Undergraduate

The RUReady Test

All students enrolling in the Precalculus and Calculus I courses must take the RU Ready test.  This is a diagnostic test designed to improve student success rates by providing students with an objective measure of how prepared they are for the course while there is time to change courses. The test will be administered in the second recitation of the course, after the mathematics being tested has been reviewed in class.  Students who score below a certain threshold are strongly advised to switch out of the course and into the pre-requisite math course in order to succeed and move forward in the math sequence as quickly and successfully as possible. For further details, please see the FAQ sheet below.

  1. What is the RUReady test?
  2. Why do I have to take this test even though I was placed in this course?
  3. When will the test be given?
  4. What kind of test is it? How many problems are on it?
  5. How long does it take?
  6. What do I need to have with me when taking the test?
  7. What material is covered in the test?
  8. How can I prepare for this test?
  9. Can I retake the RUReady test?
  10. What about accommodations for students with disabilities?
  11. How will the test be graded? When will results be available?
  12. How is the cut-off for passing decided?
  13. If I pass this test does it mean I am ready for the course I’m currently in?
  14. If I fail the test, and only learn this after the end of the add/drop period, can I still switch to the pre-requisite math course, even though the add/drop period has ended?
  15. What happens if I fail the RU Ready test, and choose to switch into the pre-requisite course that precedes the one in which I took the test?
  16. What if I already have credit for the previous math class in the sequence for my major, or for some other reason cannot drop back?

1. What is the RUReady test?

The RU Ready tests are diagnostic tests designed to improve student success in Precalculus and Calculus I by providing students with an objective way of gauging their level of preparedness and, depending on their score, giving them the opportunity to switch to the pre-requisite course, where they are prepared to succeed.  Students will then bring the necessary background into their next course in the math sequence.

The RU Ready Test covers background material that is reviewed in the first course meetings of the semester.  After the review, this diagnostic test is given, and it counts for 5% of the course grade. The RU Ready diagnostic test is designed to provide a yes or no answer to a single question: At the end of the second recitation, is the student sufficiently prepared to have a reasonable chance of success in the course?  Students who pass the RU Ready test get all of this 5% and students who fail get none. The threshold for passing has been set so that students with a reasonable chance of success in the course should pass.

Five percent of the course grade is half a letter grade for the semester; for example, the difference between a B+ and an A and or between a C+ and a B. 

2. Why do I have to take this test even though I was placed in this course?

The RU Ready test supplements the online placement assessment to provide a much better measure of the students’ level of preparedness to succeed as they begin the semester. 

All students enrolled in Math 01:640:111, Math 01:640:115, Math 01:640:135, and Math 01:640:151 will take the RU Ready test during second recitation meeting of the course after background material on the test has been reviewed in class.  Our goal is to help students make informed decisions about the courses they take in order to maximize their chance of success in those courses and reduce their time-to-graduation. 

3. When will the test be given?

The RU Ready test will be given during the second recitation/workshop meeting of the course.   A limited number of exceptions will be made in sections in which that would put the test too late in the semester; for those sections, the test will be given during the second lecture instead, or some other arrangement will be announced. 

Although this is after the end of the official add/drop period, the math department has arranged with the Registrar to allow those students who have failed the RU Ready test to switch to an appropriate pre-requisite course without penalty, up until the end of the third week of the semester (subject to availability of seats in the lower course, and students’ schedule constraints).  Since there are multiple sections of each of these courses, students should be able to change their math course without altering the rest of their schedule.  SAS students who have any difficulties should contact the SAS Office of Advising and Academic Services; students in other schools should contact their advising deans.

4. What kind of test is it? How many problems are on it?

It is a multiple-choice test with 25 questions. Students will answer questions by filling out bubbles on a Scantron form with a No. 2 pencil.   

5. How long does it take?

Students will have 45 minutes to answer the questions. It will take about 5 minutes to distribute/collect and for students to fill out the other information needed on the answer form. 

6. What do I need to have with me when taking the test?

You need to bring:

  • your Rutgers photo ID card
  • one (or more) No. 2 pencil(s) to fill in the answer sheet
  • an eraser

Use of calculators and other electronic devices will NOT be permitted during the exam. An answer form will be provided to you. In addition, you will be required to provide the following information on the answer form:

  • Name
  • RUID (You need to know your RUID, since you will not be able to use your phone to look it up during the test,)
  • Date
  • Course and Section Number
  • Your Intended Major
  • Exam Code (a 3-digit number encoding the exam version, it will be supplied with the questions sheet). 

There will be an announcement at the beginning of the test about how to provide the information regarding the intended major. For additional details, see the sample pages for Precalculus (cover page and answer sheet) and Calculus(cover page and answer sheet).

7. What material is covered in the test?

For PreCalculus (Math 01:640:111 and Math 01:640:115), the material covered in the RUReady-111 and RUReady-115 tests consists of elementary and intermediate algebra. A list of review problems is available here. For Calculus I (Math 01:640:135 and Math 01:640:151), material covered in the RUReady-135 and RUReady-151 tests consists of elementary and intermediate algebra as well as precalculus material. A list of review problems is available here.

