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Math Placement Services

During the first two weeks after arrival, all undergraduate students are placed at a particular level of mathematics, which may or may not involve taking a placement assessment or waiver exam in mathematics. This is because MIU has a general education requirement in mathematics and many majors have mathematical prerequisites or requirements.

Every new and readmit student is required to come to the Mathematics Placement Meeting that usually takes place in the first week after arrival on campus. At this meeting, you will learn how the mathematics requirements at MIU affect you, and establish whether you need to take a math placement assessment or not. Two weeks later you will take the actual proctored placement assessment, if required.

All undergraduate students must be placed before they can enroll for any course with a mathematics prerequisite.

If a student wishes to use his or her standing in a math placement assessment or waiver exam to satisfy the prerequisite for a course, that course must be taken within 18 months of the assessment. Otherwise, the assessment will need to be taken and passed at that level again.

Where does a placement assessment place you?

The online ALEKS Placement, Preparation, and Learning system (ALEKS PPL, for short) places you somewhere in the sequence:

  • MATH 051 Basic Mathematics
  • MATH 152 Elementary Algebra
  • MATH 153 Intermediate Algebra
  • MATH 161 Functions and Graphs 1
  • MATH 162 Functions and Graphs 2

For example, if you place out of Math 153 Intermediate Algebra, that means you are ready to take the course Math 161 Functions and Graphs 1 or any course that has the prerequisite Math 153 Intermediate Algebra. ALEKS PPL does more than just place you: it gives you a preliminary assessment online at home and on the basis of the results of that, it then gives you a module to study to try to place higher on the actual proctored assessment.

Optional in-house pencil-and-paper waiver exams  may place you out of Math 281 Calculus 1 or Math 282 Calculus 2 or Math286 Linear Algebra. These can only be attempted once on arrival at MIU.

Who has to take the math placement assessment and who doesn’t?

Not all students are required to take a placement assessment. Sometimes math placement can be determined by factors other than the assessment, for example, official AP Calculus results. See the section Guide to ALEKS PPL Math Placement for details.

For additional information, contact Dr. Debra Levitsky at dlevitsky@miu.edu or Dr. Anne Dow at adow@miu.edu with questions about your math placement.