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 college-level coursework to meet the pre-requisite of math course.
Prior to registering for classes, all first-year students will be required to take the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment by June 16, 2023 as part of their Orientation.
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:
Please contact the student's College Advising Center to discuss these scenarios.
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 multiple-choice Placement Assessment. It is open-response 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.
Students will see some, but not all, of the math they have learned in high school, including:
If a student requires an accommodation, please contact Disability Services (206-296-5740) prior to taking the ALEKS assessment. A conversation with Disability Services will help guide students to partner in best meeting their individualized needs.
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 on-screen 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.
To access and complete the Math Placement Assessment:
If you have questions, please contact Orientation at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students will receive their score immediately upon completion of the placement assessment. Their score can be viewed by re-entering 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 1000||15||18-22||490-550||4 on Algebra Test|
|MATH 1010||50||23-27||560-650||15 on Algebra Test|
|MATH 1021||50||23-27||560-650||15 on Algebra Test|
|MATH 1022||65||27-36||640-800||23 on Algebra Test|
|MATH 1130||65||27-36||640-800||23 on Algebra Test|
|MATH 1210||65||27-36||640-800||23 on Algebra Test|
corequisite of MATH 1022 can be waived with Trig subscore of 15
|27-36||640-800||23 on Algebra Test
corequisite of MATH 1022 can be waived with score of 4 on Trig Test
|MATH 1331||65||27-36||640-800||23 on Algebra Test|
corequisite of MATH 1022 can be waived with Trig subscore of 20
|660-800||25 on Algebra Test
corequisite of MATH 1022 can be waived with score of 6 on Trig Test
* Some students may be identified to take the Math department placement exams instead of ALEKS.
The right mathematics class for you also depends on your intended major, in addition to the math placement score.
Students in the Academic Pathways Advising program should work with their advisor to determine the most appropriate math course to register for.
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.
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 higher-level mathematics course. UCOR 1200 does not qualify you to take additional math classes.
Students will take:
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.
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 re-entering ALEKS using the same access students used to take the placement assessment.
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.
|3||MATH 1130 or 1230 (5 Cr.)|
|4||MATH 1334 (5 Cr.)|
|5||MATH 1334 & MATH 1335 (10 Cr.) *|
|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.
A student who has A-Level 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
6 or 7
UCOR 1200 (5 Cr.)
MATH 1210 or UCOR 1200 (5 Cr.)
|Mathematics: analysis and approaches
5 or higher
6 or 7
MATH 1210 or
MATH 1130, MATH 1230 or UCOR 1200 (5 Cr.)
|Mathematics: applications and interpretation
|6 or 7||MATH 1130, MATH
1230, or UCOR 1200 (5 Cr.)
|Mathematics: applications and interpretation
5 or 6
MATH 1130, MATH
MATH 1335 or UCOR 1200 (5 additional Cr.)
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.