Mathematics Placement Exam

Who CAN take the exam

  • Any student deemed to be GE-ready but do not meet the prerequisites for Math 1080 (Trigonometry), Math 1100 (Precalculus), or Math 1410 (Calculus I) and wishes to be placed in one of these.
  • Any student deemed as needing a supported mathematics sequence and wishes to move into non-supported math courses.

Who DO NOT take the exam

  • Any student deemed GE-ready in Mathematics and meets the prerequisites for the math course they wish to take.
  • Any student deemed to be GE-ready who does not need to take Math 1080, Math 1100, or Math 1410.

Contact your major advisor for more information

About the Exam 

California State University, Stanislaus will now use an ALEKS Placement, Preparation and Learning (ALEKS PPL) mathematics assessment to determine readiness for Math 1070 (College Algebra), 1080 (Trigonometry), 1100 (Precalculus), and 1410 (Calculus I). The ALEKS PPL mathematics assessment is an online, adaptive system that covers a broad spectrum of mathematics topics. It is designed to determine what students know and what students need to improve on. At the end of the unproctored practice assessment, students will have a better sense of their strengths and weaknesses. Students will then have a chance to brush up on topics before the proctored Placement Assessment. 

An initial unproctored practice assessment may be taken online anywhere. After the practice 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 you use a webcam during the exam. You will need to show a picture ID, make a video of your environment (where you are taking the exam, showing that you don’t have any objects around you that are not allowed), and take the exam. Once completed, an official proctor will view your video, and determine whether your score will be accepted or not (reasons it may not be accepted may include, but are not limited to, using materials during the exam, having a phone or another internet-connected device, or communicating with others in any way). 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 their mathematics courses. 

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 Stanislaus State. It is designed to identify preparation for a particular course. After the first unproctored 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 Assessment consists of up to 30 questions and has 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. 

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 represent the percentage mastery of the highest proctored Placement Assessment. Course placement is determined as follows:

A score of

Makes you eligible for


Math 1410


Math 1080


If not needing supported math, placement is Math 1070

If needing supported math, you may now take an unsupported math course


If not needing supported math, placement is Math 1070

If needing supported math, placement is Math 1071 or other supported math sequence

Frequently Asked Questions

Your score will be stored in your student record for future reference.

Students are able to take up to 4 proctored ALEKS PPL assessments with their initial subscription.

No. The prescribed minimum placement score must be achieved in order to take each class.

Students enrolled in one of the above classes without satisfying the minimum required Placement Score or the appropriate course prerequisites will be administratively dropped from the course no matter what anyone else, including an adviser or an instructor, may have told them. 

Updated: June 24, 2024