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Math 1090 - Algebra and Trigonometry


Course Description

Math 1090 is a credit course which provides students with the essential prerequisite elements necessary for the study of an introductory course in calculus. The course explores such topics as algebra, functions and their graphs, exponential and logarithmic functions, trigonometry, polynomials, and rational functions.

A combination of placement test and high school mathematics scores acceptable to the Department of Mathematics (See university regulation 7) or Mathematics 104F.

Credit Restrictions:
Students cannot receive credit for Mathematics 1090 if they have previously received credit for or are currently registered for M1000, M1001, M1080, or M1081.


Unlike the Math 1090 course offered elsewhere on campus, the Math 1090 course offered at the Mathematics Learning Centre (MLC) is not a lecture course. The MLC's Math 1090 course is delivered using the same method as the foundation math (M10XF) courses which is self-study with tutorial assistance. Students will be given a course outline listing the topics, along with its textbook reference, to be covered during the semester. A weekly planner will also be given to students indicating the minimum amount of work they should complete each week and giving the final dates for writing first attempts of their module tests.

Please note that this course is not self-paced; all assigned work must be completed and all tests passed by the end of the semester.


  1. Sets, Relations and Functions (textbook and solutions manual) by Rudolf A. Zimmer.
  2. Mathematics 1090 Course Manual (MUN publication)

Specific instructions on how to use the self-study textbooks to the student's best advantage are included in the course manual.


The M1090 course offered at the MLC does not have midterm or final examinations. The method of evaluation used is continuous assessment. Students write a total of 4 module tests throughout the semester. The tests are divided into sections or parts and students are required to demonstrate their mastery of topics by passing all sections of these tests. The pass standard for each section varies but could be as high as 75%.

If a student fails to meet the minimum requirements needed to pass a section(s) of a module test, s/he will have the opportunity to rewrite those sections. The student will not have to rewrite the entire test, just a different version of those sections of the test s/he failed. Follow-up work will be given to the student to help him/her prepare to rewrite those sections.

Students will be allowed a maximum of three attempts at each module test they write. Certain restrictions apply and will be explained to the student during the semester. First attempts of all module tests must be written by the deadlines specified on the students' weekly planner. If a student does not write the first attempt of a module test by the date specified, the student will forfeit that attempt of the test and receive a mark of zero on each section. If the student writes the test at a later date it will be considered the 2nd attempt of that test.

Results of module tests written in the last week of the semester and all third attempts of module tests will not be given back to students. Course results can be obtained when final grades are released via Memorial's Self-Service system.

If all 4 tests are passed by the end of the semester, the student will receive a passing grade based on the number of first, second and third attempts required to pass the tests and the total points scored on all tests.

If all tests are not passed by the end of the semester, the student will receive a failing grade, prorated from 50, based on the proportion of test sections passed.

Tutorial Assistance

The M1090 slots at the MLC have 200 minutes of class time available each week for tutorial assistance. Students should use this time to do work, ask questions, and obtain any necessary help. The instructor may also choose to use this time to do group sessions on topics that many students experience difficulty with.

Students should bring their course outline, all textbooks and any work they have completed to each class. Students' progress will be monitored and recorded every class. Attendance will also be taken and used, if necessary, in deciding borderline passes at the end of the semester.

Please note that tutorial assistance will not be given on test centre days except during class times scheduled on those days.

Testing Procedures

Module tests are not written during class times; students are required to attend test centres to write their module tests. Test centres are scheduled on Tuesdays and Thursdays every week of the semester, however, the specific times allotted on those days for writing tests can vary from semester to semester.

Students must receive permission from their instructor to write their module tests. When all work for a module is completed, including the module review from the course manual, the student should have his/her work checked by the instructor. If the work is satisfactory, the instructor will give the student a 'signature', i.e., sign the student's course outline, indicating that s/he has permissin to write the test.

If the student does not pass all test sections assigned the first time s/he writes a test, the student will be given follow-up work to complete to try and remedy the errors made on the failed sections. After the follow-up work is completed, the student must have the work checked, and if satisfactory, will be given a signature to rewrite the failed sections. Once a signature is attained, the student should rewrite those sections at the next available test centre.

If the student fails one or more of these test sections again, s/he may be permitted to write a third attempt of the module test. The same conditions apply as for second attempts, except that third attempts cannot be written any earlier than week 11 of the semester and in most cases will not be written until the last week of the semester.

A time limit of 2 hours is imposed on the writing of modules 1, 3, and 4 tests. A time limit of 3 hours is given for module 2 test. Students can attend whatever test centre hours are convenient for them but it is up to the student to make sure s/he has sufficient time to complete a test before the test centre ends.

Students will not be permitted to write a test if they do not have a signature. All signatures must be obtained during class times; no signatures will be given on test centre days except during class times scheduled on those days.

Effort Required

It takes an average of four hours to complete one unit of work from the self-study textbook. We expect students to spend at least eight hours per week working on their programs. For a fast learner it may take less time; if a student has difficulty concentrating, it may take more time.

It is extremely important that students organize their time carefully to ensure all deadlines are met.

Calculator Usage

Graphics or programmable calculators are not permitted for the writing of module tests. For this reason, it is also advisable that students not use them while working on their program. A regular scientific calculator will suffice for all M1090 work.