no joke, there were plenty of parents on our FB group kicking themselves for not supporting their kids to skip Calc I when they could have. It seems to be a myth that Calc II is so much harder than Calc I.

The other thing to consider is that depending on major, starting in Calc II will eliminate having to double up on math somewhere else down the road sophomore year.

1 Like

@KMat1 - I just re-read your initial question. If your D has already taken MVC, have her try that exam as well. My D found LA and Diff Eq much easier than Calc II and III.

1 Like

However, @KMat1 wrote that the multivariable calculus course was a high school course, rather than a college course, so the student would not get credit for it.

Purdue math does have provision for credit-by-exam. After the student completes MA166 (calculus 2), she can try the credit-by-exam for MA261 (multivariable calculus) if she believes that she could skip MA261 based on what she learned in the high school course (which she can pre-check using old MA261 final exams).


1 Like

Thank you all for your advice!

Yes, college Calculus classes are difficult. But if a student doesn’t understand the material, getting a free pass to the next, more advanced course isn’t a good idea.

I agree that assessing a student’s understanding of the material through previous syllabi, exams, etc., is the best way to make the decision. Just be sure to also know what’s considered passing/successful. It doesn’t require 80% on a college exam to get an B or better, indicating a sufficient understanding.

Fwiw, my D slogged through Calc 1 and forward. She also had a friend who started in Calc 2 and had to retake it. I’m sure many other students are successful doing so. But I wouldn’t base the decision on web searches.

1 Like