What is the ALEKS PPL?

About the ALEKS PPL

Hear from Amanda Rakowitz, a senior mathematics instructor at the University of the Incarnate Word, share a brief overview about the ALEKS Placement, Preparation and Learning (PPL).

Benefits of ALEKS PPL

Learn more about why it's important to take the ALEKS Placement, Preparation and Learning (PPL), and the benefits from the ALEKS PPL UIW Mathematics Placement. 

Complete the ALEKS PPL

Since the University of the Incarnate Word is test optional, to be correctly placed in college level math, students not meeting the minimum requirements must take the ALEKS or be placed in remedial math course (no credit).

Students who meet the following criteria do not need to take the ALEKS:

  • 550 SAT Math minimum or 22 ACT Math minimum
  • 350 minimum on TSI Math
  • "C" or higher in dual credit Math course.

Success in college begins with appropriate course placement. With a unique combination of adaptive assessment and personalized learning, ALEKS PPL will accurately measure your math foundation and will create a personalized learning module for you to review and refresh your math knowledge. This allows you to be placed correctly in the right course, expediting your path to complete your degree.

The last day your ALEKS PPL score will count for math placement will be December 10, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. CDT.

Steps to begin the ALEKS PPL

About the ALEKS PPL Math Placement Assessment

ALEKS PPL is an online, adaptive system that covers a broad spectrum of mathematics topics. The length of the Placement Assessment will vary but can be up to 30 questions. You will see some, but not all, of the math you have learned in high school. It is a Placement Assessment, not a preview of math courses at the University of the Incarnate Word. It is designed to identify if you are prepared for a particular course. After you take your first Placement Assessment, you will have the opportunity to review and master additional topics to reassess and improve your placement.

  • It is up to 30 questions, 60-90 minute assessment, but you have up to 2.5 hours to complete it. You cannot save and come back to the test, you must complete it in one sitting.
  • The problems must be done in order. Once you have answered a question, you cannot go back and change it.

After your Assessment: What class does this put me in?

After completing the Placement Assessment, you will see your score. You will then be able to see what class you placed into, view cut score information, and the number of times that the Placement Assessment can be retaken. If you score in the 0-45 range, ALEKS will tell you that you need to work within your prep modules. It is highly encouraged that you do so, however you will be able to enroll in MATH 0320, Intermediate Algebra, with any score, and working with the prep modules will make you better prepared.

ALEKS PPL - Score of 46 or greater

After participating in the ALEKS Prep and Learning modules and earning a score of 46 or greater on one of the five ALEKS remotely proctored assessment, you will be placed directly into your core math class, either MATH 1304, 2303, 1306, or 1308.

ALEKS PPL - Score of 45 or less

Placement: MATH 0320, Intermediate Algebra: This class is an opportunity to refresh algebraic and reasoning ideas that include pre-requisite topics for your UIW core math class. Although this class will count towards you GPA, it will not count as a credit toward your degree.

UIW Mathematic Placement Guidelines

UIW Mathematics Placement Guidelines by Met Criteria and Math Placement. Revised on May 2021.
Met Criteria Math Placement

ALEKS PPL 0 - 45

MATH 0320 (Intermediate Algebra)
This course does not count toward degree requirements.

SAT Math ≥ 550


Math ACT ≥ 22


TSI Math ≥ 350


TSI 2.0 MATH ≥ 950


TSI 2.0 Diagnostic MATH score of 6


ALEKS PPL score of 46 - 60

Placed into either **

MATH 1304 (College Algebra),

MATH 2303 (Intro to Probability and Statistics),

MATH 1306 (College Geometry), or

MATH 1308 (Finite Math)

** Course dependent upon degree plan requirements.

Calculus in High School with a C or lower


Precalculus in High School with a B or higher


ALEKS PPL score of 61 - 75

MATH 1311 (Pre-Calculus)

Calculus in High School with a B or higher


ALEKS PPL score of 76 - 100

MATH 2312 (Calculus I) or appropriate math course required by degree program.

AP-Calculus AB Exam with a 3 or higher

MATH 2313 (Calculus II) or appropriate math course required by degree program. Calculus I (Math 2312) credit given

AP-Calculus BC Exam with a 3 or higher

MATH 3314 (Calculus III) or appropriate math course required by degree program. Calculus I (Math 2312) and Calculus II (Math 2313) credit given

AP-Statistics Exam with a 3 or higher

MATH 2303 (Introduction to Probability and Statistics) credit given

  1. No outside assistance is permitted. Outside assistance includes getting help from others and from other materials. Other individuals are not to be in the room while you are taking the test.
  2. Your computer’s webcam and the lockdown browser will be used as your personal proctor. The webcam lens must not be covered up or otherwise obscured. It must show your face at all times.
    1. If the webcam is built into the screen, avoid making screen adjustments after the exam starts. A common mistake is to push the screen back, resulting in only the top portion of the face being recorded. 
    2. Don't lie down on a couch or bed while taking an exam. There is a greater chance you'll move out of the video frame or change your relative position to the webcam.
    3. Don't take an exam in a dark room. If the details of your face don't show clearly during the webcam check, the automated video analysis is more likely to flag you as missing.
    4. Avoid backlighting situations, such as sitting with your back to a window. The general rule is to have light in front of your face, not behind your head.
    5. Select a distraction-free environment for the exam. Televisions and other people in the room can draw your attention away from the screen. Other people that come into view of the webcam may also trigger flags by the automated system.
  3. No outside calculators are permitted. A calculator icon will appear on the screen when it is allowed to be used. Blank paper and a pen/pencil are allowed for you to work out problems, however. No use of cell phones or other electronic devices are permitted.

The University of the Incarnate Word takes academic integrity very seriously and investigates all allegations of academic dishonesty. If you are found to be in violation of the academic integrity policy, you run the risk of having your test score invalidated.

How do I get technical support for the Math Placement Assessment?

For technical support assistance, you may call ALEKS technical support at (800) 258-2374. You may also call the UIW Help Desk at (210) 829-2721.

How do I get math advising support?

If you have questions about your placement assessment scores and the courses you should take for your degree program, contact your academic advisor in your major.

Retaking the Math Placement Assessment

You will need 3 hours of learning modules and 48 hours of time completed between each assessment.

It is highly encouraged to retake the assessment at least one other time. You have up to five attempts on the Placement Assessment. Before retaking the assessment however, you will need to practice your learning modules. To access your modules for the first time, you will need to log back into your ALEKS account as if you are going to take the test again. After you log in, select START MY PATH from the Primary Guidance Menu to start your module work. Please note you will only be able to choose one of the offered paths. Once you choose one, you will not be able to change it. In order to take the assessment again you must have at least 3 hours of modules completed. There is a cool off period of 48 hours before you can access your next attempt. Keep in mind, the last day to take a placement assessment for Spring 2022 is on December 10, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. CDT. Therefore, you would have needed to complete your previous placement assessment 48 hours before.

Credit by Examination

University of the Incarnate Word awards credit based upon the concept that learning may be acquired from different sources of knowledge. Click here to find more information about credit by exam.