The University of Arizona

Information for Incoming Freshmen

Important Information and Quick Links- Please Read Before Testing- This website is under construction through March 2018

Everything you need to know about the Math Placement for incoming freshman is on this page. Please read this page before emailing or calling the Math Department.  Email is the preferred form of contact so students can get information in writing.  We offer in-person advising at orientation and are happy to talk to any student at that time.

The Math Department has strict eligibility requirements for our courses.  Freshman students need the appropriate math placement through SAT I MSS (Math), ACT Math, or UA ALEKS PPL scores in order to qualify for Math courses at or below the level of Calculus I.  Students are given an initial placement based on SAT I/ACT Math scores, if possible.  Students who do not qualify for their UA foundation requirement through SAT I/ACT math courses will be directed to take the UA ALEKS PPL math placement test.  Check your initial placement message in your Next Steps Center to find out if the UA ALEKS PPL test is recommended.  Students who test need to try to do so at least one week prior to their orientation date, if possible.  However, tests completed prior to orientation will be processed in time for course registration. 

Please note that students who have college level math credits through AP, IB, CLEP, or dual enrollment credit need a placement through SAT I, ACT, or UA ALEKS PPL scores in order to enroll in a UA Math course at or below the level of Calculus I (Math 122A/B, 125).   

SAT I MSS, ACT MATH Placement:

If your scores are in the UA system, you will see an initial placement message in your Next Steps Center. The ALEKS PPL Test is recommended to any student who does not qualify for their foundation math class based on SAT I MSS or ACT MATH Score.  You can send your scores to UA or bring copies of your scores to Math Advising at your orientation session.  

About the UA ALEKS PPL Test:

The first attempt at your test through the Next Steps Center is included in your enrollment fee.  There are about 30 questions and the test takes 60-90 minutes. There is a 3 hour time limit.  You must complete it in one sitting. You can retest for a fee.  Test are proctored through Examity, an online proctoring service.  Access Examity through your Next Steps Center. 

  • Students need high speed internet, a webcam, and a microphone to access the test through Examity.  
  • Read about the test (Assessment) here. Scores expire after one year.
  • You can review for the Placement test.
  • Scores are processed into the UA system several times a day.  Check Next Steps 12-24 hours after testing. Note that your placement message in your Next Steps Center is based on the requirements for your current major and may not include all courses.  
  • What score do I need to take a particular Math course?  Note that you do not have to take the highest course you place into.  You can take a lower course.  
  • What if I have college math credit?
    • If you have college-level dual enrollment or transfer course credit through AP, IB, CLEP or other credit, you still need a placement through SAT I, ACT, or UA ALEKS PPL for entry into a UA Math course at or below the level of Calculus.   Bring a copy of your college level transcript or score report (not high school) to math advising at orientation.  Consult a math advisor before retesting. 
  • You don't have to take the highest level math course that you place into. Many students opt to take a lower level course. See a math advisor at orientation about this option.
  • Out-of-state college level Math courses require and evaluation. 
  • Print and Read before testing document from your Next Steps Center. 
  • Student who need access to screen reading technology for testing should contact the Math Placement Office to access the test. This is not available through the Next Steps Center.  
  • Students are to take this test without the assistance of any persons, textbooks, online materials, or any other assistance. Any violation of this will be considered cheating and a violation of the UA Code of Conduct. There are can be serious consequences to artificially high placement testing scores. It is important to make an honest attempt at the test. Once you complete the test, your score is final regardless of any technical difficulties you may encounter during the exam.

Options for Students Who Place into Math 100, or Who Want to Retest:

Students can test retest through Examity.  Simply access the Examity link through your Next Steps Center. There is a 24 hour waiting period between test.  After your first attempt at the test and your score is processed into the UA system, you can access a free learning module to review.  Access to this review module may not be available after the Next Steps Center Closes.  All students who place into Math 100 through their initial UA ALEKS PPL test are encouraged to review and retest. There is a $26 retesting fee. You can test up to 5 times.  

Related Resources


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