Mathematics Placement Assessment

Taking the Math Placement Assessment

With very few exceptions, all students must take the math placement assessment to determine the most appropriate placement for them in a math course and to register for their math course. EWU uses a program called ALEKS, which is an adaptive learning tool, to determine a math placement for each individual student. View Math Placement Assessment Scores below. COVID-19 Update: Students may now take the assessment online for no additional charge. See Step #3 for more info.


1

Create Your Account

Create your account in ALEKS and take the initial practice assessment. Take this assessment without help so that the program can place you in the correct learning module.

You will need to agree to the following terms and conditions before creating your account. After you click “submit,” you will receive access to ALEKS.

2

Complete a Minimum of Three Hours of Practice in the Prep and Learning Module

After you have completed the practice assessment, ALEKS will assign you a prep and learning module based on your practice assessment to help you review for the proctored assessment. You must complete a minimum of three hours before you are eligible to take the proctored assessment.

3

Take the Proctored Assessment

As a result of the requirement to maintain physical distancing, we will not be offering an option for on-campus assessments. Instead, your purchase of the ALEKS program for placement includes the free use of Respondus LockDown Browser and Respondus Monitor (with your webcam).

Current Students: If you have already made an appointment to use ProctorU for an online exam, you may cancel that appointment and follow the prompts provided in ALEKS to proceed with your exam free of charge using Respondus LockDown Browser and Respondus Monitor (webcam).

Help with Respondus Lockdown Browser

If you have a technical issue please try the following links:

If your issue cannot be resolved, please contact Becky Sommers by email at bsommers@ewu.edu (preferred and quickest) or by phone at 509.359.2876.

Intro to Respondus

Example Environment Scan for Respondus Monitor

Math Placement Scores

If you find that you are unsatisfied with your score, and you still have access to your Prep and Learning Module, you may retake the assessment at no extra charge. Visit the FAQs below for more information on the reassessment policy.

Percent Given by ALEKSCourse Placement
29 or belowMTHD 103
30-40MTHD 104, 106
41-55MATH 107, 114, 121, 200, 208
56-65MATH 107, 121, 141, 200, 208, 311
66-75MATH 107, 121, 142, 200, 208, 311, 380
76 or higherMATH 161, 200, 208, 301, 311, 380 or math reasoning requirement met;
however, your degree may require additional math courses

MATH Pathways

What is MATH Pathways?

MATH Pathways is a national initiative started by the Dana Center of the University of Texas-Austin aimed at aligning math courses more closely to students’ intended majors and future careers, and to accelerate students’ successful completion of their first college-level math course.

How do I know which path is right for me?

The following chart shows five different paths each leading to a different course that satisfies mathematics proficiency. Generally speaking, paths from left to right represent pathways from least to most challenging, but students should always consult with an advisor to make sure the appropriate path is chosen. View an accessible MATH Pathways chart.

What if my major is undecided?

Students who are undecided and unable to select a path that best describes their educational goals should always consult with an advisor before enrolling in any math course. Referring back to the chart, the paths to the far right give students more choices for their major without having to complete additional math courses. But, consulting with an advisor will ensure the appropriate path is chosen for each individual student.

What if I change major?

Students who change their major in such a way that a different path is required should consult with an advisor before enrolling in any additional math courses. In general, MTHD 104 will substitute for MTHD 106, but the reverse is not the case.

What is the EWU Math Proficiency requirement?

Math proficiency is a general university graduation requirement implemented to ensure that all EWU graduates have acquired a minimum level of quantitative skills that allows them to be successful in the workforce regardless of the chosen program of study. It can be satisfied through Math Placement (score of 76 or higher) or by completion of one of five college math courses: MATH 107, 121, 141, 200 or 208.

Can I count courses from high school toward meeting the EWU Math Proficiency requirement?

High school mathematics courses are not counted towards meeting the mathematics proficiency requirement unless approved as College in High School courses.

Can I count a course from another institution toward meeting the EWU Math Proficiency requirement?

A transferable course taken at another institution may count towards the Mathematics Proficiency requirement or as a prerequisite course. Consult the EWU transfer guide or a Records and Registration credentials evaluator for more information.

Math 142 and Math 161 Enrollment Exception Policy

Any student who wishes to enroll in Math 161:

1. Places into Math 141 or Math 142, according to the MPA
and
2. Has earned an A or B (3.0 or better) in both semesters of a high school pre-calculus course, or has earned an A, B, or C (2.0 or better) in a high school calculus course may enroll in Math 161, Calculus I. If Calculus I is not attempted within one year of high school graduation, the student will be required to enroll in a course based on his/her MPA score. If the student attempts Calculus I, but does not complete the course with a C or better, the student will be required to enroll in a course based on the MPA score.

Any student who wishes to enroll in Math 142:

1. Places into Math 141 according to the MPA
and
2. Has earned an A or B (3.0 or better) in the first semester of a high school pre-calculus course, may enroll in Math 142, Pre-Calculus II. If Math 142 is not attempted within one year of high school graduation, the student will be required to enroll in a course based on his/her MPA score. If the student attempts Pre-Calculus II, but does not complete the course with a C or better, the student will be required to enroll in a course based on the MPA score.

