Currently enrolled students are also allowed to take a departmental proficiency exam if they have not already earned credit for the course or for a higher-level course in the subject. Departmental proficiency tests are usually given at the beginning of each fall and spring semester. Usually you are permitted to attempt an exam only once, but there are a couple of exams that you are allowed to take twice. Given that different departments have different policies, you should always check with the department first.
Visit the CITL Placement & Proficiency Website for links to all proficiency exams offered at ILLINOIS.
Students should take proficiency exams as early as possible, and prior to their last year. Please note that it takes time for proficiency exams to be reviewed and credits to be updated, so it is not advised to wait until your last year to take any exams so you are aware of all remaining degree requirements.
IS 203 Proficiency Exam
- The exam must be taken in person at the scheduled time/day/location assigned.
- Exams are in-person on-campus.
- Recommended to arrive 5-10 minutes before the exam to be checked in and settled. Time will not be extended for students who show up late for the exam.
- You may only sign-up for/take the IS 203 proficiency exam once.
- If you sign-up and miss the exam, this would count as your one time as we only have limited space for the exam.
- Exam will be graded as quickly as possible, hopefully within one week, and students notified if they passed, or did not pass. Grades will be final as they will be double-checked (you will not be able to come in and review after).
- You must receive a 75.00% or above on the proficiency exam to pass.
- If passed, you will receive credit for IS 203 (no grade is awarded, only credit hours). It may take several weeks for the credit to show on your record.
- If not passed, it will not impact your record, but you will need to take IS 203 for the BSIS major.
Allowed for Exam:
- Exam will be on paper (provided), and students should bring pens/pencils to use.
- A basic calculator/basic scientific calculator is optional. (Exam may be completed without a calculator; Only a small portion of questions will require calculations where a calculator may be helpful).
- Cell phones, laptops, tablets or more advanced calculators are not allowed.
There are no approved substitution courses for IS 203, and no discussions to accept any course substitutions at this time. The only way students are able to complete the IS 203 requirement for the BSIS major is to either take the course here at ILLINOIS, or to pass the IS 203 proficiency exam earning credit. Transfer courses within the US may be reviewed for direct transfer as IS 203, but these courses may be very limited (no current transfer equivalents exist).
- The exam is based on material from the course, which is based on the following textbook: Discrete Mathematics and Its Applications (Edition 7) Book may be bought various places and is ~$30
- Questions will primarily come from chapters: 1, 2, 7, 10, & 11. But other dependent concepts may be included as part of those specific questions.
- Discrete Math is very different than other types of math, so knowledge in calculus, trigonometry, or others will not necessarily help with this area as it is very specific and not taught to generally.
- There is no standard Khan Academy course that has this material
- LinkedIN Learning (free for U of I students if you search how to access using illinois.edu) provides some lessons that would help with discrete math, but the textbook listed above is the primary source.
- Vocabulary and symbols are very specific to discrete math, but there is also conceptual reasoning.
- Around 20 questions, but each question will have several parts (graded separately).
Students registered with DRES who need accommodations for the proficiency exam should sign-up for an upcoming exam date (see below), and email our office at least one week prior to the exam with requested accommodations: firstname.lastname@example.org. Depending on the required accommodations, you may need to work with DRES and our office to request testing space in DRES.
Sign-up in advance is required. Only sign-up once. We are only offering this exam in-person. We only offer the exam during the designated times each semester (typically the first week and last week of each semester), and these dates/times are emailed to iSchool undergraduate students prior to these dates, and upcoming dates are listed below.
Upcoming Dates and Times:
Course: IS 203 Proficiency Exam
Location: 4th Floor of New iSchool Building (HUB) 614 E. Daniel St., Champaign (information included with the sign-up form)
Please register no later than the day before your desired exam time.