You may use these review sheets for preparation. Those who have not taken a math course the previous semester may wish to brush up using the list.  In addition, there will be a brief in-class review of the material during the first week of classes. However, students who are well prepared for PreCaclulus or Calculus I should be able to answer all of the questions without much, if any, preparation.

8. How can I prepare for this test?

The test consists of material you should already know.  Review problems are available for the PreCalculus RUReady test here and for the Calculus I RUReady test here. You should be able to solve all of the problems corresponding to your course without difficulty.  In addition, there will be a brief in-class review of the material during the first week of classes.

If you find yourself unable to do the RU Ready review problems before the semester begins, please contact your academic advisor and ask how to switch to a pre-requisite course before the first day of classes. 

9. Can I retake the RUReady test?

No.  Just as with the midterms and the final exam, the test is given once.

10. What about accommodations for students with disabilities?

For any student that is registered with the Office of Disability Services and would like to use their approved accommodations for the RU Ready test, please complete the RU Ready exam request form here:  RU Ready Exam Request Form. For any student who has not registered but is interested in securing accommodations, please contact the Office of Disability Services for more information.

11. How will the test be graded? When will results be available?

The test will be machine graded.  Barring unforeseen circumstances, the students will receive their score on the test, which will be in the form of a percentage, as well as whether or not they have made the cut-off for passing the test, within 48 hours after taking the test.

12. How is the cut-off for passing decided?

The cutoffs for each of the RU Ready tests will be announced during the first week of classes.

13. If I pass this test does it mean I am ready for the course I’m currently in?

Well-prepared students should be able, after the in-class review, to answer almost all of the RU Ready questions correctly.  On the other hand, the bar for passing is set much lower – for example, in Fall 2019 the bar was 60% for 01:640:135.

Students who score above this bar are ready, but they should be aware that they may need to make adjustments in how they study to succeed in college level math that asks you to apply what you are learning to new situations, rather than just correctly solving familiar problems. 

Students who scored below this bar are clearly insufficiently prepared and are extremely unlikely to pass even with hard work. Again using 01:640:135 as an example, after the second midterm, less than 5% of students who had failed the RU Ready Test in Fall 2019 had a C grade, and none had a C+ or higher.

14. If I fail the test, and only learn this after the end of the add/drop period, can I still switch to the pre-requisite math course, even though the add/drop period has ended?

Yes, the math department has arranged with the Registrar to allow those students who have failed the RU Ready test to switch to an appropriate pre-requisite course without penalty up until the end of the third week of the semester (subject to availability of seats and students’ schedule constraints). Since there are multiple sections of each of these courses, students should be able to change their math course without altering the rest of their schedule.  To make these schedule changes, SAS students contact the SAS Office of Advising and Academic Services; students in other schools should contact their advising deans.

15. What happens if I fail the RU Ready test, and choose to switch into the pre-requisite course that precedes the one in which I took the test?

Students who switch into the pre-requisite course will be automatically credited with passing the RU Ready Test for the pre-requisite course (thus picking up 5% of the course grade) regardless of the score they had in the original course, provided they did take the test.

If a student who fails the RU Ready test switches to the pre-requisite, say from 01:640:135 to 01:640:115, they will be credited with a "pass" on the RU Ready Test for the pre-requisite  regardless of what their actual RU Ready Test score is. 

This reflects the fact that the test for the pre-requisite course is easier, and it is also meant as a reward for taking sound advice on where to start.  On the other hand, students who fail the RU Ready Test and remain in the course have lost 5% of the course grade early on. Theoretically, they could go on to earn any grade from here, but experience shows that it will be extremely difficult for them to pass the course given their math preparation as demonstrated on the RU Ready test.

Five percent of the course grade is half a letter grade for the semester; for example, the difference between a B+ and an A or between a C+ and a B.

16. What if I already have credit for the previous math class in the sequence for my major, or for some other reason cannot drop back?

In general, students who have transfer credit for Precalculus or Calculus I are not able to earn credit again by taking the class at Rutgers.  However, in the special case of students who have been advised to change their registration to a lower-level math class in response to failing the RU Ready test, adjustments will be made to allow earning credit for both the transfer class and the repeated version of that class at Rutgers.  Students should reach out to their school's advising office to request the appropriate adjustment.

Students who have already taken Precalculus or Calculus at Rutgers, and received credit for it, cannot receive credit a second time.  In this case, students choosing to drop down to the pre-requisite class will not receive degree credit (an E-prefix will be applied to the repeated course).  Students who were not able to pass the RU Ready test, and who choose not to drop down because they already have credit for the lower course, will not receive the 5% of the course grade that corresponds to the test.  However, students that find themselves faltering in Calculus 1 at the mid-point of the semester may change their registration to a new 4 credit course, Math 01:640:123, "Preparation for Success in Calculus," that will run for the final 8 weeks of the semester. This will be an intense, immersive course, and upon completion, students should indeed be ready for success in calculus classes at Rutgers.

The number of seats in Math 01:640:123 is limited and students are advised to heed the results of RU Ready during the first three weeks of any semester by enrolling in the course that best fits their preparation. However, after the first three weeks, Calculus 1 students who find themselves in over their heads are advised to apply early for a place in 01:640:123, as soon as invitations go out.  Seats are limited.