The Differentiation Gateway Exam

Calculus is a coherent set of ideas that describe changes using mathematics. Although symbolic manipulation is not the central idea of the course, it is the language in which we describe mathematical ideas and a powerful set of tools that we use to answer questions that interest us. Essentially, symbolic representation and manipulations are the grammar rules that allow us to speak the language of calculus. It is imperative that you obtain sufficient facility with symbolic manipulation so that the manipulations themselves do not form a barrier between you and the ideas they represent.

The differentiation gateway exam is a purely computational exam, designed to make sure that you are obtaining the analytical (grammatical) skills that are required to do calculus. The gateway exam will be given after we have covered the essential rules of differentiation, and will consist of seven problems that test your ability to apply these rules correctly. To pass the gateway exam, you must present flawless solutions to all seven problems. A single error causes failure. The gateway exam is worth 10% of your final course grade. Since perfect solutions are required, a reasonable number of retakes of the gateway exam are permitted according to the following guidelines.

Gateway Exam Guidelines: