When to Assess

Math Placement is a process, not an exam. To obtain the maximum benefits from the placement process, allow ample time for the enhancement of your math skills.

Gauge your current math skills, learn about the UCSC courses you'll need (or simply want), and use your ALEKS Learning Module to enhance your skills. If you don't meet your placement goal in your first assessment, you can reassess up to four times.

A small investment of time and thought now will pay high dividends later!

When to Take Your First Assessment

We recommend that you complete your first placement assessment in late spring or early summer if you'll be taking a UCSC math course in the coming academic year. That allows ample time for assessment, guided review and learning, and—if you want to improve your placement—reassessment.

Your ALEKS PPL license and Learning Module remain active for one year, so you can get started now, be ready to enroll in your target course,  and use your Learning Module for efficient targeted review any time you want it in the coming year.  

A cure for senioritis

If you're an incoming frosh and your academic workload is light during your last few weeks of high school, use some of that free time to lighten your load in the coming academic year.

Assessing in May will give you time to fit some time- and cost-effective math preparation into your summer plans. You could enroll a summer math course and get a head start in your major, or launch an ALEKS study plan that will prepare you for your fall courses before you head off on your summer adventures.

You can boost your math skills using your ALEKS Learning Module or other self-study resources even if you're working full time or traveling.  

When to Take Your Best Assessment

Be ready to (en)roll! Your math enrollment eligibility is determined by your Math Placement Tier, which is in turn determined by your best placement assessment score in ALEKS PPL.

Assess—or reassess—in time to enroll in the course you want during your first enrollment opportunity to maximize the odds that you'll get a seat in the class.

Upcoming assessment deadlines and key enrollment-related events are listed under Important Dates on the homepage and in the sidebar. You can link the Math Placement calendar to your e-calendar and set reminders, so that crucial deadlines don't sneak up on you.

Don't wait until the last minute

You must work in your ALEKS Learning Module for at least five hours and wait out a 48 hour 'cooling off' period between placement assessments, so give yourself plenty of time to meet your placement goal. 

Anxiety undermines creative problem solving and accurate recall of information, so if you find looming deadlines stressful, keep them at a distance by assessing early. Recent research indicates that many people with math anxiety are distressed before they're tested, but calm down once they've started work on a math problem.