The University of Arizona

Placement Exam Process

Incoming students need to refer to the information linked through the Math Placement portion of their Next Steps Center.  

In order to qualify for a UA MATH courses at or below the level of Calculus I, students need an appropriate math placement. Students can achieve the through the ALEKS PPL test. Incoming freshman can qualify through SAT I MSS or Math SAT score.  Transfer or current students can qualify through ALEKS PPL scores, or recent prerequisites.  

Additional information about the UA ALEKS PPL test and procedures is available through the ALEKS FAQs. Please read though the information below before accessing the UA ALEKS PPL test.

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 PPL test score is valid for one year only. If you do not complete a UA math course within a year of taking the test, you will need to retest and 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.

Assessment Information:

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 Transfer, 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.  Student with transfer credit and low test scores may be required to retest before taking a UA math course.
  • Some transfer credit is not used for placement into a UA math course due to being not current (more than 3 semesters old), or not appropriate credit.

Accessing the Test, Retaking the Test, Fees for Testing

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, through the Next Steps Center, 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 proctored through the UA Testing Office or Examity for a fee.

Incoming students should refer to the math placement portion of their Next Steps Center for testing information.

Incoming Transfer student pay a testing $26of $since it is not covered in any incoming student or enrollment fees. Refer to your Next Steps Center.


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.  You must complete the test in order to receive a score. 

  • Prep for College Algebra: Students who have no experience with Precalculus or trigonometry should take this test instead of the Prep for Calculus test.  Sufficient scores on the Prep for College Algebra test may place students into Math 105, 107, 109, 111, 112, 113, 116 (after completing MIS 111), 163, and 263, but not Calculus Preparation (Math 120R- Precalculus) or  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, 107, 109C, 111, 112, 113, 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.  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)

Contact ALEKS for customer support and technical questions or problems.
Please carefully follow the instructions below. If you do not place into UA Math, you should review and/or consider using Aleks Learning Mode. Freshman and international students will have several opportunities to talk to a math advisor at orientation. All students are expected to adhere to the UA Code of Conduct when taking this test. To see what scores are required for a particular course, go to the table on the Math Placement website.

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 aritificially 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 with questions or concerns.

  1. Read through the ALEKS FAQ's, and the UA Study on transitional mathematics. There is a fee for proctored testing and testing for Transfer students.  

  2. 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.

  3. Before completing the UA ALEKS Assessment: Make sure you know which test to take. ALEKS calls the test an ASSESSMENT.
  1. 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.
  2. For other questions,please refer to the information in the, FAQs , or you can contact the Math Department .
  3. 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.
  4. 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


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 available.

Review through:

  • 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 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.




Department of Mathematics, The University of Arizona 617 N. Santa Rita Ave. P.O. Box 210089 Tucson, AZ 85721-0089 USA Voice: (520) 621-6892 Fax: (520) 621-8322 Contact Us © Copyright 2018 Arizona Board of Regents All rights reserved