Who has to take an ALEKS PPL Placement Assessment

For information about your placement requirements, please click the link below that corresponds to your student status.

Incoming freshmen and transfer students, click here.

New Students

Previously enrolled Sacramento State students, click here.

Continuing Students


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. 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), provides a password to open the proctored assessment, 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.

Placement Assessments are coordinated by Barbara Morris. She is available during the semester in the Math Lab, BRH 118, and by email at morrisb@csus.edu.

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 $20). 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.

Placement results:

Placement results represent the percentage mastery of the highest 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 12
0 to 40 Math 10

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

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