Math Placement Exams
The University of Arizona requires the ALEKS Placement Exam to assess a student's prerequisite knowledge for placement into a UA math course at or below the Calculus I (Math 122A/122B/125) level, as well as courses in other areas (ENGR, MCB, LING, PHYS, CHEM).
The purpose of our placement process is to determine, based on your mathematical background and current mathematical ability, which MATH courses are appropriate for you. Past experience shows that the Math Placement Test may be the clearest indicator. For this reason, we encourage all students to take the ALEKS UA Online Placement Test; however, if you are an incoming transfer student you may be able to use a transfer Math course for placement.
Placement into a particular UA MATH course does not guarantee any particular grade in the course.
Additional information about the UA ALEKS Online test and procedures is available through the ALEKS FAQs. Please read though the information below before accessing the UA ALEKS Online Placement test or ALEKS Learning Mode.
This test is for UA Math and Science courses and cannot be used for placement into Pima Community College courses. Also note that your UA ALEKS Online Placement test score is valid for one year only. If you do not complete the appropriate UA math course within a year of taking the test, you will need to retest to try to meet the placement requirement for a particular course.
After testing, students can check their scores through the links below within 24 hours of testing. We do not offer a practice test.
- Information for incoming students: freshman, transfers, international
- Who needs to test?
- Testing dates and fees
- About the test, which test should I take?
- What percentage do I need on the ALEKS Assessment in order to place into UA Math?
- Review for UA Math, Test topics
- Please note that there is no practice test.
- Important information you must read before taking the test
- How do I access the test?
- I took the ALEKS online test. Where do I find my scores?
- What if I have Math Transfer Credit, or CLEP, AP, IB Math exams?
- What are my options if I don't place into UA Math?
- How do I retake the test, take a proctored test, or test as a current student? Incoming students first test through the Next Steps Center prior to the first day of class. After classes have begun, or any retesting must go through the UA Testing Office or ProctorU for a fee.
Who Needs to Take the Math Placement Test (Assessment)?
Incoming students should refer to the information posted through the Next Steps Center.
The following students need to test:
- All incoming Freshman or students participating in Freshman New Student Orientation who plan on taking a UA Math course, ENGR 102, MCB 181L/R, PHYS 102, or CHEM 151.
- All incoming Freshman International students who plan on taking a UA Math course, ENGR 102, MCB 181L/R, PHYS 102, or CHEM 151.
- Transfer, International, Non-degree seeking, Re-admits, or Current students who have never taken a college level math course, or who have not completed one in the last three semesters, and plan on taking Math at or below the Calculus I level.
- Please note that a transfer course does not guarantee any particular placement level. In order to take a course below the Calculus I level, a student must have the appropriate placement test score. Student with transfer credit and low original test scores may be required to retest before taking a UA math course.
Testing Dates, Accessing the Test, Retaking the Test, Fees
All students should review information about the test. Incoming students should test at least one week prior to their orientation or registration date, if possible. Incoming students are allowed one unproctored attempt at the placement test, as long as the test is taken prior to the first day of class. After that, all students are considered current students, and all placement tests for current students are procotored.
If you have started your first day at UA, you are a current student.
- Current Students must take a proctored placement test. Testing is available through the UA Testing Office. There is a $41 testing fee to test in the Testing Office.
- Spring 2013 and Fall 2013 Incoming Freshman and International Students: Testing is available through the Next Steps Center . There is no fee for your first test as long as you test through Next Steps prior to the first day of class. Retesting is through the UA Testing Office.
- Spring 2013 and Fall 2013 Incoming Transfer Students: Testing is available through the Next Steps Center . A $26 fee will be charged to your UA bursar's account. Retesting is through the UA Testing Office.
- Retesting: If you have already taken the test through the Next Steps Center and wish to retest, contact the UA Testing Office to set up a proctored testing appointment. There is a $41 fee for testing.
- In summer, we have proctored testing through and online proctoring service called ProctorU. Information will be posted in April.
About the UA Placement Test (Assessment)
UA is using two different ALEKS assessments. It is the student's responsibility to determine which placement test to take. Students with little or no recent experience in Precalculus should not take the Prep for Calculus exam. All students are encouraged to review before testing. Please note that once you select a test, you cannot switch to the other version for any reason and will need to complete that test.
- Prep for College Algebra: Students who have no experience with Precalculus or trigonometry should take this test instead of the Prep for Calculus test. The Prep for College Algebra ALEKS Placement Exam is recommended instead. Sufficient scores on the Prep for College Algebra test may place students into Math 105, 109, 111, 112, 113, 115A or 116 (after completing MIS 111), 120R, 163, and 263, but not Calculus I (Math 122A+B or 125). Review test topics.
- Prep for Calculus: This is a precalculus test and is designed for students who have an appropriate precalculus and trigonometry background. Sufficient scores may place students into Calculus I (Math 122A+B or 125), Preparation for Calculus (Math 120R), or lower level math courses like Math 105, 109C, 111, 112, 113, 115A or 116 (after completing MIS 111), 163, and 263. Please note that students who have not taken a high school precalculus or trigonometry course should consider take the Prep for College Algebra test. Students can take both Math 111 (trig) and Math 112 (College Algebra) to then place into Calculus I. Review test topics (exclude limits).
Please note that students can review by looking up test topics given above and by reviewing for a UA Math course.
