All St. Edward’s students are required to complete a quantitative reasoning course. These and other mathematics courses require satisfactory placement, which can be achieved through SAT/ACT subscores or the ALEKS placement test.
Incoming students will receive information about math placement through HillStart and New Student Orientation. The online Math Placement Tool can help you determine your placement information, based on your intended major, SAT/ACT subscores, and any prior college credit. If recommended or required, online access to the ALEKS placement test is provided through Hillstart, as part of New Student Orientation. Your official placement score will be determined by a proctored ALEKS placement test prior to (or during) New Student Orientation, but your access to the practice tests and learning modules begins much earlier, with your Hillstart access.
Steps for Math Placement:
- Use the online Math Placement Tool to determine what math class you will place into, and what math class(es) are required for your major.
- If you are satisfied with your placement, you are done. Otherwise,
- Take the ALEKS placement test as a practice test to see how it goes.
- Spend time using the included learning modules to improve your score.
- Take the proctored ALEKS placement test (remote proctoring requires webcam and LockDown Browser). This is the score that counts.
- If you spend 5+ hours in the learning modules to brush up on forgotten skills, you can unlock opportunities to retest.
Understand How Math Placement Works
The chart below shows the scores necessary to place into the various levels of introductory math courses. If you have taken multiple tests (ACT, SAT, ALEKS), the highest mathematics score among these is used for math placement.
Course Prerequisite Placement Scores
|Minimum SAT math subscore||Minimum ACT math subscore||
Minimum proctored ALEKS Score
Course you are permitted to take
MATH 0309 Basic Mathematics (does not satisfy quantitative reasoning requirement)
|520||19||46||MATH 1312 Quantitative Reasoning,
MATH 1314 College Algebra, or
MATH 1324 Math for Business
|570||23||61||MATH 2312 Precalculus|
|700||28||70||MATH 2413 Calculus I|
You will not be permitted to take a course that is above your readiness level (even if you are only one point away). If you want to place into a higher-level course, you may use ALEKS learning modules to improve your skills before taking the proctored assessment or a retake. You must qualify for a course before scheduling it.
What math courses are required for your degree plan?
|Intended Major||Likely courses|
All Humanities Majors: literature, languages, communication, journalism, graphic design, religious studies, philosophy, visual and performing arts.
All Behavioral and Social Science majors: psychology, sociology, criminology, criminal justice, history, environmental science and policy, global studies.
All Business majors, except economics: accounting, finance, business, international business, management, marketing, information technology, digital media management, interactive games management, interactive games studies, entrepreneurship, (economics requires calculus).
All Natural Sciences majors: biology, biochemistry, bioinformatics, chemistry, environmental chemistry, forensic chemistry, forensic science, math, math education, computer science, engineering, medical laboratory science. (computer information science requires precalculus)
Secondary Education (high school, junior high, middle school) majors in science or mathematics.
All students on a pre-health professions track, regardless of major.
How to Improve Your Placement
If your SAT/ACT scores aren't high enough to place into the math course that you want, then the proctored ALEKS assessment is the score that counts. You will score best on this proctored test if you log into ALEKS and take the test on your own for practice, and then use the provided learning modules to improve the skills that you were less successful with. The vast majority of students who use these learning modules improve their scores on each subsequent assessment, and 90% of students move up by at least one course. Students who spend at least 15 hours in a learning module show the most improvement in their scores. This may seem like "a lot of time" to spend on math review before you even get to college, but you can save both time toward your degree and tuition money, if you take a little time to prepare yourself to start in a higher math course!
To access the learning modules, return to the ALEKS Assessment through the link you were initially provided.
Deciding on Your First Math Class
Your placement score is used to help you start in the course where you have the best chance to succeed. Students who are not successful in their first math course are highly unlikely to persist in engineering and science majors. If you need calculus, starting where you place is the best path to success.
New first-year students will work with an academic adviser to identify appropriate math courses at New Student Orientation. Questions about course selection will be addressed then.
Transfer students and continuing students should contact their assigned adviser with questions.
What is ALEKS?
ALEKS is a powerful artificial-intelligence based assessment tool that zeros in on the strengths and weaknesses of a student’s mathematical knowledge, reports its findings to the student, and then provides the student with a learning environment for improving this knowledge to an appropriate level for course placement.
The ALEKS Math Assessment ensures students’ readiness for particular mathematics courses at St. Edward's University. Since these courses are demanding, it is important for students to begin in the course most likely to lead to success. Students will not be permitted to take a course unless they have demonstrated readiness. After completing the initial assessment, students who wish to improve their skills may use the included learning modules.
Who must take ALEKS?
