Dear HIU student,
Math placement is an important step to make sure you get into the right math class for you to succeed. Please take this test seriously and do your best. Make sure that the test is done by you alone with no help or observation from anyone else.

You may take ALEKs PPL the first time at home. The test varies in length, depending on the student -usually anywhere from about 30 minutes to 2 or 3 hours. If you place lower than you wished, you may use the 6-month free practice program to brush up on your math skills before taking the placement test again. The best strategy is to set aside a little time several days per week to work on ALEKs PPL, for example, 15 minutes a day for 4-5 days a week or 20 minutes a day for 3-4 days a week.

Before you take the placement test again, you are required to have worked on ALEKs PPL’s practice module for several hours.

You may take the placement test 2 more times (up to three times total). We will use your best placement to put you in a class. You have up to one year to take the 2 retries.

To take the test again, on-campus students should email Professor Kavanaugh for an appointment. For on-campus students, 2nd and 3rd placement tests are proctored. Online students should also email Professor Kavanaugh to set up the ALEKs PPL 2nd and/or 3rd try.

If a student would rather not take the ALEKs PPL placement, they will be placed into our Self-Paced Math Review class (MTH0090) or for online students (MTH0105). This is a 3-unit, non-college credit course designed to prepare students for college level math.

Anticipating your success in math,

Professor Kavanaugh

Get Started

Click here to log in to ALEKs PPL and start your assessment.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is ALEKs PPL? ALEKs PPL stands for Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces Placement, Preparation, and Learning. ALEKs is a Web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system. ALEKS uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine exactly what a student knows and doesn't know in a course.

  • Who needs to take ALEKs PPL? Undergraduate students entering the university during or after the Fall 2017 semester, who have not already fulfilled their math requirement (through transfer credits, AP math score of 3 or higher, or qualifying CLEP math test score). Undergraduates who entered prior to Fall 2017 may keep their placement or choose to take ALEKs PPL. For a student who does not want to take the assessment, see below.

  • How does the student take ALEKs PPL? Simply click on the link above.

  • When do students need to take ALEKs PPL? As early as possible. In general, I would recommend that students take their initial placement 6 months to a year before they expect to take a math class. Here is why: If a student scores high enough to place into a college level math class, then he/she may register for the required course whenever it is convenient (within 18 months of taking the placement test). Students who place below college level math have 6 months of online ALEKs PPL tutorial to help them learn what they need. After they have worked on the ALEKs PPL tutorial for a specified number of hours, they may take their placement again. If they are still not in a College level math course, they may work on ALEKs PPL for more hours and take the placement one more time. They have up to 3 times total to take the placement instrument and this must be done within one year of their first time signing up for ALEKs PPL. For on campus students, the 2nd and 3rd try on ALEKs PPL will be proctored. They can sign up for this by emailing me at Online students may take the 2nd and 3rd try at home but must email me at after they have used the tutorial for several hours in order to have the placement test re-opened for them.

  • Why do math placement? We want to take people from where they are in their math skills and help them move forward. It is important that we figure out where they are so that we can help them.

  • What does ALEKs PPL cost? There is no additional cost to students for the assessment. The cost is covered as part of the student fee assessed at the beginning of each semester.

  • What if a student does not place into college math after one year or three tries at ALEKs PPL? Then they will be placed into one of our math review classes (MTH0090 or MTH0100 or MTH0105 for online students).

  • What if a student does not want to take ALEKs PPL? On campus students who do not want to take ALEKs PPL will be placed in our Self-Paced Math Review Course (MTH0090). This is a 3-unit remedial (non-college credit) math course. We have had a great deal of success working with students of various math backgrounds in this class and feel confident we will be able to help them through this course. Online students are better off to use the ALEKs PPL program because it is less expensive than the MTH0105 course that they will be placed into.

  • What are the ALEKs PPL cutoff scores for math classes?
  • ALEKs Score Math Placement Level Courses
    0-15 Self-Paced Math Review MTH0090 (MTH0105 for online students)
    16-32 Math Review MTH0100 (MTH0105 for online students)
    33-48 Liberal Arts Math 1 MTH1150, MTH1175
    49-64 College Algebra MTH1100, MTH1101
    65-69 Pre-Calculus or Business/Applied Calculus MTH1200, MTH1110, MTH1115
    70-100 Calculus 1 MTH1500

  • If a student gets a high score on ALEKs PPL, must they take the highest math course that they placed into? No. A student may take the highest math course they placed into or anything below, keeping in mind that the Math Review courses are non-college credit. So, for example, a student with a score of 17 on ALEKs PPL may take regular Math Review (MTH0100) or Self-Paced Math Review (MTH0090). A student with a score of 67 may take Pre-Calculus, Business/Applied Calculus, College Algebra, or Liberal Arts Math I, depending on their major and interests.

  • How will the student know their score on ALEKs PPL? The student’s score can be seen by the student as soon as they finish their placement test. Students may take a screenshot of their score and send it to the registrar at or to their advisor if they need to sign up for a math course quickly.

  • Do we use ALEKs for course material and how does it work? ALEKs is a Web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system. ALEKS uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine exactly what a student knows and doesn't know in a course. ALEKS instructs the student on the topics she/he is most ready to learn. As a student works through a course, ALEKS periodically reassesses the student to ensure that topics learned are also retained. ALEKS courses are very complete in their topic coverage and ALEKS avoids multiple-choice questions. A student who shows a high level of mastery of an ALEKS course will be successful in the actual course she/he is taking. Several classes at this school (self-paced TUG math review, online math review, online College Algebra, online Pre-Calculus) use ALEKs course learning programs, which are similar but not the same thing as ALEKs PPL.

  • Any other questions? Please email me - Professor Kavanaugh - at