Math Placement Assessment FAQs

Preparation Expand

Why do I have to take the ALEKS PPL Assessment?

The Placement Assessment is used to determine the mathematics course in which you will have the greatest success. Upon completion of the Placement Assessments, your scores are sent to your academic advisor. Your advisor will review your scores and help make appropriate recommendations for course registration.

Who has to take the ALEKS PPL Assessment?

Students who wish to take a college-level Math course are required to take the ALEKS assessment to determine placement. Additionally, you will need to take the Placement Assessment in order to enroll in any of the courses requiring a math placement test.

When do I take the ALEKS PPL Assessment?

You will have access to the assessment 48 hours after confirmation to the university and are encouraged to begin engaging with the prep materials as soon as possible. You should take the ALEKS assessment at least one week before attending your scheduled Bearcat Bound Orientation. At orientation, your academic advisor will interpret the assessment results for appropriate course selection, therefore it is recommended that you take it as soon as possible.

Are ALEKS PPL Assessments proctored?

No, since ALEKS is offered online, you are expected to use the honor system to best determine your math ability and potential for success in college-level math classes. However, the univeristy reserves the right to require a student to take a Placement Assessment in a proctored environment.

Are there additional fees for using ALEKS PPL?

No. The use of ALEKS is included in your New Student fees.

Do I need to install any software or plug-ins prior to taking the ALEKS Placement Assessment?

No. There are no required plug-ins or applets required with your use of ALEKS PPL. As long as you have access to the internet and are using an updated browser, you should not experience difficulties in taking your Placement Assessment. For a list of preferred browsers, please visit the ALEKS support site.

What topics are covered during the ALEKS PPL Assessment?

ALEKS PPL is an online, adaptive system that covers a broad spectrum of mathematics topics. The length of the Placement Assessment will vary, but can be up to 30 questions. You will see some, but not all, of the math you have learned in high school. It is a Placement Assessment, not a preview of math courses offered by the University of Cincinnati. It is designed to identify if you are prepared for a particular course. After you take your first Placement Assessment, you will have the opportunity to review and master additional topics to reassess and improve your placement.

Topics covered in the Placement Assessment:

  • Real numbers (including fractions, integers, and percentages)
  • Equations and inequalities (including linear equations, linear inequalities, systems of linear equations, and quadratic equations)
  • Linear and quadratic functions (including graphs and functions, linear functions, and parabolas), exponents and polynomials (including integer exponents, polynomial arithmetic, factoring, and polynomial equations), rational expressions (including rational equations and rational functions
  • Radical expressions (including higher roots and rational exponents)
  • Exponentials and logarithms (including function compositions and inverse functions, properties of logarithms, and logarithmic equations)
  • Geometry and trigonometry (including perimeter, area, and volume, coordinate geometry, trigonometric functions, and identities and equations).

Can I practice using the ALEKS input tools before I begin the Placement Assessment?

Yes. ALEKS will begin with a brief tutorial to make sure you are comfortable with the math palette tools before your Placement Assessment begins. The tutorial shows you how to enter different types of answers, how to use the ALEKS calculator, and how to graph. If you are not sure how to input an answer, or need help while you are taking the ALEKS Placement Assessment, select the Help button below the answer palette tools. Going to the tutorial during your Placement Assessment will not impact your Placement Assessment results.