Placement Test for MA1200


The mathematics placement test for MA1200 (Calculus and Basic Linear Algebra I) aims to help academic units under College of Science and Engineering manage the consistency of the basic knowledge in mathematics of their students of cohort 2017 and hence contribute in effective teaching and student learning. The test is designed to allow students to demonstrate their abilities and skills in the basic mathematics requirement at university level. It is optional and plays no role in admission.

If a student does not pass the placement test for MA1200, he or she is advised to enroll in the course.


Prospective students of Advanced Standing I admitted in 2017 meeting the following requirements can register to take the test subject to a recommendation from the student's Programme/Major Leader or Admission Officer:

  • without HKALE A-Level Applied Mathematics or Pure Mathematics, but with grade C or above in HKALE AS-Level Mathematics and Statistics, or equivalent

Students who have taken exams of MA1200, MA1201, MA2176, MA2182 or MA2183 previously are NOT eligible to take the test.

Topics Covered

The level of the test is equivalent to the syllabus of MA1200 and will cover the following mathematical areas:

  • Polynomials; Mathematical induction; Binomial theorem
  • Coordinate geometry and conic sections; Basic trigonometry
  • Functions and inverses; Limits, continuity and differentiability
  • Techniques of differentiation, implicit, logarithmic and parametric differentiation; Successive differentiation
  • Applications of differentiation: rate of change, local extrema, optimization problems, Taylor series, l'Hôpital rule

Sample questions and solutions


Duration of the test: 1.5 hours
Test style: Written
Test format: 40 multiple choice questions
Grading pattern: Pass/Fail
Passing grade: A minimum standard of 70% must be achieved in the test

Application and Fees

Students must get approval from their Programme/Major Leaders or Admission Officers in order to take the test. Pre-registration must be completed 5 working days prior to the test date. A completed application form must reach the Department of Mathematics by hand.

Application form without endorsement of Programme/Major Leader or Admission Officer and departmental stamp of the student's home department will NOT be processed further. Students should ensure that the form has been completed and signed before sending to the Department of Mathematics.

The current cost of the test is FREE for first-time takers but HKD300.00 (non-refundable) will be charged to students for a retake. For retake cases, the student must obtain a recommendation from the relevant Programme/Major Leader or Admission Officer. A crossed cheque payable to "City University of Hong Kong" should be submitted to the General Office of Department of Mathematics together with a completed application form. Each student can take the placement test twice at most.

Application form

Test Schedule for Semester A 2017/18

Date: 30 August 2017 (Wednesday)
Time: 10:00am – 11:30am (1.5 hours)
Venue: To be confirmed

Points to Note during Placement Test

  • The student must show his/her Hong Kong Identity Card or student identity card before entering the testing centre/venue;
  • Use of writing instruments and an approved calculator are permitted during the test. The calculator may be checked for unauthorised material;
  • Scrap papers will be provided at the test venue;
  • Personal notes, books, food and drinks etc. are not allowed during the test.


Test results will be released to individual students and the relevant Programme/Major Leaders or Admission Officers within five days after the test. If a student does not pass the placement test for MA1200, he or she is advised to enroll in the course.


General Office
Department of Mathematics
Y6524, 6/F, Academic 1
City University of Hong Kong
Tel: +852 3442-8404
Fax: +852 3442-0250

Last update: 11 July 2017