ALEKS PPL – Advanced Math Placement

What is ALEKS PPL?

The ALEKS Placement, Preparation and Learning (ALEKS PPL) Assessment is used to determine placement in higher-level mathematics courses. ALEKS consists of three parts and does not replace the TSI assessment.

The Placement Assessment has up to 30 questions and generally takes 60-90 minutes to complete. The first Placement Assessment is un-proctored and used only to assess where the student will begin and cannot be used for placement purposes. After the Placement Assessment, an individualized Prep and Learning Module is available for self-paced online review. Students can then reassess and improve their placement by retaking the assessment. Students are given up to four additional Placement Assessments to be taken at a Dallas College Testing Center.

The ALEKS PPL is not required, but students who wish to take any of the courses listed below without meeting the course prerequisites must take ALEKS PPL. Students MUST meet with an advisor before registering to take ALEKS PPL.

To be eligible to take ALEKS PPL, you must have completed the TSI Assessment with a score of at least 350 or be TSI Exempt in Math.

  • MATH 1316 - Plane Trigonometry
  • MATH 1325 - Calculus for Business and Social Sciences
  • MATH 1350 - Mathematics for Teachers 1
  • MATH 2412 - Pre-Calculus
  • MATH 2413 - Calculus 1

Frequently Asked Questions

You must have a referral from an advisor to register for ALEKS PPL. Once you are approved, you will register and pay at ALEKS. Your advisor will give you the Course Code to register.

You will pay the $20 ALEKS PPL fee when registering for the Placement Assessment. This fee will cover your initial placement assessment and up to four additional attempts. You will also be given access to an individualized prep and learning module for review.

A valid government or Dallas College photo ID is required for all testing.

If you require accommodations, please contact your Disability Services Offices (DSO) advisor.

If you would like to try ALEKS first, click on Explore Student Module at the ALEKS website.

After you register for ALEKS PPL, you will answer a few background questions and be given a tutorial on how ALEKS PPL works. You will be given an Initial Placement Assessment. You can take this assessment anywhere. This first Placement Assessment cannot be used for placement purposes into courses.

It is important that the Placement Assessment is taken seriously and that you give it an honest effort so that the Placement Assessment truly reflects your current level of knowledge and math preparedness.

While taking the Placement Assessment, students should not consult outside sources for help (friends/family, internet searches, textbooks, notes, etc.). The purpose of the Placement Assessment is to accurately measure a student’s current mathematical knowledge state they can be successful in mathematics courses. All students must adhere to the Dallas College Code of Conduct.

After you complete your assessment, you will be assigned a Prep and Learning Module based on the results. This is an individualized review based on your assessment scores. While working in a Prep and Learning Module, you will periodically complete a Knowledge Check to make sure you have mastered the topics you gained in Learning Mode. If you do not show mastery during the Knowledge Check, the topics will be added back into your Learning Pie to review them again.

You must complete at least three hours in the Prep and Learning Module and wait 24 hours to take your next assessment. This applies to the subsequent four assessments available. You can stop taking the assessments at any time once you reach your desired score and placement. See the placement chart for scores.

All assessments after the initial assessment must be taken at a Dallas College Testing Center. A valid government or Dallas College issued ID is required.

The Placement Assessment has up to 30 questions and generally takes 60-90 minutes to complete. After the Placement Assessment, an individualized Prep and Learning Module is available for students to refresh their knowledge on forgotten topics. ALEKS is not multiple-choice. It is open-response and requires you to work out solutions with paper and pencil and then enter them into ALEKS.

ALEKS will begin with a brief tutorial to make sure you are comfortable with the math palette tools before your Placement Assessment begins. The tutorial shows you how to input answers, use the ALEKS calculator and graph. If you are not sure how to input an answer or need help while taking the ALEKS Placement Assessment, select the Help button below the answer pallet tools. Going to the tutorial during your Placement Assessment will not impact your Placement Assessment results. ALEKS will provide an on-screen calculator if you need one to solve a particular problem. You may not bring a calculator, open any on-screen calculators or access any other help. Scratch paper will be provided to you by the Testing Center. You may not bring any paper or notes. Because ALEKS is adaptive, once you submit an answer, you cannot change it. Be sure to carefully check your answer before submitting your response.

If you do not know an answer, it is appropriate to answer, “I don’t know.” On any question that you have familiarity with, however, it is important to do your best. ALEKS interprets an “I don’t know” answer to mean that you do not know how to solve the topic, and it will be reflected in the assessment results. There is no penalty for incorrectly answering a question on the assessment; it only helps ALEKS understand what you know.

You are allowed three hours to complete the assessment. The assessment must be completed in one test session. You may not save your assessment and finish it later. If you leave for any reason, you will forfeit your test session.

The first assessment may be taken in an unproctored environment. The following assessments, up to four, must be taken at a Dallas College Testing Center. All learning modules must be completed outside of the Testing Center.

You will receive your score immediately upon completion of your Placement Assessment. Your scores will be available in your Learning Module and input in your Dallas College records.

  • 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) and 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 volume, coordinate geometry, trigonometric functions and identities and equations)