Before Taking the UA Placement Test (Assessment)
Students are to take this test without the assistance of any persons, textbooks, online materials, or any other assistance, as if it is a proctored test. The only calculator allowed is the built-in calculator provided with the ALEKS program, and other calculators are not allowed. Any violation of this will be considered cheating and a violation of the UA Code of Academic Integrity. There are can be serious consequences to artificially high placement testing scores. It is important to make an honest attempt at the test. Do not test if you are not able to complete it in one sitting. You may need 2-3 hours to complete the test. There is review material, but no practice test. ALEKS refers to this test as an Assessment.
The ALEKS Math Placement Exam is not a timed test. However, ALEKS is not accessible with screen reading technology. Please contact the Disability Resource Center at (520) 621-3268 or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or concerns.
Read through the ALEKS FAQ's, testing fee information, and the UA Study on transitional mathematics. Most questions you have will be answered here. Make sure you have at least 2 hours to dedicate to testing. Once you answer a question, you cannot go back to change it. If your computer freezes up for any reason, close your browser and go back to access the test through the Next Steps Center. Please make a serious and honest attempt at this test. There is no practice test. Please note: Once you begin the test, you cannot switch to the other version. Once you complete the test, there is nothing that can be done about your final score. It is the student's responsibility to contact ALEKS about any technical difficulties related to the test. If you have technical difficulties, contact ALEKS directly. The "I don't know" button should only be used if you have never seen the material before. If you do not read through the FAQ's and testing information, you may miss out on important information.
- Before completing the UA ALEKS Assessment: Make sure you know which test to take. ALEKS calls the test an ASSESSMENT.
- If you have technical problems while testing, see the Troubleshooting and ALEKS Customer Support information. If your screen freezes up, you will need to close your browser, and go back to the Next Steps Center to resume testing.
- For other questions,please refer to the information in the, FAQs , or you can contact the Math Department .
- Print your test score and report when you are done. We use the overall percentage on the test for placement into UA Math and Science courses.
- Check your percentage: All students can verify the percentage achieved on the UA ALEKS Placement test through the Math Department website. Incoming students can verify scores in the Next Steps Center within a week of testing. Current students can check in UAccess Student under Transfer Credit Report or on the Unofficial Transcript within 48 hours of testing.
Check Your ALEKS Percentage in the UA System
Check Your Math Milestone Level in the UA System
If you are given a Math Milestone Level as an incoming transfer student with Math prerequisite course work completed within the last 3 semesters, check your Math Milestone Level in UAccess Student under Academic History Report (Unofficial Transcript). Incoming students who test through the Next Steps center will be able to access scores in the Next Steps Center prior to orientation.
Options for Students Who Do Not Place Into UA Math
If you have more than one math requirement for your major, you need to try to establish a placement as soon as possible. Many students can review and place higher. How you choose to review is up to you. Retesting is through the UA Testing Office on the UA campus for a $41 fee.
Schedule for Success-This is a program for new Fall incoming freshmen. Students take Math 100AX (Preparation for University Level Mathematics) coupled with SAS 100X (Math Success Strategies) and are provided with additional tutoring opportunities. Combined, these courses and services will help prepare students to complete foundations mathematics, which is required for graduation.
- ALEKS Learning Mode -Students should progress at least 10% beyond the minimum percentage required for placement into a UA math course before retesting.
- Review on your own and retest. UA course review material and ALEKS test topics are available.
- Take Math 100 in the fall or spring. Math 100 is a college review course designed to help students review and then place into UA Math courses. Students who have only one math requirement for their major can try to take this course in the Spring.
- Take a summer review math course. If the course is from outside Arizona, make sure you have it evaluated by the Math Department. Students who take courses at the Intermediate Algebra level, or who need to raise their placement by more than one level, will need to take the placement test and place into UA math, or will not be eligible.
- If UA Math 100 is full, students who are unable to place into UA Math should consider taking Pima Math 122, Intermediate Algebra. Pima is a separate institution with separate tuition, but offers sections of this course on the UA campus. See the Pima CC website, or contact Pima CC at 520-206-6468. Students who complete UA Math 100 or Pima math 122 will still need to take the UA Math Placement test and place into UA math in order to take Math 105, 109C, 111, 112, or 120R.
- If you only have one math requirement for your major, you may take an equivalent course at a college in your hometown in the summer. Make sure you have the course evaluated through the Math Department prior to taking the course.
Retake the Test (Assessment), or Test as a Current Student: Take a Proctored Test
Incoming students who want to retest must take a proctored test. Current students who wish to take the Math Placement Test must also take a proctored test through the UA Testing Office.
UA ALEKS test scores are processed daily at 5am and 7pm. Students can verify their test percentage in the UA system within 24 hours, and adjust their schedule through UAccess, if necessary.
It is the student’s responsibility to read the UA ALEKS frequently asked questions for important information such as why answering “I don’t know” may be a bad idea.
Test on the UA campus through the Testing Office
Students can schedule a testing appointment through the UA Testing Office. Testing is available all summer, around the orientation schedule, and through the first few days of classes. Contact the UA Testing Office to set up your appointment. A $41 fee that includes the testing and proctoring fee will be charged to the student’s UA bursar’s account. Current students test through the Testing Office.
Incoming students who want to take a proctored test outside of the UA Testing Office can use a remote online proctoring service called ProctorU. This service is only available in late Spring and Summer. We do not use any other proctoring services for Math Placement Testing at this time.
NOTE: The Testing Office is generally open M-F 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. unless otherwise stated. It is the student's responsibility to schedule enough time to test. The Testing Office charges a proctoring fee if the student has to return at another time to complete the test.