Laney College

Credit by Examination

Credit by Examination

If you feel you were placed in a math class lower than your abilities permit, you may challenge the following courses: Elementary Algebra (Math 201), Intermediate Algebra (Math 203), or Math for Lab Sciences (Math 208). In the state of California, students who entered college in Fall 2009 or later must pass Intermediate Algebra to satisfy the math requirement for the Associate Degree; students who started earlier and satisfy the continuing enrollment requirement retain their catalog rights and are only required to pass Elementary Algebra.


Rules and Procedures

The following rules apply when challenging a class:

  • A registered student who is attending classes, is in good standing (not on probation), and has completed at least six units at Laney College may request by petition to take an equivalency examination in the designated courses listed above.
  • Credit by examination may be accrued by a student up to a maximum of 15 units.
  • Units earned will be recorded on a student’s record as a letter grade.
  • Students are not permitted to challenge by examination any course of lower level than a course previously completed.
  • Credit by examination is not part of a student’s current work load and cannot be counted toward the 12 unit residency, veteran’s benefits, financial aid, athletic eligibility, or similar purposes.
  • The student must pay the fees equal to the enrollment fee cost of the course (BOGFW does not cover this fee).
  • A grade of incomplete (I) may not be assigned for Credit by Examination. The student’s grade shall be recorded on his/her academic record, even if it is substandard. The student will not have the option of rejecting a substandard grade.

Complete a Petition for Credit by Examination (available from the Admissions & Records Office in A-109) accompanied by evidence of knowledge or experience in the content of the course.  Bring it to your counselor for verification of eligibility.  Once it’s verified, pick up the petition from your counselor, then bring it to the department chair of the Mathematics Department (David Ross, email:  Once approved by the chair, a faculty member will be assigned to administer the exam.  Before the exam can be administered, student shall take the approved petition to the Cashier’s Office for payment of fees and receipt.  Fees are non-refundable regardless of the outcome of the exam.


Reviewing for the Examination

The material covered on the examinations consists of the standard Algebra I and Algebra II topics. You might want to come to the Math Lab and check out our Algebra books. (Appropriate chapters are listed below.)

Elementary Algebra

Topics include linear equations and inequalities; relations and functions; factoring; quadratic polynomials; solving quadratic equations; fractions; radicals and exponents; word problems; graphing; and number systems. (Chapters 1–-6 of Bittinger’s Elementary & Intermediate Algebra: Concepts and Applications, 5th edition)

Intermediate Algebra

Topics include real number properties and operations; solutions and graphs of linear equations in one and two variables; absolute value equations; advanced factoring; complex numbers; quadratic equations and systems of quadratic equations; conics; determinants; solutions and graphs of first-degree, quadratic, and rational inequalities; exponential and logarithmic functions; and sequences and series. (Chapters 7-–12 of Bittinger’s Elementary & Intermediate Algebra: Concepts and Applications, 5th edition)

Math for Lab Sciences

Topics include applications of algebra specific to biology, biomanufacturing, and chemistry: Exponential and scientific notation, logarithms, unit analysis, solving formulas for specific variables, calculations of dosages, using percents and proportions to compute concentrations and dilutions, graphing linear and exponential equations, and descriptive statistics.

Another Way to Prepare

You could also use a FREE Online Resource that our former lab tech (Nick Shaposhnikov) has created.  For this option, he has combined the following courses: Arithmetic,  Preralgebra,  Algebra  I,  Algebra  II,  Math For Liberal Arts,  and Trigonometry.  You can skip to the Algebra I or Algebra II parts.  To access these FREE materials:

1.      Go to
2.      Register as a new student and/or Sign In
3.      Enroll in a New Class  using  Course ID:  11352   and  Enrollment key:  LCHSIL-16


Please email department chair David Ross ( a few days in advance or if you have any questions.