Advanced Placement Test

The Advanced Placement Test (APT) is a diagnostic test for students wishing to take MAST10008/MAST10009 Accelerated Mathematics 1/2 but who fall just short of the grades required to automatically qualify for entry to the accelerated stream. In some cases, students seeking entry to MAST10008/MAST10009 may be required to sit the APT if we are unable to tell from their school results whether the accelerated stream is appropriate.

The APT is a computer-based test held on the Friday before the start of semester. For semester 1, 2023, it will be held on Friday 24 February 2023, in person at Parkville campus.  More details about the arrangements for the test will be provided upon registration for the test.

Registration for the APT for semester 1, 2023 is now closed.

For more information, please see the FAQs below.

If you have any further questions about the APT, you may contact the APT co-ordinator Dr. Anthony Morphett, .

Frequently asked questions

Eligibility for the APT

  • Can I sit the APT?

    This will depend on your mathematics background (ie, what mathematics subjects you studied at school and your grades), as well as your course and intended major (eg, Actuarial Studies, engineering).

    The following students are eligible to sit the APT:

    VCE students:

    • If you received a study score of 35, 36 or 37 in Specialist Mathematics.

    Other students:

    • Depending on your school background and grades, you may be required to sit the APT if you wish to take MAST10008/MAST10009.  Please contact the APT co-ordinator Dr Anthony Morphett to discuss your options and whether the APT is suitable for you.
  • Am I required to sit the APT?

    For students in any major other than Actuarial Studies, the APT is optional.  You may choose to take the standard or advanced mathematics stream (if you meet the prerequisites for them) instead of sitting the APT.

    Actuarial Studies students who qualify for the APT as described above are required to sit the APT.

  • I didn't study VCE Specialist Mathematics or equivalent, or I didn't get the marks required above. Can I sit the APT? Please?

    No. You should take one of the other first year mathematics streams appropriate for your background, instead of the accelerated stream.  Please see here or talk to a Maths & Stats course adviser to discuss your options.

    If you are intending to pursue a mathematically intensive course at university, then it is important to ensure you have a solid grounding in the fundamentals by taking the first-year subjects most suitable for you.  It is a bad idea to try to cut corners in your mathematical studies - you will likely regret it later.

  • What should I do about my enrolment in MAST10008/MAST10009 Accelerated Maths 1/2?

    If you are approved to sit the APT, you should enrol in MAST10006 Calculus 2 and/or MAST10007 Linear Algebra temporarily in order to complete your enrolment and study plan. After the APT, if you are approved for the accelerated stream, you can change your enrolment to MAST10008/MAST10009 before the start of semester.

    If the student portal does not allow you to enrol in MAST10006/MAST10007 because you have a school qualification other than VCE, use the Enrolment Variation form to request a `requisite waiver' for MAST10006 & MAST10007. Attach a transcript of your school results as supporting documentation.  Note that it may take several days for your Enrolment Variation request to be processed. Please be patient.

About the APT

  • When and where is the APT held?

    The APT is held on the Friday before the start of semester on Parkville campus. Exact details about the time and location will be provided when you register for the test.

  • How long does the test take?

    The time allowed for the test is 90 minutes. There is no additional reading time.

  • What material does the APT cover?

    The APT is a diagnostic test intended to assess your skills and knowledge in a range of areas of school mathematics. Questions will cover topics from VCE Specialist Mathematics as well as from VCE Maths Methods 3/4 and earlier school mathematics. Topics include

    • Algebraic manipulation
    • Functions and relations, including polynomials, log, exponential, trigonometric functions; reciprocal trig functions; inverse trig functions
    • Differential and integral calculus
    • Vectors
    • Complex numbers

    The APT will also assess your understanding of mathematical concepts and general mathematical ability.

  • What if I did not cover all topics from VCE Specialist Mathematics in my interstate/overseas mathematics studies?

    If there are some topics which you did not cover at school, then you can leave those questions blank. In this case, you will most likely need to do some extra reading before commencing your first-year mathematics subjects to make up for this assumed knowledge.  The extra reading material is available here.

