Calculus Prerequisites

Prerequisites for MATH 171 -- Calculus and Analytical Geometry I
You may take MATH 171 if you satisfy ONE of the following requirements

  • A grade of C or better MATH 138 (or its transfer equivalent)
  • A score of at least 60% on an ALEKS online calculus readiness test

If you satisfy the first requirement, you may simply register for MATH 171. The rest of this page is about the second option.

The ALEKS Exam and Review Course
ALEKS is an online tutoring and testing system. Radford University will provide you with one free test. If you do not pass it, you may take the test as many more times as you like at your own expense. You may also take an online review course through ALEKS.

Taking the Test

  • Peruse the list of exam topics [PDF]
  • When you think you are ready to take the test, contact the chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics Neil Sigmon and request a code. You must have a valid Radford University username (the name you use to get your RU email) and password to do this. When you get your code, write it down; you cannot get another free one.
  • Go to the ALEKS test page and enter the code in the boxes marked “Course code”. The code will be hyphenated; enter the two parts separately.
  • Take the test. If you pass, go to the Math Department office in Whitt 227. The staff there will verify your score and give you an override form for MATH 171.

Re-taking the Test

You may retake the ALEKS at any time for a fee. Contact the chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics Neil Sigmon for the appropriate code, and then go to

Note: No two tests will be exactly the same. Tests cover the same topics using different questions.

The Online Review Course

If you would like to take a precalculus review course, we suggest the ALEKS Calculus Prep course, which covers the same topics as the test. To begin the course, go to and enter the course code GX9DW-NEMAX. After you pay the fee you will have access to the course for about six weeks.