Math Placement Exam information

Do I need to take the ALEKS PPL Assessment?

  • Click the list of majors to see whether your major requires MAT 104, 120, 208 or 210.
    • If your major appears on this list you must take the ALEKS PPL Assessment unless you are exempt.  (See below for the list of exemptions.)
    • If you are currently undeclared but are interested in a major that is listed, contact the Math Placement Coordinator at to determine if you must take the assessment.
    • If you are an incoming EOP student, you must take the ALEKS PPL Assessment unless you are exempt. (See below for the list of exemptions.)
    • If your major does not appear on the list and you are not an EOP Student, you do not need to take the ALEKS PPL Assessment.
  • You may be exempt from taking the ALEKS PPL Assessment if you meet any one of the following conditions:
    • You are a returning Oswego student who:
      • has completed the prerequisite course with a grade of D- or higher
      • is currently in the prerequisite course. Note:  you will be able to register for the next course but should you fail the prerequisite course, you will be deregistered from that class and may need to take ALEKS PPL to re-register for your failed course.
    • You are a first-year or transfer student who:
      • has completed the prerequisite course with a grade of D- or higher for college credit.  Oswego must have an official transcript on file showing that you have passed the prerequisite course before you will be permitted to register in the next class.  In order to get preregistered for your courses prior to coming to Orientation we must have the official transcript at SUNY Oswego at least 2 weeks prior to attending orientation.

When do I need to take it?

  • If you are an incoming student you are expected to complete your initial assessment before June 15 (Summer) or January 9 (Spring) you will not be preregistered into a mathematics course prior to orientation.  
  • If you are a returning student, a score must be uploaded before you can register. Test scores are uploaded overnight so if you complete the test before 5 pm one day you will be able to register after 9 am the following day.

How much does it cost?

  • There is no cost to you for your initial subscription to ALEKS PPL.  You may need to pay for any subsequent subscriptions if you do not register for the course prior to your score expiring.

What is ALEKS PPL?

  • ALEKS PPL is a powerful artificial-intelligence based assessment tool that zeroes in on the strengths and weaknesses of a student's mathematical knowledge, reports its findings to the student, and if necessary provides the student with a learning environment for bringing this knowledge up to an appropriate level for course placement.

What is the ALEKS PPL exam like?

  • The ALEKS Placement Assessment covers material from Basic Math through Precalculus.
  • The exam is an open-response, adaptive assessment that covers hundreds of topics in 30 questions or less (it is not multiple choice).
  • The assessment is untimed but you must complete it within 3 hours of when you begin.
  • Placement assessments require an average of 90 minutes to complete but the amount of time will vary by student.

What are the rules for taking the ALEKS PPL exam?

  • You will need paper and a pen or pencil.  NO other items are permitted to be used during the exam.  
  • ALEKS will provide an on-screen calculator if you need one to complete a particular problem. Otherwise, you not allowed to use a calculator.
  • You may not receive assistance from family, friends, other websites, textbooks or any other resource not provided by ALEKS.
  • Use of outside resources including calculators, notes, books, or websites, may lead to improper placement and course failure and is considered cheating.
  • The Mathematics Department reserves the right to require a student whose ALEKS PPL Assessment is inconsistent with other assessments to retest under proctored conditions.  If a student is found to have cheated, the student will be in violation of the SUNY Oswego Academic Integrity Code and subject to its penalties.

What do I need to do after the exam?

  • Your score must be uploaded into myOswego before you can register for your math class.  The process may take up to 24 hours.
  • You may check the meaning of your score on the Prerequisite and placement score information page.
  • If you are not satisfied with your placement results, you may retake the ALEKS PPL Assessment up to four times.
  • After the assessment, a targeted Prep and Learning Module is available for you to review and learn material, and to improve placement and eventual course outcomes. 
  • Before you can retake an assessment you must work in the Prep and Learning Module a minimum of three hours (1st retake), five hours (subsequent retakes).
  • There is a 48-hour waiting period between reassessments. 
  • Your highest assessment score will be used for course placement.  
  • Your score is valid for 12 months. If your score expires between registration and the first day of classes you must purchase a new subscription and retake the exam or you will be deregistered as your prerequisite will no longer be valid.

If you have questions about math placement at Oswego you can contact the math placement coordinator at

Where can I get help with ALEKS PPL?

Now that I have reviewed all the information about my math placement exam, how do I access it?

Students may access the ALEKS placement test here or by logging into your myOswego account and clicking on the math placement link on the Registration tab.

If you have a disabling condition which may interfere with your ability to successfully complete any exam, please email If you have not already done so, you may complete the Accessibility Resource Services Special Needs Identification form.