Math Placement
Overview
Mathematics serves as a foundation for many majors. In order to be successful in math, it is important to ensure a student’s readiness to begin in a particular math course using an assessment. At Seattle University, most students will take the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment. Some students will use placement from SAT, ACT, AP or IB exams. Others may use previously earned collegelevel coursework to meet the prerequisite of math course.
Prior to registering for classes, all firstyear students will be required to take the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment. Please refer to your New Student Checklist in your Orientation Portal for additional details.
Students with math scores from SAT, ACT, AP or IB exams will have those scores evaluated after completion of the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment by the students’ College Advising Center. The assessment that places students into the highest math course will be used.
Students may be exempt from completing the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment if they have:
 Taken the Aleks Assessment at another institution within the last year, or
 Earned college level coursework
Please contact the student's College Advising Center to discuss these scenarios.
What is ALEKS?
ALEKS is an online, adaptive system that covers a broad spectrum of mathematics topics. Students will see some, but not all, of the math you have learned in high school. The length of the Placement Assessment will vary, but can be up to 25 questions.
ALEKS is not a multiplechoice Placement Assessment. It is openresponse and requires students to work out solutions with a paper and pencil, then enter them into ALEKS.
ALEKS is a timed assessment. Students will have 2.5 hours to complete the assessment. Most students report taking 60–90 minutes to complete the assessment, so they will have time to take breaks as needed. If for any reason students need to stop the assessment, their work will be saved, and they will be able to reenter the assessment where they left off.
This is a “Placement Assessment,” not a pass or fail test. The difference is that a Placement Assessment is designed to determine what a student knows and what a student needs to work on. At the end of the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment, a student will have a much better sense of their strengths and weaknesses in math and therefore identify the particular course they are best prepared for.
Students will have a chance to brush on topics that may have been forgotten or haven’t been practiced for some time.
Topics Covered on the Assessment
Students will see some, but not all, of the math they have learned in high school, including:
 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), and
 Geometry and trigonometry (including perimeter, area, and volume, coordinate geometry, trigonometric functions, and identities and equations).
Disability Accommodations
If a student requires an accommodation, please contact Disability Services (2062965740) prior to taking the ALEKS assessment. A conversation with Disability Services will help guide students to partner in best meeting their individualized needs.
Get Ready
Students can take the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment at home on a personal computer, laptop, or tablet that has access to the internet. Make sure the computer has current system requirements. Students can also verify that their computer, laptop, or tablet is able to access and run ALEKS.
Students should find a quiet place free of distractions and make sure to have paper and pen or pencil. They should not receive assistance from friends, family, other websites, textbooks, or any other resource not provided by ALEKS. There is no benefit to cheating on the math placement assessment—the only result will be that they enroll in a class that is too difficult, or not challenging enough, potentially costing additional time and money.
Students will not need a personal calculator. ALEKS will provide an onscreen calculator if one is needed to complete a particular problem.
ALEKS will begin with a tutorial to make sure students are comfortable with the math palette tools before the assessment begins. The tutorial demonstrates how to enter the different types of answers, how to use the ALEKS calculator, and how to graph. If during the assessment students are unsure how to input an answer or need help, select the "Help" button below the answer pallet tools to return to the tutorial. Going to the tutorial during the assessment will not impact the placement results.
Take the Assessment
To access and complete the Math Placement Assessment:
 Log into the Admissions Portal and navigate to the New Student Checklist.
 Click on the "ALEKS Math Placement Assessment" checklist item.
 Review the information on this page and follow the instructions to log into the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment (the password will be provided there as well).
 Review and follow the instructions to begin the Math Placement Assessment.
If you have questions, please contact Orientation at orientation@seattleu.edu.
Understanding Your Score
Students will receive their score immediately upon completion of the placement assessment. Their score can be viewed by reentering ALEKS using the same access they used to take the placement assessment.
In order to register for a math class, students must achieve the minimum placement score for each corresponding class. The table below explains how to understand your ALEKS Math Placement score.
Course  ALEKS Score  ACT Math Score  SAT Math Score  Math Dept. Exams * 

MATH 1023  15  1822  490550  4 on Algebra Test 
MATH 1010  50  2327  560650  15 on Algebra Test 
MATH 1021  50  2327  560650  15 on Algebra Test 
MATH 1028  65  2736  640800  23 on Algebra Test 
MATH 1130  65  2736  640800  23 on Algebra Test 
MATH 1210  65  2736  640800  23 on Algebra Test 
MATH 1230 
65 corequisite of MATH 1028 can be waived with Trig subscore of 15 
2736  640800  23 on Algebra Test corequisite of MATH 1028 can be waived with score of 4 on Trig Test 
MATH 1331  65  2736  640800  23 on Algebra Test 
MATH 1334 
80 corequisite of MATH 1028 can be waived with Trig subscore of 20 
2836 
660800  25 on Algebra Test corequisite of MATH 1028 can be waived with score of 6 on Trig Test 
* Some students may be identified to take the PlacementExamFAQ's5117 instead of ALEKS.
The right mathematics class for you also depends on your intended major, in addition to the math placement score.
Academic Pathways Advising
Students in the Academic Pathways Advising program should work with their advisor to determine the most appropriate math course to register for.
Additional Resources:
First year students without AP/IB calculus credit or previous college mathematics credits will start with one of the mathematics courses required for the major.
Business Majors
 MATH 1023 Functions & Algebraic Methods
 MATH 1010 College Algebra for Business or Math 1021 Precalculus: Algebra
 MATH 1130 Calculus for Business Humanities & Social Sciences
Economic Majors
 MATH 1023 Functions & Algebraic Methods
 MATH 1021 Precalculus: Algebra
 MATH 1028 Trigonometry (Must be taken either prior to or at the same time as MATH 1334)
 MATH 1334 Calculus I
Additional Resources:
First year students without AP/IB calculus credit or previous college mathematics credits must take UCOR 1200. If a student prefers or has a specific major requirement, the student may take a higherlevel mathematics course. UCOR 1200 does not qualify you to take additional math classes.
Students will take:
 UCOR 1200
 or (if student prefers or if required by the major)
 MATH 1023 Functions & Algebraic Methods
 MATH 1021 Precalculus: Algebra
 MATH 1028 Precalculus: Trigonometry
 MATH 1230 Calculus for Life Sciences
 MATH 1334 Calculus I
Additional Resources:
Nursing
First year students majoring in Nursing must take MATH 1010 or choose to take a higherlevel mathematics course. Transfer students must complete their math requirement before entering SU.
 MATH 1023 Functions & Algebraic Methods
 MATH 1010 College Algebra for Business
Diagnostic Ultrasound
First year students majoring in Diagnostic Ultrasound must take Math 1021 and 1022. Transfer students must complete their math requirement before entering SU.
 MATH 1023 Functions & Algebraic Methods
 MATH 1021 Precalculus: Algebra
 MATH 1028 Precalculus: Trigonometry
Additional Resources:
First year students without AP/IB calculus credit or previous college mathematics credits will place into one or more of the following sequence of mathematics courses required for the major.
Biology & Environmental Science Majors
 MATH 1023 Functions & Algebraic Methods
 MATH 1021 Precalculus: Algebra
 MATH 1028 Precalculus: Trigonometry
 MATH 1230 Calculus for Life Sciences
Chemistry/Biochemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Math, and Physics Major
 MATH 1023 Functions & Algebraic Methods
 MATH 1021 Precalculus: Algebra
 MATH 1028 Precalculus: Trigonometry
 MATH 1334 Calculus I
Additional Resources:
Improve Your Score
Students who are not satisfied with their course placement have the opportunity to retake the assessment. After the first attempt, it is required that students spend at least five hours in the Prep and Learning modules. The Prep and Learning modules are an individualized, adaptive learning path that is created for each student based on how they performed on the assessment. Spending time working through the Prep and Learning module will allow a student to refresh and review topics that may have been forgotten.
When working with the Prep and Learning module, students can expect to periodically be presented with a knowledge check. The knowledge check will provide them with feedback on what they have remembered and what they need more help with. Topics students demonstrate mastery for will be removed from the Prep and Learning module. Those topics that remain as knowledge gaps will be added back to the Prep and Learning module.
Students have up to two retakes available (three total attempts). After the second attempt, students are required to spend a minimum of five hours working in the ALEKS Prep and Learning modules. After spending the required time with the Prep and Learning module, a student will be allowed to retake the assessment.
Access to the Prep and Learning module is made by reentering ALEKS using the same access students used to take the placement assessment.
Students who want to retake for Trigonometry after first attempting ALEKS: Please contact the Mathematics Department to take the PlacementExamFAQ's5117.
Contact Department
Students who need assistant regarding retake.
College Credit Earned by Exam
Advanced Placement (AP)
A student who has taken the AP Calculus Exam (AB or BC), and has a score of 3 or better will receive 5 credits for one or more calculus courses. Please see the policy links below for details. You may contact the Office of the Registrar or the Mathematics Department for more information.
Calculus AB Exam
Score  Credit Granted 

3  MATH 1130 or 1230 (5 Cr.) 
4  MATH 1334 (5 Cr.) 
5  MATH 1334 & MATH 1335 (10 Cr.) * 
Calculus BC Exam
Score  Credit Granted 

3  MATH 1334 (5 Cr.) 
4  MATH 1334 & MATH 1335 (10 Cr.) * 
5  MATH 1334 & MATH 1335 (10 Cr.)* 
*Students may contact the Mathematics Department to determine if MATH 1336 credit may also be allowed.
Additional Resources:
ALevels & International Baccalaureate (IB)
A student who has ALevel qualification or International Baccalaureate credit in calculus may receive credit for one or more calculus courses. Please see the policy links below for details. You may contact the Office of the Registrar or the Mathematics Department for more information.
IB examinations  Score  Credit Granted 

Mathematics: analysis and approaches Standard level 
6 or 7 7 
UCOR 1200 (5 Cr.) MATH 1210 or UCOR 1200 (5 Cr.) 
Mathematics: analysis and approaches Higher level 
5 or higher 6 or 7 
MATH 1210 or MATH 1130, MATH 1230 or UCOR 1200 (5 Cr.) 
Mathematics: applications and interpretation Standard level 
6 or 7  MATH 1130, MATH 1230, or UCOR 1200 (5 Cr.) 
Mathematics: applications and interpretation Higher level 
5 or 6

MATH 1130, MATH MATH 1335 or UCOR 1200 (5 additional Cr.) 
Additional Resources:
Course Flow Chart
The following downloadable chart provides a guide to the appropriate sequencing of Seattle University math classes. Each of the four sections roughly approximates an undergraduate college year. Prerequisites are noted where applicable, as well as when these classes are usually taught. Students with questions about specific classes and requirements should consult their College Advising Center.