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Calculus Preparation Evaluation

The Calculus Preparation Evaluation (CPE) is a mandatory online test to register in one of Laurier's four entry-level calculus courses: MA100, MA102, MA103, MA129; or in the precalculus course: SC101.

Registration into any of those courses will be restricted until you complete the CPE. Once your CPE score has been recorded in LORIS, the restriction will be removed and you'll be able to register for the calculus course of your choosing, provided your score meets the course requirements. 

The purpose of this process is to maximize your opportunity for successful completion of the calculus requirement of your program, by helping you:

  • Decide which course would be best suited to both your skills and your future goals.     
  • Prepare for an introductory calculus course by reviewing key prerequisite material.

Neither your offer of admission nor your program of study is affected by your CPE results.

Calculus Courses, Prerequisites, and Your CPE Score

If calculus is a required course, check your program requirements very carefully so that you know what options are available for your specific program. We are available to help you make an informed decision! Contact either a mathematics advisor or an academic advisor in your home discipline if you have any questions.

The Department of Mathematics offers three streams of entry-level calculus courses.

We also have a video explaining the various pathways between calculus courses, which courses you should consider based on your program of study and how the CPE helps you decide where the best starting point is for you.

Content Covered by the CPE

The CPE is comprised of 50 multiple choice problems, and covers topics in secondary-level mathematics that are essential for success in entry postsecondary-level mathematics courses, particularly first-year university calculus. The skills being assessed are those covered by the Ontario mathematics curriculum, up to and including those from Grade 12 Advanced Functions (MHF4U); knowledge of calculus concepts is not required.

  • Part A: Simplifying Expressions (15 questions): factoring, manipulating rational expressions, using laws of exponents, absolute value, remainder theorem.
  • Part B: Solving Equations and Inequalities (10 questions): linear, quadratic, and rational equations, absolute value, set notation and operations along with inequalities, systems of equations.
  • Part C: Functions and Graphing (10 questions): the arithmetic and composition of functions, domains, ranges, graphs and transformations/translations, inverse functions.
  • Part D: Geometry (5 questions): coordinate systems, equations and properties of lines, parabolas and circles.
  • Part E: Exponentials and Logarithms (5 questions): evaluating, simplifying and solving equations involving exponential and logarithmic expressions, properties of the exponential and logarithmic functions.
  • Part F: Trigonometry (5 questions): radian measure, evaluating, simplifying and solving equations involving trigonometric expressions, properties of the trigonometric functions.

Sample Problems

Once you access the CPE through our course management system, there will be a sample set of questions available for you to preview the types of problems that you will see on the actual CPE.

A complete solution set to the problems is provided upon submission of the Sample Evaluation, which may be useful as a quick refresher of the concepts and methods covered.

How to Take the CPE


  • Remember that this evaluation is for your benefit, to help you identify any areas of weakness and to make the right decision as to which introductory calculus course you should take to maximize your chance of success. It is important that your CPE score is reflective of your knowledge base.
  • While the system allows you two hours, you should be able to complete the questions within 75 to 90 minutes; requiring a greater amount of time is an indication that you need some extra review on at least some of the topics covered.
  • The test needs to be completed in one sitting, so give yourself two hours of uninterrupted time before starting.
  • No calculators or other aids are allowed, but have scrap paper and pencil at hand.


The CPE will be accessible online 24 hours/day, seven days/week.

To take the online CPE:

  1. Accept your offer of admission through the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre and obtain your Laurier email account.
  2. Use your Laurier credentials to log in to Laurier's course management system, MyLearningSpace.
  3. Select Self-Registration from the horizontal menu bar.
  4. Select Calculus Preparation Evaluation
  5. Follow the onscreen instructions to register yourself.
  6. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the CPE.

If preferred, you may also make arrangements to come to Laurier's Waterloo campus to complete the evaluation. Contact us to arrange a in-person evaluation, or to discuss any academic accommodations you may require in order to complete the CPE.


  • Your results on the CPE will be available immediately upon the completion and submission of your answers. You are encouraged to complete the evaluation by early July, to aid in course selection for September and to identify any areas that you need to review.
  • If you feel that your CPE results are not reflective of your skills, you can complete it again. We allow up to a maximum of three attempts; if the CPE is completed more than once, we record the highest score obtained.
  • While you get your test score right away, there may be a delay of up to five business days until the restriction on LORIS is lifted. If, after five business days, you are still unable to enrol in a calculus course, please contact us.
  • Completion of the CPE is a requirement of the Department of Mathematics. The Evaluation is administered by our Mathematics and Statistics Learning Support staff.

CPE Frequently Asked Questions