Loyola University Chicago


What to Expect

General Instructions for Taking the MPA

If your ACT and/or SAT scores do not place you into the math course you want or need (See luc.edu/math/placement What ACT, SAT and/or math placement scores do I need for which course?), take the MPA.

You will need:

  • Pencil/pen and paper (to work out answers).
  • Your LUC user name and password.
  • Approximately 90 minutes to complete the assessment (this time will vary for each student) in a setting in which you can concentrate.

Tips for a successful MPA:

  • Do NOT use textbooks or online resources.
  • Do NOT use any calculator other than the one provided by ALEKS on specific questions.
  • Generally students complete the MPA in 90 minutes. 
  • At the beginning of the ALEKS assessment, you will go through a brief tutorial that will introduce you to the ALEKS system and interface. You will be shown how to enter different types of answers, how to use the ALEKS calculator, and how to graph something by hand.
  • Do your best to answer each question correctly. This is an adaptive assessment. The correctness of each question determines the difficulty of the next question.
  • Enter your answers carefully. Once you submit your response to a question, you cannot return to that question.
  • Select "I Don't Know" if you have no idea how to work a problem.
  • Use a computer with a wired connection to the Internet to minimize connection issues.
  • If your computer locks up or freezes during the middle of the assessment, try hitting the "Refresh" button on your browser. If that does not work, close your browser and log back in. The work you have already submitted is saved, and the MPA will pick up at the point you left off.
  • When you complete the MPA, you will see a screen with a pie chart and the % score (% Mastery) that you earned on the ALEKS Assessment.

If you need to improve your score to register for the course you want, you should use the Learning Modules that were generated by this first MPA.  The more diligently you use them, the more your mathematical knowledge will increase and the higher your next assessment should be.