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Math Placement Assessment

Math Placement Assessment at Loyola

Math courses at LUC are rigorous and professors expect that students placed in the course are capable of meeting the demands of the material. Since students are admitted with a wide variety of strengths and backgrounds in mathematics and from a wide variety of high schools, these expectations may differ from students’ experiences in high school math courses.  Furthermore, students might be unaware that they may struggle in collegiate math courses.

Therefore, to better ensure student success in math, Loyola University Chicago has adopted a math placement assessment, known as ALEKS, which is required of students enrolling in calculus-track math courses. Students intending to enroll in Core Quantitative Analysis courses do not need to take ALEKS.

For more information, refer to the information below and on the accompanying web pages to the left.

Frequently Asked Questions

ALEKS is a computerized assessment and learning system.  It is critical for success in mathematics that you enroll in a course for which you have the necessary preparation and background knowledge and which leads to the math courses required for your particular major.  Students who need to take ALEKS will have five (5) opportunities to take an assessment, along with six (6) months of access to individualized learning modules to learn (or relearn) material to improve your score.  Your best ALEKS score will indicate the course you are eligible to take. However, you may enroll in a lower level math course after talking with your advisor.

ALEKS assesses eleven major math topics.

1. Whole Numbers, Fractions, and Decimals

2. Percents, Proportions, and Geometry

3. Signed Numbers, Linear Equations and Inequalities

4. Lines and Systems of Linear Equations

5. Relations and Functions

6. Integer Exponents and Factoring

7. Quadratic and Polynomial Functions

8. Rational Expressions and Functions

9. Radicals and Rational Exponents

10. Exponentials and Logarithms

11. Trigonometry

 See a complete detailed list here.

Only students who have a link to ALEKS in LOCUS need to take ALEKS. Specifically, all students without the appropriate college-level credit who are enrolling in MATH 100, 117, 118, 131 or MATH 161 (Calculus or Calculus-track math courses) must complete the ALEKS placement assessment. The majors that need to take these math courses are listed here.

To enroll in MATH 100, 117, 118, 131, or 161, you must either:

  • Have successfully completed (C- or above) the prerequisite course or higher, or
  • Place at the necessary level on the ALEKS Placement Test within the last year.

(The “within the last year” rule exists because people forget math much like people forget a language if they stop using it.  Your placement is based on your current math knowledge.)

It is also strongly recommended that all transfer students who have appropriate transfer credit take the assessment if they need additional math courses. If the score on the assessment indicates a lack of preparedness for the course, the student should apply themselves to mastering the topics in the ALEKS Learning Module and take the reassessments until they have the appropriate score.

Each student is entitled to one free ALEKS assessment bundle (which includes five (5) assessments and a six (6) month access to a Learning Module). If further assessment bundles are required, the cost of $25 will be paid by the student.

  • Students entering in the Fall must complete the ALEKS assessment AFTER May 1 and BEFORE attending New Student Orientation. Please see required deadlines by clicking here.  Students may more fully benefit from the Learning Modules with additional time.  That is, you should take your first ALEKS assessment and begin using the Learning Modules as soon as possible.
  • Current Loyola students who need to register for MATH 100, 117, 118,131 or 161 must complete the ALEKS assessment prior to being advised.
  • We recommend taking your test as soon as possible before orientation; otherwise you may not be able to enroll in certain courses.

New students should contact Undergraduate Admissions prior to May 1. After May 1, you may contact the HUB to confirm your new major requires ALEKS placement, and request access to the assessment.

  • E-mail: placementtest@luc.edu
  • By phone: 773.508.7700
  • In person: Sullivan Center for Student Services, 6339 N. Sheridan Road, Chicago, IL 60660.

If you are registering prior to the date when the AP results are known, and you are planning on pursuing a major that requires one or more of the above math courses, you must take ALEKS prior to registration. Click here to see the scores that qualify for credit.

No. Loyola's math placement is specifically designed to place students into a Loyola University Chicago math course, or appropriate course requiring math pre-requisites.

Possibly. Some courses require certain levels of math before you can take them. To find the prerequisites for a course, use the class search or course catalog features in LOCUS (if you don’t have a login, you can sign in as a guest) and look at the course descriptions.

Contact an academic advisor.  Your advisor will be listed in LOCUS on your Student Center. 

New first year students should contact First and Second Year Advising.

Transfer, junior, or senior students should contact their College or School advisors. 

Online: http://www.luc.edu/advising/schools.shtml

The ALEKS assessment must be completed within 48 hours after you log into the assessment.  That allows you to log off and log back in at the same question.  Placement assessments require approximately 90 minutes to complete, but the amount of time will vary by student. There will be a maximum of 30 questions. After 48 hours an unfinished assessment will timeout and all your answers on that attempt are lost.  An unfinished assessment will not count as an assessment and does not count against you.  You can immediately begin a new assessment.

Your ALEKS score is valid only for one year prior to enrollment in a math course.  If you take the ALEKS assessment, you need to enroll in math class within one year of your highest placement score.  LUC pays for the first ALEKS bundle: 5 assessments and a six month access to your individualized learning module.  If you do not enroll in a math class within twelve (12) months of your highest assessment, you will have to pay $25 online in order to receive a second bundle composed of five assessments and a six-month learning module.  Again, the assessment score would be valid for twelve months.

Students receive the ALEKS assessment bundle free for use during one twelve month span of time running from May 1 to April 30 of the next year. If more than twelve (12) months pass since the successful completion of a prerequisite math course or since the ALEKS assessment score, there is a $25 fee to access the ALEKS assessment bundle again.

Students take the ALEKS assessment from home by logging into the luc.edu/LOCUS.

  • Please enter your LUC UVID (username) and your password.
  • The UVID corresponds to the letters appearing before "@luc.edu" in your Loyola University Chicago email address.
  • After logging into LOCUS,
  • New Students Entering in the Fall: Look within the Next Stop portlet (example below).  You will see the link to ALEKS there.

  • All Eligible Students: Look in the Enterprise Menu (example below). Click on Academics.  You will see the link to ALEKS there.


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