Mathematics Assessment

If you choose to complete the Math Assessment prior to attending orientation to obtain or improve your placement score, please read this important information before you begin.

There is no passing or failing of the assessment, as every student will be placed at some level. The assessment does not measure what you once knew or what you could do if you tried harder. The math placement assessment is used to place students into a mathematics course at an appropriate level so that, with reasonable effort, the student has a good chance of success. Since some mathematical skills are easily forgotten, especially when not used on a regular basis, a review is advisable prior to taking the math placement assessment; see recommended Study Guides and Resources below.

Study Guides and Resources

  • Sample questions covering arithmetic, beginning algebra, and intermediate algebra are available here.
  • An Elementary Algebra self-study course is available at  Create an account and enroll using course ID 24502 and enrollment key StudyNow! (including the exclamation point).
  • Free textbooks, some with accompanying MyOpenMath self-study courses, are available at the
  • High school algebra text and math teachers.
  • Review books for various areas covered can be purchased at most bookstores

Format of the Mathematics Placement Assessment

  • The math placement assessment covers topics ranging from arithmetic to calculus. 
  • The placement assessment is completed using ALEKS PPL, an adaptive, online learning and assessment platform.
  • The placement assessment can have up to 25 questions and generally takes 60 – 90 minutes to complete.

Taking the Mathematics Placement Assessment

  • The placement assessment can be completed online or on campus.
  • Once you register for the placement assessment, you will receive an email confirmation of your registration together with additional information.
  • The email confirmation will be sent to your Southern email address. 
  • You will need your Southern email address and password to register. If you have forgotten your Southern email address or password, or if you need help accessing your account, contact the IT help desk at (203) 392-5123.

Retaking the Mathematics Placement Assessment

  • After your first placement assessment, ALEKS PPL will provide you with a learning module based on your assessment results. You can use the learning module to practice for a placement assessment retake.
  • You must wait at least 48 hours before a retake.
  • You must complete at least 5 hours in your learning module before a retake.
  • The math placement assessment may be retaken a maximum of two times.

Academic Honesty Statement

  • It is important that the Mathematics Placement Assessment be taken seriously, and that you give it your honest effort. If this is done, the placement assessment will truly reflect your current level of knowledge and math preparedness. 
  • There is no benefit to cheating on the placement assessment, while the potential downside – being over-placed and subsequently failing a class – can cost you significant time and money. Do not consult outside sources (friends, online resources, books, notes, etc.) when completing the assessment.
  • The purpose of the placement assessment is to give an accurate measure of your current mathematical knowledge so that you will be successful in your mathematics courses.
  • SCSU Academic Standards

Testing Accommodations

If you need special testing accommodations due to a documented disability, please contact the Center for Academic Success and Accessibility Services.