Math Placement Test

You should consider taking our math placement test ALEKS PPL. Knowing the current state of your mathematical toolbox will help you get off to the right start. PPL stands for “Preparation, Placement, and Learning,” and it will help you to both start in the most appropriate MATH course and also succeed in that course by reviewing topics you have studied before. Plus, if you score highly enough, you can satisfy our Foundational Math requirement without taking a Foundational Math course. So, take it seriously!

ALEKS PPL is more than just a test of your current mathematical skillset. Based on your initial assessment, it builds a personalized study plan to help you improve your score by reviewing concepts you may not have used in a while. You may retake the assessment up to four more times. Most students see their scores increase by ten points or more on their second attempt. This review will also help you to succeed in the MATH or STAT class you place into.

Transfer students: If you have transfer credits for a MATH course, you are exempt from the requirement to take ALEKS PPL. (Courses in statistics transfer to Radford University as STAT courses, not MATH courses.)

If you have questions about taking our math placement test, please email or contact your advisor. 

Academic Integrity

It is important that your score represents your own work and your work alone. In addition to the obvious moral implications, cheating on a math placement test is unwise as it only places you into a course you are unprepared to take. ALEKS PPL is taken in LockDown Browser, a web browser that does not allow other windows to be open, and it uses the remote proctoring system Respondus Monitor. Cheating on ALEKS PPL is a violation of the Radford University honor code, and violations will be reported to the Office of Student Standards and Conduct. Furthermore, you will receive a score of zero on the math placement test, meaning that you must take one of our Foundational Math courses MATH 100, 116, 121, or 125.


If you are blind or visually impaired and have accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, please email about taking ALEKS PPL. All other students use the following directions.

You may take ALEKS PPL online at home on your own comptuer using our remote proctoring system, but you also have the opportunity to take it on one of our campus computer labs, either at our main campus in Radford or at the Radford University Carilion campus in Roanoke.

Click here for information about taking ALEKS PPL online.

Click here to schedule a time to take ALEKS PPL in a campus lab.

The test is adaptive so that your next question will depend on your answers to your previous questions. You will be asked a maximum of 25 questions, but you may be asked fewer than this. The time limit is 2.5 hours, but you may finish earlier than that.

Test Score Prerequisites

Several courses have prerequisites that incorporate an ALEKS PPL score, but they also have course prerequisites if you do not place into them. You may take a class lower than your placement score allows, but we recommend that you take the highest class that you can place into if you take a MATH course.

A score of 46 on ALEKS PPL establishes Foundational Math competency under the REAL Curriculum. This score does not give you credit for any course, but the Foundational Math degree requirement is satisfied without taking a course.

Some degree programs require MATH 125. If your ALEKS PPL score is high enough to place into a class higher than MATH 125--that is, 61 or greater--contact your advisor or the department offering your program to see if your score can satisfy the degree requirement or if credit for it or higher MATH course is required. Some programs will allow this, but others will not.

CourseALEKS PPL Score Prerequisite Or Course Prerequisite
STAT 130 Understanding Statistics in Society46 or greaterAny MATH course
STAT 200 Introduction to Statistics
46 or greaterAny MATH course
STAT 219 Statistics for Biology46 or greaterAny MATH course
MATH 126 Business Calculus61 or greaterC or better in MATH 125
MATH 138 Precalculus II61 or greaterC or better in MATH 125
MATH 168 Calculus I with Integrated Precalculus I61 or greaterC or better in MATH 125
CHEM 111 General Chemistry I61 or greaterCHEM 110
MATH 171 Calculus and Analytic Geometry I76 or greaterC or better in MATH 138