Mathematics Assessment

Aleks Testing


Math Assessment Overview

  • ALEKS PPL is a web-based testing and learning system which evaluates students’ math abilities and gives them an opportunity to review and learn material they need help on.

  • The test can quickly and accurately determine exactly what you know and what you are ready to learn.  

  • SUNY Ulster uses ALEKS PPL to help place students into the math class that is right for them. While some students may have been exempted from testing based on their high school math classes, most students need to take a placement test.

  • The test has approximately 30 questions which you have 2.5 hours to complete. For most students the test can be completed in about half that time.  The questions are in a free response format (not multiple choice)

  • After taking the test one time, you will have access to customized learning modules which will allow you to practice the topics on which you did not score well. After spending time in the modules, you will have the opportunity to take the test again. Your placement will be based on your highest test score.

  • Remember, getting help or using outside resources may artificially inflate your score, leading to placement into a math class which is too hard for you, costing you time and money.


Video Overview of ALEKS PPL


Access the ALEKS website and begin your test.



Once you have completed the test, you will receive a score from 0-100.

A placement test is not something you “pass” or “fail”, rather your score indicates in which math class you are most likely to succeed.

The table below will help you Interpret your ALEKS score:

If Your Score is:  You may enroll in the following course(s):
0-13 MAT091
14-29 MAT095 or MAT098
30-37 MAT095 or MAT100
38-45 MAT100 or MAT110
MAT110 or MAT115
61-75 MAT160 or MAT211
76-100 MAT170 or MAT211


If you are satisfied with your placement, you should contact an advisor and register for a math class.  


If you would like to try placing higher, you are in luck! You have the opportunity to take the test again and potentially improve your placement.  

Here is how you do that:


  1. Go back to the ALEKS Prep & Learning Modules and begin reviewing.

  2. Spend at least 3 hours reviewing the material that has been chosen for you based on your first attempt at the exam. You may spend MORE time to increase your chances of placing higher. Regardless of how long you spend, you must wait at least 48 hours before taking a retest.
  3. Once you have spent a sufficient amount of time reviewing, ALEKS will indicate that another attempt is allowed, and you may retake the test any time after that. Your score will automatically be updated in the system and the higher of the two will be considered.
  4. You have the opportunity to take the test a third time. You will need to spend at least 5 additional hours reviewing material in ALEKS before you will be able to retake the test. ALEKS will automatically adjust the review materials in the Prep and Learning Modules based on what topics you have improved on and what topics still need work, so it will not necessarily be the same as before.





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