Department of Mathematics
University of California at Berkeley
Subject Credit for Math ~ Frequently Asked Questions
See below for our policies on Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and A-Level Exams
Advanced Placement (AP) Examinations
The Math Department accepts:
AP Calculus AB with a score of 3, 4, or 5 for Math 1A.
AP Calculus BC with a score of 3 or 4 for Math 1A.
AP Calculus BC with a score of 5 for Math 1A and Math 1B.
Please note: Other Departments and Colleges may use their own scales to determine AP subject credit for mathematics. Please check with them directly and plan accordingly.
Q: So, if I got a 3 or 4 on the AB Math, I can enroll directly in Math 1B?
A: Yes (with the exceptions mentioned above).
While the Math Department has found that a score of 3 or 4 shows that a student is ready to take college calculus, it is not an accurate indicator of how a student will do in a college math course. High school calculus is not necessarily the same as college calculus. The professor’s expectations of what the students should know and have internalized (and not just memorized) can differ greatly from what high school students might expect.
Various factors such as the strengths of a student’s math background, the schedule for the first semester, and work, commute, and any other time commitments play a crucial role in determining how a student will do in his/her first math course at Cal. If you feel that your math background is not as strong as you would like, you may choose to take Math 1A even if your AP score could waive the requirement. The units will count as part of your minimum units required for the semester, but you will not receive units for both the AP scores and the class toward graduation.
Q: If I received a 5 on the BC Math, can I enroll directly in Math 53, Multivariable Calculus, or Math 54, Linear Algebra and Differential Equations?
A: Yes. The only prerequisite for Math 53 and Math 54 is Math 1B. Math 53 and Math 54 are independent of each other.
Please note: Math 1B covers more material on differential equations than do the first-year calculus courses at most institutions (it covers first order ODE, population dynamics, second order ODE, oscillation and damping, and series solutions of ODE). If you enroll in Math 54, you will need to cover the aforementioned topics on your own.
International Baccalaureate Exams
IB Math exams prior to 2021:
IB Math (Standard Level) SL: No Credit for Any Score
IB Math (Higher Level) HL, without calculus option: A score of 5, 6, or 7 can be used to satisfy Math 1A. No exemption for Math 1B.
IB Math (Higher Level) HL with Calculus Option: A score of 5, 6, or 7 can be used to satisfy Math 1A. A score of 7 can be used to satisfy Math 1A & Math 1B.
IB Math (Further Level) FL: A score of 7 can be used to satisfy Math 1A & Math 1B. A score of 6 can be used to satisfy Math 1A only.
IB Math exams from 2021 and following:
IB Math, Analysis and Approaches (Standard Level): No credit for any score.
IB Math, Analysis and Approaches (Higher Level): A score of 5, 6 or 7 can be used to satisfy Math 1A or 16A. A score of 7 can be used to satisfy Math 1A and Math 1B.
IB Math, Applications and Interpretations (Standard Level): No credit for any score.
IB Math, Applications and Interpretations (Higher Level): A score of 5, 6 or 7 can be used to satisfy Math 16A. A score of 6 or 7 can be used to satisfy Math 10A.
(The above policies apply to Math and Applied Math majors as well as to majors in departments who follow the Math Department's course equivalency policies.)
The Department accepts A-Level Math (with a grade of B or better) for Math 1A Equivalency.
We accept A-Level Further Math (with a grade of B or better) for Math 1A & Math 1B Equivalency.
Singapore A-Level Exams: We accept H1 Math for Math 16A, H2 Math for 1A, and H2 Further Math for 1A *and* 1B.
(These policies apply to Math and Applied Math majors as well as to majors in departments who follow the Math Department's course equivalency policies.)