Math Diagnostic

Which test should I take?

Intermediate Algebra Diagnostic (IAD) or ALEKS PPL

This test is required for the following classes:

  • Math 9
  • Math 11
  • Math 17
  • Math 24
  • Math 26A
  • Math 29
  • Math 29A
  • Math 107A
  • Stat 1
  • Chem 1A
  • Chem 4

Calculus Readiness (CR) or ALEKS PPL

This test is required for:

  • Math 30
  • Chem 1E

ALEKS PPL Information


Sacramento State will now allow an ALEKS Placement, Preparation and Learning (ALEKS PPL) mathematics assessment to determine readiness for various mathematics courses (listed below). The Placement Assessment is designed to determine what students know and what students need to improve. At the end of the Placement Assessment, students will have a better sense of their strengths and weaknesses. Students will then have a chance to brush up on topics.

An initial un-proctored Placement Assessment may be taken online anywhere. After the initial assessment an individualized Preparation and Learning Module will be available for students to refresh their knowledge.

A proctored Placement Assessment is required. A proctored assessment is one where an official proctor verifies your identity (typically with a picture ID) and keeps watch over you while you take the assessment. The proctored Placement Assessment results will be used to determine the most appropriate mathematics course for each student. Students will subsequently have the opportunity to reassess and improve their placement in up to three additional proctored Placement Assessments.

It is important that the Placement Assessment is taken seriously. The purpose of the Placement Assessment is to give an accurate measure of a student's current mathematical knowledge so that they will be successful in mathematics courses.

Who has to take an ALEKS PPL Placement Assessment

Every Sacramento State student who intends to register for one of the following classes needs to take the ALEKS Placement Assessment:

  • Math 9
  • Math 11
  • Math 17
  • Math 24
  • Math 26A
  • Math 29
  • Math 29A
  • Math 30
  • Math 107A
  • Stat 1

Test Details

Topics covered during the ALEKS PPL Assessment:

ALEKS PPL is an online, adaptive system that covers a broad spectrum of mathematics topics. The length of the Placement Assessment will vary, but can be up to 30 questions. Each assessment will include some, but not all, of the math learned in high school. It is a Placement Assessment, not a preview of math courses at Sacramento State. It is designed to identify preparation for a particular course. After the first Placement Assessment, an opportunity to review and master additional topics is available to reassess and improve placement.

Topics covered:

  • Real numbers (including fractions, integers, and percentages)
  • Equations and inequalities (including linear equations, linear inequalities, systems of linear equations, and quadratic equations)
  • Linear and quadratic functions (including graphs and functions, linear functions, and parabolas), exponents and polynomials (including integer exponents, polynomial arithmetic, factoring, and polynomial equations), rational expressions (including rational equations and rational functions)
  • Radical expressions (including higher roots and rational exponents)
  • Exponentials and logarithms (including function compositions and inverse functions, properties of logarithms, and logarithmic equations)
  • Geometry and trigonometry (including perimeter, area, and volume, coordinate geometry, trigonometric functions, and identities and equations)

Test format:

The Placement Assessments consist of up to 30 questions and have a time limit of 2 hours.

Test fees:

Creating an ALEKS PPL account is free and provides one initial un-proctored assessment and four proctored Placement Assessment attempts in a one-year period. The subscription also provides use of a Preparation and Learning Module for six months.

Only the first subscription is free. Subsequent subscriptions will incur a fee (currently $25). A new subscription will be required if more than four proctored Placement Assessments are needed, if a Placement Assessment is needed after the initial one-year term, or if use of a Preparation and Learning Module after the initial six-month period is needed.

How to take an ALEKS Placement Assessment:

The process to take a Placement Assessment follows:

  1. Create an ALEKS PPL account through the single-sign on link below:
    • The following Class Code will be required: RUGED-4MNN4
    • For the single-sign on link: click here.
      Note: Students with a visual impairment please contact the Math Department to get assistance with creating an account that is accessible.
  2. Take the initial un-proctored Placement Assessment. The score will be available immediately. An un-proctored assessment score is not used for course placement. Only a proctored assessment can be used for placement into a class.
    • After completion of the initial Placement Assessment, ALEKS will suggest a Preparation and Learning Module based on the performance. While a different module may be selected, once a module has been started, the choice cannot be changed. The available modules are listed below.
    • Access for the chosen ALEKS Preparation and Learning Module is available for six months from the time of activation.
    • An ALEKS Preparation and Learning Module is only available if an un-proctored assessment is taken.
  3. Complete 3 hours of work in the chosen Preparationa and Learning Module.
  4. Sign up for a proctored Placement Assessment.
    • To take a proctored Placement Assessment for free at Sacramento State, follow the link here.
    • For a list of other testing centers offering ALEKS PPL proctoring services, click here.
  5. Take the proctored Placement Assessment.
    • A score will be displayed on the screen immediately. The score will be available in the Student Center in 24 hours.
    • The most recent score replaces previous scores.
    • Note: Please notify the proctor if the un-proctored Placement Assessment was skipped.
  6. The score will be available to the Registrar in 24 hours and registration will be possible for the appropriate classes.
  7. (Optional) Proctored Placement Assessments may be retaken up to three times (for a total of four assessments) under the following conditions:
    • at least 48 hours have passed since the previous assessment,
    • at least 3 hours have been completed in the chosen Preparation and Learning Module since the previous assessment.

