Math Placement Testing | ALEKS® PPL

Important information you should know about math placement testing:

  • You aren't required to take math placement tests if you received:
    • ACT math score 22 or higher (valid for 2 years from test date) or
    • SAT (pre-2016) math score 520 or higher or
    • SAT (2016 or later) math score 550 or higher or
    • you have prior college math credit.

    If you aren't required to take a math placement test, you will be placed in a math level based on your ACT/SAT scores. See the criteria for math levels »

    If you don't know which placement tests you should take, please consult an advisor. New full-time students will meet with an advisor during New-Student Orientation.

  • You'll take an initial practice test. You can take your practice test on your own anywhere you have an internet connection.  The practice test familiarizes you with the testing experience and allows the system to draw up a preparation and learning plan for you.
  • You'll take all subsequent placement tests in the Testing Center. You may take the test up to five times in a twelve-month period at no charge.
    • Prior to coming to the Testing Center, be sure you can access your myMCC account with your username and password. If you don't have a username and password, or have forgotten yours, contact Registration at (815) 455-8588. You will not be able to take this test without accessing your myMCC account.
    • When you come to the Testing Center, you must bring a current photo ID and you'll need to know your myMCC username and password. No appointment necessary.
    • The program has a non-graphing calculator included; a handheld calculator is not allowed.
  • You're required to spend five hours of online study/review in the Prep and Learning module before taking test 3, 4, and 5.
  • We'll use your highest test score for placement.
  • The test is not timed but you should allow 60-90 minutes for each test. You cannot begin a test within two hours of the Testing Center closing hours so arrive at least two hours before closing time.
  • Once you've begun a math class, you no longer qualify to take math placement testing.
Math Placement Testing | ALEKS
Tests Location Requirements
Test 1 Anywhere with internet connection We recommend that you take Test 1 as a practice test. This test will determine your Prep and Learning Modules. Your score is not used for placement.
Test 2 Testing Center Test 1 must be completed. We recommend working in the Prep and Learning Modules before taking Test 2. Score is used for placement.
Test 3 Testing Center Minimum of five hours in the Prep and Learning Modules is required and one-day waiting period after Test 2. Score is used for placement.
Test 4 Testing Center Minimum of five additional hours in the Prep and Learning Modules is required and one-day waiting period after Test 3. Score is used for placement.
Test 5 Testing Center Minimum of five additional hours in the Prep and Learning Modules is required and one-day waiting period after Test 3. Score is used for placement.
  • How can I prepare for placement testing?

    To prepare for math placement:

  • How can I take my practice math placement test?

    Log on to myMCC with your myMCC username and password. See assistance logging on to myMCC for the first time or contact the IT Help Desk at (815) 455-8457.

    Select the math placement link on the right side of your myMCC home page.

  • How do I unlock my learning modules?

    Modules are available to you once you take your first practice test and the modules are unlocked. Modules are unlocked when you work through the learning path tutorials after your first practice test.

  • Can I take my math placement test in Spanish?

    When you log on for the first time, the Español option appears in the bottom-right corner. If you prefer to view ALEKS PPL in Spanish, select this toggle to change the language to Spanish. You can toggle between an English and Spanish translation of the ALEKS PPL Placement Assessment and Prep and Learning Modules too.

  • When should I take my math placement test?

    New students must take placement tests prior to attending New-Student Orientation. Taking the practice math placement test early allows you to complete the Prep and Learning Modules and retake the test if you're not satisfied with your placement.

  • What course will I take based on my ALEKS placement score?
    ALEKS Placement Scores
    If your score on the ALEKS placement test is Then you may enroll in the following course(s)
    0-13 MAT 090
    14-29 MAT 095
    30-45 MAT 099
    46-60 Math level 1:  (MAT 120, MAT 150, MAT 161*, MAT 165*, MAT 201*)
    61-75 Math level 2:  (MAT 170*, MAT 171*,  MAT 220*)
    76-100 Math level 3:  (MAT 175*)

    *A score of 46 or above on the ALEKS placement test satisfies the geometry prerequisite for these courses.

    You will not be permitted to enroll in any courses higher than your score range, but may enroll in any course below your score range.  Cut scores are subject to change. 

  • How many questions are on the math placement test?

    There will be a maximum of 30 questions. Before you begin, complete the tutorial which shows you how to enter different types of answers, how to use the ALEKS calculator, and how to graph. See a quick video introduction to ALEKS.

  • When can I take my next test?

    You must wait a minimum of one business day between taking each ALEKS test and complete the designated amount of time in the Prep and Learning Module.

  • What if I need accommodations to take my placement tests?

    Contact Access and Disability Services in A260 or at (815) 455-8766.

  • Where can I go for technical assistance with ALEKS?
  • What level math will I be placed in based on my ACT/SAT scores?

    Placement into college level English or math is determined through the following:

    • Placement testing
    • Valid ACT scores
    • Valid SAT scores
    • Prior college coursework (subject to review)
      • If you have completed college-level English or math previously, bring a copy of your transcript when meeting with an Academic Advisor to review prior coursework towards placement and/or prerequisites.

    English Placement testing is not required if you received the following ACT and/or SAT scores (valid for five years from test date ) – you will fulfill the prerequisite for ENG 151:

    • ACT: 21 or higher in English
    • PRE-2016 SAT: 990 composite (reading and writing) or 490 writing
    • 2016 or later SAT: composite reading and writing score of 550

    Math Placement testing is not required if you received the following ACT and/or SAT scores (valid for two years from test date):

    • You will fulfill the prerequisite for initial placement in LEVEL 1 MAT 120, MAT 150, MAT 161, MAT 165, MAT 201 if you have:
      • ACT: 22 to 27 in math or
      • PRE-2016 SAT: 520 or
      • 2016 or later SAT: 550
    • You will fulfill the prerequisite for initial placement in LEVEL 2 – MAT 170, MAT 171 and MAT 220 if you have:
      • Not completed a high school or college trigonometry course with a C or higher
      • ACT: 28 or higher in math or
      • PRE-2016 SAT: 640 or
      • 2016 or later SAT: 660
    • You will fulfill the prerequisite for initial placement in LEVEL 3 – MAT 175 if you have:
      • Completed a high school or college trigonometry course with a C or higher and
      • ACT: 28 or higher in math or
      • PRE-2016 SAT: 640 or
      • 2016 or later SAT: 660

    Placement testing may also be required to fulfill prerequisites for courses other than English or math (ie: science or foreign language courses).

    For placement into foreign language classes:

    • If you have prior experience with French, German or Spanish, plan to register for a Foreign Language Placement test.
    • Please note: students can take the Foreign Language Placement test one time and testing is not an option after taking a college-level foreign language class.

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