Math Placement

Student doing math

To help you succeed in your first college Mathematics course, UC requires that you complete the ALEKS Placement, Preparation and Learning (ALEKS PPL) Assessment to determine your readiness and ensure you’re well matched. ALEKS PPL is an adaptive, web-based program that customizes its feedback to help support your learning. 

The Placement is up to 30 questions and generally takes 60-90 minutes to complete. After the Placement, you will receive an individualized Prep and Learning Module to help you refresh your skills. 

You are encouraged to spend time in the Prep and Learning Module, even if you place in your desired course. Spending time in ALEKS will better prepare you for your upcoming course and ultimately lead to better grades.

After spending time in your Prep and Learning Module, you will have the opportunity to try the placement again and improve your score.

Students who have utilized accommodations in high school will have an opportunity to self-identify when logging into ALEKS PPL. If you have any questions regarding accommodations, please email


What is the purpose of the Placement Assessment?

The Placement results will be used to determine the Math course you are most likely to succeed in as you move forward in your college coursework. After taking the Placement, you should meet with your advisor to review your results and enroll in the best match based on your scores. Know that ALEKS is designed to determine what you know. At the end of the ALEKS Placement Assessment, you will have a much better sense of your current strengths and weaknesses in math. You will then have a chance to build on those and strengthen your readiness. There is really no penalty for incorrectly answering a question on the assessment. The most important thing is that you take the assessment seriously and give it an honest effort so that the assessment truly reflects your level of knowledge and math preparedness.


Be honest when taking the Placement Assessment

It is important that you give your best effort during the Placement Assessment so that it truly reflects your current level of knowledge and math preparedness. There is no benefit to cheating on the Placement Assessment; cheating will only result in you enrolling in a class that is too difficult (or not challenging enough), potentially costing you time and money. For this reason, while taking the Placement Assessment, you should not seek help from any outside sources (friends/family, internet searches, textbooks, notes, etc.).

Additionally, as a new member of the Cincinnati Community, you are responsible for upholding the principles of a Just Community and promoting the highest levels of personal and academic honesty (Bearcat Bond), as well as adhering to the Student Code of Conduct. As such, you are asked to:

  • Acknowledge and honor your commitment to the principles outlined above regardless of the location you take your placement assessment(s);
  • Take your placement assessment(s) without any additional assistance; and
  • Follow all the provided instructions. 

If you are found to have violated the academic standards mentioned above you will be adjudicated by the university and may face educational sanction(s), suspension, and/or dismissal. The Student Code of Conduct explains the process and procedures used to address Academic Misconduct.

Please contact The Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards at (513) 556-6814 or if you have any questions. 


Learn more about ALEKS

Check out the ALEKS PPL FAQs to learn more about the Placement Assessment.