Mathematics + Statistics Placement Advising

FAQs for Advisers about the Aleks Math Placement Test

How do I view a student’s score?

The easiest way to see a student’s score, if they’re there with you, is to have them log back into ALEKS or provide a printout.  If you’re familiar with the SOATEST tables in Banner, you can see the score range for a student based on the following codes:

Placement, Preparation, and Learning Test (PPL)
Banner Code Score Range Courses student is eligible to register for
MTH A 0-29 None (Attend Community College or Retake Test)
MTH B 20-29 MTH 070 at Portland Community College
MTH C 30-45 MTH 095 or below
MTH D 46-60 MTH 105, MTH 111, MTH 211, STAT 105, STAT 241, STAT 243, or below
MTH E 61-75 MTH 112 or below. CH 221
MTH F 76-100 MTH 251 or below. ECE 101, ECE 102, ECE 103 or below, ECE 171, PH 201, PH 231

Can a student challenge the placement test?

Students should see the Fariborz Maseeh Department of Mathematics and Statistics for information regarding challenge exams

What if a student becomes delayed in their program?

Mathematics and Statistics Placement could potentially delay a student in their program if they are not automatically placed into their program’s required course.  This may discourage some students, but it’s worth mentioning that we’re not trying to keep them out of their preferred course, but rather trying to help them succeed in that course; which may require some additional reviewing of certain mathematical topics. 

If a student just needs refreshing, they will have the opportunity to use the Learning Module in ALEKS and retake the test.  If they need more than a refresher, they should take the course they were placed into.

What if a student finishes the Learning Module, then retakes and passes the Placement Test, but all the sections in that course are now full?

This could happen, as the Mathematics and Statistics courses required by numerous majors (MTH251: Calculus I, STAT243: Intro to Probability and Statistics I, etc.) tend to fill up quickly, especially during fall term.  The Fariborz Maseeh Department of Mathematics and Statistics will do their best to ensure that there are an adequate number of sections available in the courses affected by placement.  As always, students can show up on the first day of class to see if there are any spots available.

If a student is enrolled in a course, then Banner will allow them to register for the subsequent course for the next term, even if they don’t receive a passing grade from the previous term.  How are we going to deal with these students?

The Placement Coordinator will print a report before every term to ensure all of the students registered have indeed met the prerequisite.  Those who do not will receive an email and if they are still in the course without having met the prerequisite by the beginning of week 2, then they will be manually dropped from the course.  You, as an adviser, will not have to do anything.

If a student is very close to the cutoff score, can they get an override?

Only the Fariborz Maseeh Department of Mathematics and Statistics can override the placement test, and will rarely do so. The student should use the Learning Module in ALEKS and retake the assessment to meet the cutoff score.

What if a student has completed the prerequisite for a course?

If a student has completed the prerequisite for a course within the last year, then they can automatically enroll in the subsequent course without taking a placement test.  However, if this course was taken somewhere besides PSU, it may take a while before the transfer credits appear in Banner, and the student will be blocked from registration.  If a student is blocked, but has completed the prerequisite within the last year, then they should follow the instructions on the Registration Help page.  Only the Department of Mathematics and Statistics may perform a prerequisite override for a Mathematics or Statistics course. 

If a student has completed the prerequisite for a course, but it was more than a year ago, then they need to take the placement test, as mathematical knowledge can change drastically after a year.  Banner cannot enforce a timeframe on a prerequisite, so the student will technically still be able to enroll in that course without the placement test, but completing the placement test will ensure adequate preparation for the course.

What if a student has additional questions?

For questions about the placement test, contact