Math Placement Exam Information - Fall 2019

You may need to take the math placement exam to assess your math skills before you register for a math course at St. Thomas.

Four pieces of information that determine whether you need to take a math placement exam:

- Your math ACT/SAT subscore

- When your ACT/SAT subscores were sent to St. Thomas

- Your major

- The math course(s) required for your major

You need to take a math placement exam only if your math ACT/SAT subscore is below the required level for the math course that you are interested in pursuing, if you do not have a math ACT/SAT subscore on record with the Registrar, or your ACT/SAT subscore was not sent to St. Thomas within the last two years.

Not all students need to take a mathematics placement assessment. You only need to take the exam if any of the following apply to you:

  • Your ACT Math score was less than 28 and you want to take MATH 113, Calculus I.
  • Your ACT Math score was less than 25 and you want to take MATH 111, Business Calculus.
  • Your ACT Math score was less than 23 and you want to take MATH 108, Calculus with Review I.
  • Your ACT Math score was less than 20 and you want to take MATH 101, Finite Mathematics, or MATH 100, Mathematics Sampler.
  • You did not send your ACT scores to St. Thomas within 2 years of taking the test.

The ALEKS Placement Assessment covers material from Basic Math through Precalculus.

  • You will first take a practice assessment.
  • After the practice assessment, a targeted Prep and Learning Module is available for you to review and learn material, and to improve placement and eventual course outcomes. All students are strongly encouraged to spend several hours using the ALEKS Prep and Learning Module.
  • Then, you will take a proctored assessment by making an appointment with the MaRC Director.

Is there a fee for using ALEKS?

You will pay for ALEKS with a credit card before you begin. The cost is 25 dollars, which includes access to Prep and Learning Module for six months and access to the five assessments for one year.

How do I begin using ALEKS?

You will need to create an ALEKS account using your and St. Thomas email address and ID number. Please click on the following

Can I retake the ALEKS Placement Assessment?

Yes, you may take up to 5 placement assessments. This includes 3 practice assessments and 2 proctored assessments. However, to make each attempt worthwhile, it is important that you spend time working in your ALEKS Prep and Learning Module in between placement assessments so that you can improve your skills. If you wish to take a second proctored assessment you will need to wait one month and complete five hours in the Prep and Learning Module.  

Are ALEKS Placement Assessments proctored?

Yes, up to two ALEKS Placement Assessments are proctored. Only proctored assessments count as math placement scores. On campus proctoring is highly recommended by scheduling an appointment with Molly Peterson ( Remote proctoring is available by completing the remote proctoring form.  

Can I retake the ALEKS Placement Assessment immediately?

You must wait one month between proctored placement assessments. There is generally no benefit to re-taking the assessment immediately after completing a prior attempt. Unlike the SAT or ACT, you cannot improve your results by simply re-taking the assessment without spending time in the Prep and Learning Module to refresh material that you may have forgotten or to learn new material.

Must I work in my ALEKS Prep and Learning Module between placement assessments?

Yes, for 5 hours between proctored placement assessments. Also, you must meet with St. Thomas math placement tutors before the second proctored exam. Math Placement Tutor's hours and information.

Are placement assessments timed?

No, you are free to complete the assessment at your own pace.

How long will a placement assessment take to complete?

Placement assessments require approximately 90 minutes to complete, but the amount of time will vary by student. There will be a maximum of 30 questions.

May I use a calculator while using ALEKS?

ALEKS will provide an on-screen calculator if you need one to complete a particular problem. Otherwise, you may not use a calculator.

What happens if I do not complete a placement assessment in the allotted time?

If the placement assessment is unproctored, you will have to restart the assessment.

May I use any other resources during a placement assessment?

You may only use a pen or pencil, paper, and the resources provided by ALEKS. You may not receive assistance from friends, family, other websites, textbooks, or any other resource not provided by ALEKS. Using outside resources may lead to improper placement and ultimately course failure.

What is my placement result?

Your placement result is your percentage mastery on the latest assessment.

Course placement is emailed to each student by Molly Peterson ( after proctored assessments.

How long is my placement result valid?

Your placement result is valid for 2 years.

Can I practice using ALEKS before I begin placement?

ALEKS will begin with a brief tutorial before your placement begins.

How long do I have access to my Prep and Learning Module?

You will have six months of access from the time that you start using your Prep and Learning module.

Is there an additional fee for my Prep and Learning Module?

Access to a Prep and Learning Module is included along with 5 placement assessments (3 practice and 2 proctored).

What are ALEKS Progress Assessments?

While working in a Prep and Learning Module, you will periodically complete progress assessments to solidify your gains in knowledge.

Does progress in an ALEKS Prep and Learning Module count toward placement?

No, you must complete a new proctored placement assessment to change your placement result. Only your proctored placement assessment results will be used for course placement.

Can I change to a different Prep and Learning Module later?

No, you may only use one Prep and Learning Module. If you are unsure which module to select, use the module recommended by ALEKS.

What if I do not place into the course I wanted?

You can use a Prep and Learning Module to review and learn, and you may take another proctored placement assessment to improve your placement result.

I did not place into the class I wanted. Can I take it anyway?

No, you must achieve the minimum placement result to take each corresponding class.

What if I placed into the class I wanted?

Congratulations! Continue to use your Prep and Learning Module to improve your chances for success. The placement result above is the minimum preparation required for your course! Take advantage of the targeted review and learning features in ALEKS to get a better grade in your class.

How do I begin using ALEKS?

You will need to create an ALEKS account using your and St. Thomas email address and ID number. Please click on the following

While working on ALEKS PPL to prepare for your proctored math placement exam you can meet with a math placement tutor!  Click for Math Placement Tutor's hours and information.