If a student's degree plan requires Calculus or if a student has no SAT/ACT scores, he or she will be strongly recommended to take the ALEKS placement exam. Other students may elect to take the ALEKS placement exam if they would like to improve upon their SAT/ACT placement.
What does ALEKS cost?
A $30 placement fee will be billed to students who use ALEKS services with remote proctoring for math placement. This fee allows access to the included learning modules, an initial practice test, and a proctored test. Students who spend more time in the learning modules may unlock up to three additional proctored test opportunities at no additional charge. Access to the learning modules extends into the student's first semester, and may be used as a supplement to the first math course.
When do students take ALEKS?
New St. Edward's students will be given access to ALEKS within Hillstart, usually around April 1 for students beginning in the fall or November 1 for students beginning in the spring. After their initial proctored test, students may still work within the learning modules to attempt to place into a higher-level course, up until the end of the add-drop period (usually Friday of the first week of classes).
How long will the assessment take?
The assessment will ask up to 30 questions. You should plan to complete the practice test in one 2-3 hour sitting. If you do not complete the assessment in one sitting, you will have 48 hours to complete it before the assessment is reset. Proctored tests will be allotted 90 minutes.
The only purpose of the assessment is to give an accurate measure of your current mathematical skills so that you will have a better opportunity to be successful in your courses. There is no benefit to inflating or deflating your abilities on the assessment. Taking a class that is not appropriate for your current level of mathematical knowledge could delay your graduation. Therefore, while you are taking the assessment, do not consult any other source for help (friends, family, internet searches, textbooks, etc.), and do your honest best.
What you need
If recommended or required, online access to the ALEKS placement test is provided through Hillstart, as part of New Student Orientation.
Your SEU user id and password
A pencil and paper
A reliable internet connection
2-3 hours of time
A space conducive to doing your best work
(For remotely proctored attempts: a PC/Mac computer with working webcam and LockDown Browser software (free) installed.)
All other resources are provided by ALEKS
You should NOT use your own calculator. If one is needed to answer a question, ALEKS will provide one automatically for that question.
You should NOT use other resources such as textbooks, websites, or friends. Use of non-permitted resources may result in you being required to take a course for which you are not prepared.
What to expect
This is a free response assessment; there are no multiple choice questions. Before you take the assessment, ALEKS will present a short tutorial on how to enter answers, how to use the graphing utilities, and how to use the built in calculator that will be offered when appropriate. TAKE YOUR TIME WITH THIS TUTORIAL AND BE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND HOW THESE FEATURES WORK.
Dates and Deadlines
Access to ALEKS learning modules expires 6 months from the date of first access. Access to ALEKS assessments expires April 30 of the following year, provided the student has completed all necessary access in the learning modules. Course registration will not be adjusted based on assessments completed after the drop/add period.
Transfer Credit and Credit by Exam
Transfer Credit may be awarded for college-level math credits with an earned grade of C or better.
No student will be placed into a mathematics course on the basis of high school transcripts.
Credit by Exam equivalencies for APT (Advanced Placement) and CLEP (College-Level Examination Program) may be found here: https://www.stedwards.edu/credit-exam
Advanced Placement credit is awarded for MATH 2413 (Calculus I) for scores of 4,5 on the Calculus AB exam, and for scores of 3,4,5 on the Calculus BC exam. Additionally, credit for MATH 2414 (Calculus II) is awarded for scores of 4,5 on the Calculus BC exam. If incoming students are registering for classes while awaiting AP scores, it is advised to use the ACT/SAT scores or take the ALEKS placement exam in the meantime.
ALEKS is not a timed test. The assessment will ask up to 30 questions. You may take as long as you need to answer the questions in the practice test, as long as the assessment is completed within 48 hours of starting. Additional time for the proctored test (up to 3 hours) will be granted by special request at least 48 hours prior to the testing appointment.
If you need accommodations, please contact Student Disability Services Office at St. Edward’s University
Hours (Central Time): Monday – Friday, 8am – 5 pm
Campus Location: Moody Hall, Suite 155
Contact: SDS [at] stedwards.edu or (512) 448-8561
If you encounter an issue logging into Canvas or myHilltop, contact the SEU IT Support desk: support [at] stedwards.edu or 512-448-8443.
If you encounter a technical issue within ALEKS, contact ALEKS Higher Education Customer Support:
Hours (Eastern Time):
Sunday, 4:00pm to 1:00am
Monday – Thursday, 7:00am to 1:00am
Friday, 7:00am to 9:00pm
Telephone: (714) 619-7090
If you have general questions about math placement at St. Edward's University, send an email with your full name, ID number, and question to mathplacement [at] lists.stedwards.edu.