Placement results:

Placement results represent the percentage mastery of the most recent proctored Placement Assessment. Course placement is determined as follows:

A score of at least... Makes you eligible for...
76 Math 30
61 Math 26A, Math 29
51 Math 24, Stat 1
46 Math 17, Math 107A
41 Math 11
0 to 40 Math 9

The prescribed math course must be started within one year of the last proctored Placement Assessment.

Another Placement Assessment is only necessary if

  • the prescribed math course is not started within a year of the last proctored Placement Assessment,
  • there is a gap of more than one semester from the previous math course passed (with a grade of "C-" or higher) at Sacramento State.

Retaking the Placement Assessment may require obtaining a new ALEKS PPL subscription. There will be a charge for a new subscription (currently $25).

Note: ALEKS Placement Assessment results do not expire for Liberal Studies and Child Development Integrated Pre-Credential majors taking Math 17 and Math 107A.

Upcoming Test Dates

For the current test schedule and sign up click here.

More tests will be held at the beginning of the Spring semester. Please check this website in mid January for schedule updates.

FAQ

When should I take the Placement Assessment?

Placement Assessments are offered at various times throughout the year. A proctored Placement Assessment score must be on file at least 24 hours before a corresponding math course can be enrolled. There are some key points to keep in mind:

  • In order to enroll into a math class at orientation, an ALEKS PPL proctored Placement Assessment should be taken before arriving at orientation.
  • There is limited space for proctored Placement Assessments, therefore, it is strongly encouraged to sign-up and take one as soon as possible, and before registration.

Can I retake the ALEKS Placement Assessment?

Yes. Proctored Placement Assessments may be repeated four times, for a total of five Placement Assessments, within one year of signing up. Only one un-proctored Placement Assessment is allowed and is to be completed directly upon signing up with ALEKS.

I have taken the ALEKS PPL Placement Assessment more than once. Which score is used for my placement?

The score from the most recent proctored Placement Assessment is used for placement.

Are ALEKS Placement Assessments proctored?

After the initial un-proctored Placement Assessment, every Placement Assessment is proctored. Only the most recent score from the proctored Placement Assessments is used for enrollment.

Can I retake the ALEKS Placement Assessment immediately?

No. At least 48 hours must pass between proctored Placement Assessment attempts. Additionally, it is required that 3 hours of time must be spent working in the Preparation and Learning Module between each proctored Placement Assessment. There are no time or Preparation and Learning Module requirements between the initial un-proctored and the first proctored Placement Assessments. It is recommended to spend 3 hours in the Preparations and Learning Module after the initial un-proctored Placement Assessment.

Must I work in my ALEKS Preparation and Learning Module between Placement Assessments?

Yes. It is required that 3 hours of time must be spent working in the Preparations and Learning Module between each proctored Placement Assessment. Additionally, 48 hours must pass between proctored Placement Assessment attempts. There are no time or Preparation and Learning Module requirements between the initial un-proctored and the first proctored Placement Assessments. It is recommended to spend 3 hours in the Preparation and Learning Module after the initial un-proctored Placement Assessment.

Are Placement Assessments timed?

Yes. A maximum of 2 hours is given to complete the Placement Assessment.

How long will a Placement Assessment take to complete?

The precise amount of time will vary by student. A maximum of two hours is given to complete the Placement Assessment.

May I use a calculator while using ALEKS?

ALEKS will provide an on-screen calculator. An external calculator is not allowed.

Can I Practice using ALEKS before I begin placement?

ALEKS will begin with a brief tutorial before a Placement Assessment begins.

Can I study for the ALEKS Placement Assessment?

Taking the un-proctored Placement Assessment and then working in the Preparations and Learning Module is the best way to study for the proctored Placement Assessment.

How do I choose a Preparation and Learning Module?

After completing the initial Placement Assessment ALEKS will suggest a Preparation and Learning Module based on the performance. A module other than the one suggested may be chosen. Only one module may be chosen, and the choice cannot be changed once a module has been started. Preparation and Learning Modules suggested for specific courses are below.

If you are aiming to place into... Then choose the module...
Math 9, Math 11 Prep for Intermediate Algebra
Math 107A, Math 24, Math 17, Stat 1 Prep for College Algebra
Math 26A, Math 29, Math 29A Prep for PreCalculus
Math 30 Prep for Calculus

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

No. Only one Preparation and Learning Module may be used.

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

Access to a Preparation and Learning Module is available for six months from the time the module is started. Access begins by selecting Start on the Preparation and Learning Module's webpage.

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

Access to one Preparation and Learning Module for six months is included along with one un-proctored initial Placement Assessment and up to five proctored Placement Assessments. If more than five proctored Placement Assessments, more than six months of access to a Preparation and Learning Module, or access to a different Preparation and Learning Module are needed, then a new subscription must be purchases, incurring a fee (currently $25).

What are ALEKS Progress Assessments?

While working in a Preparation and Learning Module, ALEKS will provide periodic progress assessments to solidify gains in knowledge. These are not the same as Placement Assessments.

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

No. Only a score obtained through a proctored Placement Assessment is used for placement.

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

A Preparation and Learning Module is available for review. The proctored Placement Assessment may be repeated three times (for a total of five attempts) to improve the placement result.

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

No. The prescribed minimum placement result must be achieved in order to take each class.

What if I placed into the class I wanted?

Congratulations! Access to a Preparation and Learning Module will still be available for six months. The targeted review and learning features in ALEKS may help improve performance in the class.

Where can I get help with ALEKS?