Why does Skidmore have
a Quantitative Reasoning Requirement?
We want you to have control over the decisions
you make that involve numerical data. If you plan to major in business,
a social science, or a physical science, the need to master quantitative
information is obvious ?- you must use such reasoning constantly
in your college work and beyond. However, those of you outside of
these majors will also have to employ quantitative reasoning to
answer questions such as which bank to use for savings, which loan
to take for a new car purchase, for what duration to request the
loan, how much to charge for an oil painting on which you've worked
for months, whether or not to itemize deductions on your income
tax, and whether or not to believe statistical statements made by
business or political groups.
We cannot avoid numerical information as we
carry on our lives in the new millennium. We would like you to be
able to assimilate this information critically.
Do I need to take the QR1 Exam, and if so, when?
If you have not fulfilled the QR1 requirement
through an adequate SAT or ACT score, then you must take the QR1 exam during
the Orientation period (see the Orientation schedule for the exam
and review session times and places). If you do not pass the exam
at this time, you will have several opportunities during the academic
year to retake the exam; you will be informed as to those times
and dates, as well as the times and dates of review sessions.
What is the QR1 Exam like?
The exam consists of 25 multiple choice questions
on basic arithmetic and data interpretation. To pass the exam, you
must get 20 questions correct. A sample QR exam is one of the choices
on our QR website outline page (http://www.skidmore.edu/qr).
The basic arithmetic questions test your ability
to manipulate whole numbers, fractions, decimals, and percents,
and will include questions dealing with applications of these concepts
to consumer issues. In addition, there may be questions involving
practical geometry. Students who have mastered the basic arithmetic
operations and their proper application should find this section
very easy; however, those who have not taken courses involving arithmetic
for several years may find this section more difficult.
The data interpretation questions test your
ability to read and understand data presented in words, tables,
and graphs. To perform well on this part of the exam, you should
be familiar with the construction of pie charts, histograms, and
scatter plots, should be able to employ the mean, median, and mode
in the analysis of a set of data, and should be able to predict
behavior based upon analysis of linear and exponential graphs. Lastly,
you should be familiar with the basic concepts of probability.
May I use a hand calculator on the QR1 Exam?
The QR1 exam has two parts: an initial 8 questions
on arithmetic on which calculators may not be used, and then 17
more questions on which you may use your calculator if you wish.
(Note that you must supply the calculator!) Be sure to look at the
sample QR exam on our QR website (http://www.skidmore.edu/qr).
How do I know whether or not I've passed the QR1
The results of the QR1 exam will be emailed to students and their advisors. A minimum score of 20 out of 25 is required.
What happens if I don't pass?
If you answer fewer than 20 questions correctly,
you will be allowed to retake the exam up to 3 additional times in your first
year, and you will fulfill the QR1 requirement by passing the exam
at one of those retakes. You will be notified of the dates for the
retests, and there will be scheduled review
sessions before each testing date. Also, you may contact the Department
of Mathematics and Computer Science to review your exam, find out
what areas you need to strengthen, and take practice exams to build
confidence. In the event that you are unable to pass the exam by
the end of the first year, you will be required to complete MA100
successfully by the end of the second year in order to satisfy the
QR1 requirement. This course (MA 100, Quantitative Reasoning) features
an intensive review of arithmetic and an introduction to data analysis.
Any first-year student who does not pass the
QR1 exam may elect to fulfill the QR1 requirement by successfully
completing MA100, rather than by retaking the QR1 exam; however,
this option is primarily for those with serious quantitative deficiencies.
Students with very weak arithmetic skills are encouraged to preregister
What happens if I want to take a QR2 Course in
the fall but don't pass the QR1 Exam given during Orientation?
In order to be enrolled in a QR2 course, you must first satisfy the QR1 requirement. If you have preregistered for a QR2 course and do not pass the first QR1 exam given during Orientation, then you will be given an opportunity to retake the QR1 examination during Orientation and/or during the add-drop period. You must contact the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science to schedule a retake of the exam. If you pass the retake, you may remain enrolled in the QR2 course. If you do not pass, then you will be required to withdraw from the QR2 course. Remember that you have up to 4 opportunities to pass the QR1 exam during your first year.
How do I know whether or not to preregister for
a QR2 Course?
The QR1 requirement must be fulfilled by the
end of the second year. Although satisfaction of the QR2 requirement
may be accomplished as late as the second semester of the third
year, the QR requirement is a Foundation Requirement, so we encourage
you to satisfy it as early as possible. Of course, you must balance
how and when you satisfy this requirement with your own particular
interests as well as with the need to satisfy the other curricular
Whether or not you preregister for a QR2 course
in your first semester depends on your academic strengths and interests.
Introductory courses in several disciplines are QR2 courses, and
so require the satisfaction of the QR1 requirement as a prerequisite.
In past years about two-thirds of incoming first
year students have fulfilled the QR1 requirement either through
their SAT scores or through passing the QR1 exam given during Orientation
period. Please use the sample QR exam on the website to assess your
quantitative skills and plan accordingly. If you can handle the
questions asked with facility and confidence, you should be ready
to take a QR2 course (and pass the QR1 exam, if need be). If you
find that certain skills have eroded but can be refreshed with practice,
then by all means practice those skills! If you find the sample
questions to be very difficult or intimidating, you may want to
consider enrolling in MA100 early on to shore up your quantitative
skills as a foundation for other studies, including a subsequent
Do you have any questions?
For further help or advice, call or e-mail
Kim Newsom, Administrative Assistant, Department of Mathematics
and Computer Science at 518-580-5280 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.