If you qualify for this policy, contact the Mathematics Department at 509.359.6225, with proof of your high school grade(s) to request permission to enroll in the appropriate math course.

Math Placement for Freshmen

Do You Qualify for a Math Placement Assessment Exemption?

New students at EWU are strongly encouraged to take the math placement assessment. It is the most accurate way to make sure you take classes appropriate for your abilities. However, if you meet at least one of the following criteria, you may opt out of the assessment:

  • A College-Level Math Course: Your official transcript indicates a minimum grade of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale (or C or higher) in a math course equivalent to an EWU math course taken at a post-secondary institution. For more information, see the Transfer Guide.
  • 3 or Better on the AP Calculus or AP Statistics Test: You have officially reported to EWU a minimum score of 3 on the College Board Advanced Placement Test for AB or BC Calculus and/or Statistics. Visit the Transfer Credit page for more information.
  • CLEP Scores in Math: You have officially reported to EWU a qualifying CLEP Math Course score. Visit the Transfer Credit page for more information.
  • Register for MTHD 103. You plan to enroll in MTHD 103, Basic Algebra for College Students.

If you think you have an exemption from the math placement assessment, make sure you discuss this with your advisor during orientation.


Math Placement Without an Exemption

Work with your academic advisor to identify the correct math course to take. You’ll take a math placement assessment using online software (ALEKS) to determine which course matches your skill level.

Frequently Asked Questions

We recommend you take the math placement assessment. It’s how we make sure you aren’t put in a math class that is too hard or too easy. However, you can opt out of the assessment if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • A College Level Math Course. A student’s official transcript indicates a minimum grade of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale in Intermediate Algebra or higher-level math course from a post-secondary institution. Refer to the Transfer Guide for more information;
  • 3 or Better on AP Calculus or AP Statistics. A student has officially reported to EWU a minimum score of 3 on the College Board Advanced Placement Test for AB or BC Calculus and/or Statistics. Visit the Transfer Credit page for more information;
  • CLEP Scores in Math. A student has officially reported to EWU a qualifying CLEP Math Course score. Visit the Transfer Credit page for more information;
  • Register for MTHD 103. A student plans to enroll in a pre-university basic skills math course, such as MTHD 103.

Note:  Students with a testing exception may be required to take the math placement assessment when an appropriate score is required to fulfill their “Lack of Course Prerequisite Hold” for registration in a specific course.

You can take the assessment up to four times: twice during the Summer/Fall registration session and twice during the Winter/Spring registration session.

If you would like to retake the placement assessment, you must work for an additional 10 hours in the Learning and Prep Module within the six months you have access to it. If your six months expires, you will need to pay the $42 fee again. So, if you think you may need to take the placement assessment twice, you should take the first assessment at least a week before your access has expired to ensure you have enough time to complete your additional hours.

Once you have completed all of your hours, you may show up for any available proctoring session. You will be given the password to retake the assessment when you arrive.

No. Once the assessment session is over, you will have to purchase a new assessment package. The work done in the previous package will not count towards time spent in the new one.

If you score lower on the second placement assessment, we will use the higher of the two scores.

ALEKS is an adaptive assessment tool. Generally, assessments are 30 questions and take 90 minutes. However, students may be done before or after that. You will have three hours to complete the assessment.

Yes, you may bring your own scientific calculator for use on the proctored exam.  Graphing calculators are not allowed.  If you do not have a calculator, we will provide one.

No. Working in the Prep and Learning Module will help prepare you for the placement assessments, but it does not count towards actual placement.

Typically, you should expect about a 1-point gain for every two hours’ worth of work in the prep and learning module. For example, if you assess at 35, you should expect to spend 12 hours to receive a 41. However, your individual needs may require more time in the prep module.

Currently, we require that students work a minimum of three hours in the Prep and Learning Module before they are allowed to take the proctored assessment. The strength of this placement program is in a student’s mastery work following the initial assessment, students should plan to take advantage of the Prep and Learning Module to fully prepare for the placement assessment.  (Research shows that even 5 hours spent in the learning module can improve a student’s placement one entire class.)

ALEKS gives frequent assessments to gauge how much of the material the student has mastered over the course of the learning and prep module. These assessments do not count towards your placement, but they track your progress in the learning and prep module.

Please refer to Academic Advising for more information on your degree requirements.

ALEKS should run in any browser with java enabled, and the ALEKS plug-in should install automatically.

For more information visit the ALEKS Technical Support page.

Your score will be available the following day after completion of your proctored assessment.

No. No other scores are valid for registration at EWU. You will be required to take the ALEKS placement assessment.

If you are receiving an unauthorized user message when trying to log into ALEKS, this means that you have not paid for the math placement assessment for the current assessment session. If you think that you have received this message in error, please contact the placement administrator or math department.

If you don’t see your question listed here, please reach out to the Math Department directly:

Becky Sommers
E: bsommers@ewu.edu
P: 509.359.2876