Getting Into Your Math Class

Starting in the right math class is important. Success in a math class depends heavily on how prepared you are for the content in that class. Students who take a class for which they are underprepared are unlikely to succeed.  Overprepared students often end up complacent and bored in their class.  Either way, this costs time and money in a class that wasn't needed.

The best thing to do is make sure that you are taking the class for which you are ready. Here at UVU, we use several methods to find the right class for you. Each of the following methods can be used to determine the class you are best prepared for.

Math lab

Previous Math Classes

Completing a previous math class will allow you to register for the next math class in the sequence. Please pay attention to the sequences, as you are not expected to go through all classes in numerical order.

Previous courses expire as a prerequisite after two years. If your most recent math class is more than two years ago, you may be eligible to participate in a Math Refresher Workshop.

Math Placement Testing

If you don't have a prerequisite course, you can test into a math course instead.  UVU has multiple testing options for placing students. 


ALEKS PPL is a web-based learning system that is used by millions of students every year, which assesses readiness for courses ranging from basic arithmetic up to Calculus. Based on the assessment results, ALEKS creates an individualized study plan (called a Prep and Learning Module, or "PLM") to help you refresh what you've forgotten. After reviewing, the assessment can be retaken up to four times to allow you to improve your math placement.  (One of these must be proctored for official math placement.)

After completing your first placement test, ALEKS will recommend a PLM for you. This PLM will provide you with instruction and practice on the topics you are best prepared for. The best way to improve your placement score is spending time in your assigned PLM.

Sometimes, you may find that the explanation provided in ALEKS is not sufficient to help you understand material. We have additional resources for you! You can visit our Math Lab (LA201) to receive help from our tutors. We also offer three-week workshops and a one-credit hour class that will provide access to a Math Faculty member that you can ask your questions to. You don't have to work through ALEKS alone!

The ALEKS program provides access through the end of a calendar year. This means that if you start in January, you will have access for the entire year, but if you start in November, you will only have access for a little more than a month. Placement tests may still be taken through the middle of January of the following calendar year to allow for placement into a math class in Spring Semester. If you purchase access in October, November, or December of the previous year and would like to continue working in ALEKS, or if your previous access to ALEKS has expired, please contact Jon Anderson at for information on how to renew your access.

ALEKS Placement

For official placement, one ALEKS exam must be proctored (witnessed by an authorized person) to count towards math placement. If you live in the Utah County area, you can schedule an appointment at the UVU Testing Center. When you have your appointment go to UVU Testing Services on the scheduled day, and time and bring a photo ID.  Plan on spending about an hour and a half on the test. Proctored tests have a two and a half hour time limit, but most students finish well before that time period ends.

Online placement options are also available for those unable to take the test in person. At the present time, you can schedule an online exam with the testing center. UVU is currently working with Examity, a leader in remote proctoring, to provide students with a seamless online proctoring opportunity.

The placement exam is thirty questions long and covers material from basic arithmetic through trigonometry. While taking the test, you will be given the chance to show what you know. The artificial intelligence built in to the system will continue to give you a variety of problems to determine what you already know.  If the test gives you a question that covers content you haven't seen or aren't familiar with, do not be afraid to use the "I don't know" button to skip the question -- this is normal!

You will only be allowed to use scratch paper, a pen/pencil, and the ALEKS program while taking a proctored exam. ALEKS has an on-screen calculator for problems where using a calculator is appropriate.  You should not use your own.  External calculators won't be allowed on the proctored test.

You may attempt a total of five placement exams, proctored or unproctored.  Between exams, you will need to work in the ALEKS program for three hours and wait 24 hours from your previous attempt. You do not need to use all of your placement exams. Only the highest proctored placement exam score will count.

The first three attempts on the placement exam can be taken unproctored as practice exams. Unproctored exams are used to inform you of where you currently are but are not counted in the UVU system for placement purposes. You should treat these exams as proctored exams to feel confident in your score. The final two attempts must be taken as proctored exams.

Please note that ALEKS placement scores are for placement credit only and can not be used to gain credit for classes. However, scoring well in ALEKS could mean that you are able to skip lower-level courses and place directly in to higher-level courses. Just like prerequisites, ALEKS placement scores also expire after two years.

ALEKS Scores

The ALEKS score indicates the level of mathematics in which you are most likely to be successful given what you currently remember about math. 

Your ALEKS score shows what course(s) you would be eligible to register for after taking the placement test. Below is a chart showing which course(s) corresponds to your score.

Check with your academic advisor for the correct Math placement class for your degree program.


MAT 1035, STAT 1045, and MATH 1055 are new courses that cover the same content as MAT 1030, STAT 1040, and MATH 1050 with additional topics integrated into the curriculum so you can get into the course with a lower ALEKS score.

Note: MAT 1030/1035 is not a prerequisite for STAT 1040/1045 or MATH 1050/1055.  STAT 1040/1045 is not a prerequisite for MATH 1050/1055.

ALEKS placement scores expire two years from the date on which the assessment was taken.

ALEKS PPL Score Corresponding UVU Course(s)

Score Course(s)
0+ MAT 0950
19+ MAT 1000, MAT 1035
30+ MAT 1010, STAT 1045
38+ MATH 1055, MATH 2000
42+ MAT 1030
46+ STAT 1040, MATH 1050, MATH 1090
53+ MGMT 2240
61+ MATH 1060, MATH 1100, MATH 2010, STAT 2040
76+ MATH 1210


If you took the ACT after 2016 and your ACT Math subscore is a 26 or higher, or if you took the SAT after 2016 and your Math subscore was 660 or higher, you may have already met your GE requirement. Check with your academic advisor to determine if you need any additional math courses. 

If your ACT was taken within the past two years, then you may be able to place into your math class directly based on your ACT Math subscore. If you took the SAT within the past two years, please check with first year advising to determine if you can use your SAT scores for math placement.

ACT and SAT scores older than two years cannot be used for placement.

ACT SAT Course(s)
17 510 MAT 1000, MAT 1035
19 530 MAT 1010, STAT 1045
21 550 MATH 1055, MATH 2000
21 570 MAT 1030
23 570 STAT 1040, MATH 1050, MATH 1080, MATH 1090
25 600 MATH 1060
25 610 MATH 1100, STAT 2040
28 650 MATH 1210

Statement About Prerequisites

Math skills are not like riding a bicycle - you won't always remember what you've done before. In addition, math content builds on itself. As you proceed farther in the math curriculum, you will find that you will need to rely on skills that were taught in previous courses. Skills that are not used regularly often decay over time. This is why placement prerequisites expire. We want to make sure that you take your math classes in a timely manner so that you can continue to build the skills that you need to be successful.

Courses that are taken expire for placement purposes after two years. However, if you have valid placement that has expired, you may be eligible for a Math Refresher Workshop. As an alternative, you can use ALEKS PPL through a Math Leap Workshop, Math 100R, or self study to improve your scores before taking a test for placement.

Math Refresher Workshops

Math Refresher Workshops at Utah Valley University are for students who have stepped away from mathematics for two or more years. These workshops are intended for students who have taken previous math classes but did not sign up for the next math class before their prerequisite expired. Math Refresher Workshop completion, together with a C or better in the prerequisite course, will meet the prerequisite, allowing students to register for their next math class in the following semester.

Students are allowed to take the Math Refresher Workshop one time only to replace an expired math placement. To see if you are eligible for a Math Refresher Workshop, please review the following information, based on the class you wish to refresh your placement for: