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University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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The Zenas Hartvigson Memorial Math Education Resource Center


The Math Education Resource Center (MERC) Lab is a resource center for all students who are enrolled in a math course at UCD (regardless of the course level). The Mathematics Education Resource Center is dedicated to its founder and caretaker for 20 years, Dr. Zenas R. Hartvigson. Zenas was a tireless educator who established the Lab with only an Apple II PC and a few hand-held Texas Instrument calculators. We strive to carry on his tradition.

Some of the services offered in the MERC Lab include:

  • Prerequisite testing
  • Tutoring offered daily
  • Access to math software including R and MatLab
  • PC technology and graphing calculator support
  • A computer instructional lab

For updates and additional information, visit the MERC Lab Web site.

​​MATH 1070: College Algebra for Business and MATH 1110: College Algebra

We no longer require prerequisite testing for these courses. However, though not required, we believe it is essential that you possess at least one of the following prior to registering for MATH 1070 or MATH 1110 within the last three years:
  • an AP Calculus (AB or BC) test score of at least 3
  • ACT-Math score of at least 24
  • SAT-Math score of at least 560
  • ​a score of at least 50% on "Prep for Calculus (MyMathTest)" taken in the MERC Lab within the last two years.​

Note: If you have obtained an International Baccalaureate (IB), transfer credit to UCD
is determined on a case-by-case basis.  You will need to consult with a UCD

​MATH 1401: Calculus I

In order to qualify for MATH 1401, you must have achieved at least one of the following within 3 years of the course starting date:
  • AP Calculus (AB or BC) test score of at least 3
  • ACT-Math score of at least 27
  • SAT-Math score of at least 620
  • ​a passing score of at least 70% on "MyMathTest Prereq. Test" taken in the MERC Lab within the last two years.

If you have met with your UCD advisor and have previously fulfilled at least one of the prerequisites listed above for Calculus I, then you will need to contact Mike Kawai from your UCD email address to obtain a permission code to register online through UCD Access.

If you have NOT met any of the prerequisites listed above, then please come to the MERC Lab and obtain the Prerequisite Testing Information.

Note: If you have obtained an International Baccalaureate (IB), transfer credit to UCD
is determined on a case-by-case basis.  You will need to consult with a UCD

​​Taking the Prerequisite Test for MATH 1401: Calculus I

​The prerequisite test for Calculus I is proctored in the MERC Lab. ​DO NOT WAIT for the first week of class to qualify for your desired course! Testing resources become scarce once the semester begins and we are not responsible if you run out of registration time or if seats in the desired section of your course are unavailable.


Please read the instructions below carefully.

I. Inventory
You must complete the 42-question Inventory (presumably at home) BEFORE you come to the MERC Lab to take the real prerequisite test.
  • How to register for the Inventory: Students must visit the MERC Lab in North Classroom 4015, and register with the lab to obtain access to the Inventory. You are required to show your UCD Student ID card (or your letter of admission with your 4-digit PIN in the bottom left-hand corner) and a government-issued picture ID. You can also email Mike Kawai from your official UCD university email account with your student ID number included. 
  • Taking the Inventory: You may do the Inventory as many times as you like. All the help features are turned off while you are working on the Inventory, but you can save your current work and come back to it. Note that you must do the items in order and you will not get a score until your have looked at all 42 questions! You can usually locate a similar problem in the Study Plan tab if you are totally lost.
  • Inventory Scoring: When you score at least 85% on the Inventory, then you are qualified to come in and take the real prerequisite test. We will not allow you to take the real test without doing the Inventory work first. NO EXCEPTIONS. (Before we mandated this, 90% of the students failed the real test the first time because they thought that they knew how to pass.)
II. Prerequisite Test
The real prerequisite test has 25 questions that are taken, with a few style changes, from the Inventory. You have 90 minutes to complete the real test and the passing score is 70%. We do not round up. NO calculators, phones, notes, or internet resources are allowed during the test.
  • Schedule Your Test: Please call the MERC Lab (303)556-8532 to verify that we have available workstations for your desired test time. Testing times may be limited due to classroom scheduling. Visit the MERC Lab website for current open hours.
  • Number of Attempts: You have two attempts each semester to test for entrance to Calculus I in the following semester. For instance, if you want to take MATH 1401 in the spring semester, you must take the prerequisite test prior in the fall semester. If you are currently registered for Precalculus or College Trigonometry here at UCD, you are given an extra attempt (it may have an expiration date on it, so beware!).​
  • For Remote Students: If you are registering for an on-line section of MATH 1401, and you live more than 100 miles away from the UCD Campus, the please call us at (303)556-8532. It is possible that we can proctor your exam remotely, but understand that there may be some ​incompatibility with workstations that are not controlled by us. It may turn out that we will not be able to offer the test at a site nearer to where you live, and thus, you would need to wait until you show up at Auraria campus test.