In-person Math Placement Testing will continue as normal on Monday, December 12th and Friday, December 16th.  Students will be allowed to take the Placement Test in the Math Help Center on Tuesday, December 13th - Thursday, December 15th; the last starting time will be 2:00 p.m. each day. Students who choose to test on December 13th - December 15th are not guaranteed a quiet testing environment as tutoring may be going on in the same room. If you have accommodations though SAEO, please email us at math@vcu.edu. The last day to take the in-person Placement Test in 2022 will be December 16th.

In-person Math Placement testing will be held in Harris Hall 2106 January 9th - January 15th, 2023. Students will need to use this Sign Up Form and select the time and date they will come in person to take the test. Please email math@vcu.edu with any questions.

Math Placement for New First-Year Students

VCU requires all new incoming first-year students to take a math placement test in order to determine which math class you are eligible to register for in your first semester of enrollment. There is no charge for new incoming first-year students to take the math placement test.

The Test

VCU uses ALEKS PPL to determine a student’s math placement score. ALEKS PPL is a web-based program that uses artificial intelligence to map a student’s strengths and weaknesses. There are no outside aids allowed on the placement test. For questions on the placement test that require a calculator, ALEKS will provide an on-screen calculator to use. The placement test generally takes 60-90 minutes to complete approximately 30 questions. After completing the math placement test, students receive their math placement score and it is uploaded to their student record.

There is a two hour time limit on ALEKS PPL tests. If you exceed the two hour time limit, your test will be stopped and your score is discarded. It is as if you never took the test. There is no way to recover a score. You will need to retake the test and ensure you submit the test before the two hour time limit expires.

Login to ALEKS PPL

I'm done... what's next?

Satisfied With Your Score?

Write down your placement score. You will need your VCU math placement test score to complete your registration survey. Your score will be uploaded to your student record within 24-48 hours so that you can register for the math class for which you qualified.

Unsatisfied With Your Score?

If your score isn't where you expected it to be, you can complete 5 hours of individualized prep and learning modules in ALEKS PPL to refresh your knowledge. You will then have the opportunity to take the test again and improve your placement score. We expect students that use ALEKS PPL conscientiously to improve their math placement score by one course!

Students wanting to take the placement test a second time will be required to take the placement test in-person in a proctored environment.  The Math Help Center (Harris Hall 2126) will administer the proctored placement tests for all students. The Math Help Center will be available on Mondays from 9 am - 4 pm and on Fridays from 9 am - 3 pm for testing. The last starting time for placement tests is 2 pm on Mondays and 1 pm  on Fridays. No appointment is necessary but you will be required to sign in and show a photo ID. Please email math@vcu.edu if you cannot make the available testing times.  We will do our best to accommodate reasonable requests for an alternate testing day and time.

Score Interpretation

ALEKS scores should be interpreted with the assistance of an academic adviser. The math department has established the following cut scores for VCU courses. Students should consult with their adviser to determine which course they should register for to avoid taking unnecessary courses. See the Courses page for course descriptions.

ALEKS Score VCU Math Placement Level Course(s) You Are Eligible to Enroll In*
0-44 131 MATH 129 (for those who need to complete College Algebra or higher) or MATH 131 (for those who only need one course for the Quantitative Foundations requirement)
45-59 141 MATH 141 or STAT 208
60 139 MATH 139, MATH 141, or STAT 208
61-75 151 MATH 151, STAT 210, or BUSN 171
76-100 200 MATH 200, MATH 211, CMSC 255, BUSN 212, or STAT 212

* Make selection in consultation with your academic adviser

Please Note

  • The mathematics placement test is a prerequisite for only the above introductory courses. All other mathematics, statistics and computer science courses require previous coursework.
  • The mathematics placement test score indicates a student’s appropriate level of introductory course and does not earn a student credit for any course. It does not satisfy any requirement for graduation.
  • Math credits are awarded for the successful completion of VCU math courses, transfer credits or satisfactory AP/IB test scores.

Your math placement test score is valid for one year. Students who do not register for a math class within one year of receiving a math placement test score may need to pay $25 to retake the placement test and receive a new placement score.

Questions?

If you encounter problems with ALEKS PPL or have any questions please contact the Math Department at math@vcu.edu.