  • Should I study for the APT?

    You do not need to study specifically for the APT.  However, if you feel that your school mathematics knowledge is a little rusty, it is a good idea to review your school notes as general preparation for your university mathematics studies.  This is particularly true for students seeking to undertake a mathematically intensive course such as Actuarial Studies, Engineering Systems (any stream), Physics or Mathematics & Statistics.

  • What do I need to bring to the test?

    You must bring your Melbourne University student ID card and a pen or pencil (for rough working). You will also need your University username and password to log in to the computers.

  • Is a formula sheet provided? Can I bring a `cheat sheet' or notes? Can I use a calculator on the test?

    There is no formula sheet. You are not permitted to bring notes into the test. Calculators are not permitted.

  • Is there a practice test or other study materials for the APT?


  • Is there a fee to sit the APT? Do I have to pay anything?

    No, there is no fee to sit the APT.

Accelerated Mathematics vs. Calculus 2/Linear Algebra

  • What is the difference between the accelerated stream and the standard mathematics stream?

    The standard first-year mathematics stream consists of the subjects MAST10006 Calculus 2, MAST10007 Linear Algebra and (if required) MAST10005 Calculus 1. Many students then go on to level-2 Mathematics and Statistics subjects in second-year, including MAST20026 Real Analysis.

    The accelerated stream consists of the first-year subjects MAST10008 Accelerated Mathematics 1 and MAST10009 Accelerated Mathematics 2. Between them, these two subjects cover the content of three standard-stream subjects: MAST10006 Calculus 2, MAST10007 Linear Algebra, and MAST20026 Real Analysis. The accelerated stream thus covers the equivalent of three standard subjects in two semesters.  As a result the pace of the accelerated stream is faster than the standard stream. Accelerated Mathematics 1 & 2 have 4 lectures per week, instead of the normal 3, and students are expected to do a greater amount of work outside of class. The workload in MAST10008/MAST10009 is considerably higher than in the standard stream subjects and the assessment tasks may be more demanding.

  • Will I miss out on anything if I take the standard mathematics stream instead of Accelerated Mathematics?

    MAST10008/MAST10009 Accelerated Mathematics 1 & 2 covers the content of three standard stream subjects: MAST10006 Calculus 2, MAST10007 Linear Algebra and MAST20026 Real Analysis. Therefore, if you take these three standard subjects, you will cover all the same material as MAST10008/MAST10009 and will not miss out on any mathematical content. You will cover it over three semesters, at a normal pace and workload, instead of over two semesters at an accelerated pace and higher workload.

    Actuarial Studies students do not normally take MAST20026 Real Analysis. Actuarial Studies students who take the standard stream MAST10006/MAST10007 may need to do some additional reading in second year to compensate.

  • Do I need to take MAST10008/MAST10009 Accelerated Mathematics 1/2 in order to study Actuarial Studies/to qualify as an actuary?

    If you are not eligible to take MAST10008/MAST10009, it is still possible to take Actuarial Studies and to qualify as an actuary.  Such students will take one of the other first year mathematics pathways instead of MAST10008/MAST10009.  To proceed to second-year actuarial studies, you must get an average grade of at least 75 in MAST10006 Calculus 2 and MAST10007 Linear Algebra, or an average grade of at least 60 in MAST10008/MAST10009 Accelerated Mathematics 1/2 (see the handbook for full details).

After the APT

  • When and how will I hear the result from the test?

    You will be emailed about the outcome of the test by about 4pm on the day of the test.

  • What are the possible outcomes after I sit the APT?

    After the APT, you may be approved to enrol in the accelerated stream, or to take the standard stream instead. You may also be assigned some extra reading to do in preparation for your first-year mathematics studies - for instance, if you did not study a particular topic in your highschool. The extra reading can be found here.

  • What mark do I need to get to `pass' the APT?

    There is no particular `pass mark' for the APT.  The APT is a diagnostic test intended to determine if you have the necessary background for the accelerated stream. The APT co-ordinator will look at your performance on all the different sections of the test to help determine if the accelerated stream is appropriate for you.