Loyola University Chicago


MPA Instructions

Below are the instructions for taking the Math Placement Assessment (MPA). These instructions are very detailed, so please read it completely and thoroughly.  

Please read these instructions completely and thoroughly.

Loyola University Chicago takes academic integrity very seriously and investigates all allegations of academic dishonesty. Integrity is a character-driven commitment to honesty, doing what is right, and guiding others to do what is right. Loyola University Chicago students and faculty are expected to act with integrity in their educational pursuits. Cheating on an academic evaluation or assignment is a violation of the academic integrity policy. Using a hand-held or online calculator on the math placement assessment is cheating. If you are found to be in violation of the academic integrity policy, academic sanctions will be imposed. For more information, please refer to the academic integrity policy found here: https://www.luc.edu/academics/catalog/undergrad/reg_academicintegrity.shtml 

  • Items needed to take the assessment and Quick Tips:
    Pencil/pen and paper (to work out answers). Students may not use calculators or have any assistance of any kind except pencil and paper while taking the MPA.
  • Your LUC user name and password.
  • A photo ID. Cover up any sensitive personal information (date of birth, etc.)
  • Computer with a webcam (You may wish to check the LockDown browser and Respondus Monitor set-up prior to the MPA. See https://www.aleks.com/support/lockdown_test for instructions.)
  • The MPA is expected to take 1.5 hours (or less), but all students will be provided 3 hours under the principle of universal design.
  • The Password for the MPA is CREATE2024.

Accessing the assessment:

  • Log into LOCUS (locus.luc.edu). Within the LOCUS Student Homepage, select Student External System (the bottom-right option).
  • In the navigation menu to the left, select ALEKS (the second option).
  • Make sure “I want to use a webcam (Respondus Monitor).” is selected. Then click Continue.

After the first MPA

You are able to take the MPA as many times as you want in order to get the placement you need. After five assessments, students pay $15 for every batch of an additional five assessments and six months of access to Learning Modules, which expire no later than January 31 of each year. For each term access to the MPA ends at 5 pm on the “Last day to add and swap class” as determined by the university calendar. See https://www.luc.edu/academics/schedules/index.shtml

After the third and fourth MPA, you must spend at least three (3) hours in the Learning Modules prior to taking the next assessment.

Is there a practice MPA? How do I prepare for the MPA?

Since students can take the MPA as often as they wish, they can consider every assessment practice for the next assessment. Only the highest score counts for placement. After the first MPA, Learning Modules are generated unique to each student, based on the student’s correct and incorrect answers. The Learning Modules are designed to focus students’ attention on what they are ready to learn and skip what the student already knows.

Technical issues:

The MPA requires the use of LockDown Browser and a webcam for Respondus Monitor. The LockDown Browser will prevent you from accessing other websites or applications; you will be unable to exit the test until all questions are completed and submitted.

You will be prompted to download and install the LockDown Browser. You will not be allowed to proceed with the MPA without loading the LockDown Browser. You MUST launch the LockDown Browser from the link provided within your ALEKS assessment. You can check your lockdown browser set-up by going to https://www.aleks.com/support/lockdown_test for instructions and support.

The webcam can be built into your computer or can be the type that plugs in with a USB cable. The webcam ensures that you take the exam without assistance of any kind except a pencil and blank paper.

System requirements for the LockDown browser and Respondus Monitor are found here: https://www.aleks.com/support/lockdown_system_requirements 

  • Web camera (internal or external) & microphone
  • A broadband internet connection, a wired connection is preferred.

Besides requiring a webcam and photo ID, Respondus Monitor will require you to do a/an:

  • Webcam Check
  • Environment Check
  • Facial Detection Check

You will be recorded while taking the MPA. Software will be used to record you, the student, taking the MPA. These recordings will be made available only to those administrators of the MPA or any group set up to review an appeal of academic misconduct.

Watch this short video to get a basic understanding of LockDown Browser and the webcam feature/Respondus Monitor: https://www.youtube.com/embed/XuX8WoeAycs?rel=0&autoplay=1  or https://web.respondus.com/student-help/  

Click on “Video: Overview of LockDown Browser”

When taking the MPA, please follow these guidelines:

  • Ensure you're in a location where you won't be interrupted
  • Turn off all other devices (e.g. tablets, phones, second computers) and place them outside of your reach
  • Close all programs on your computer except your browser that opens https://locus.luc.edu/
  • Clear your desk of all external materials — everything but blank paper, a pencil or pen, keyboard and mouse.
  • Make sure you have allotted at least 90 minutes to complete the MPA • Remain at your computer for the duration of the test
  • To produce a good webcam video, do the following:
    • Do not wear baseball caps or hats with brims
    • Ensure your computer is on a firm surface (a desk or table). Do NOT have the computer on your lap, a bed, or other surface where the device (or you) are likely to move
    • If using a built-in webcam, avoid tilting the screen after the webcam setup is complete
    • Take the exam in a well-lit room and avoid backlighting, such as sitting with your back to a window

If you need technical assistance with the MPA, please contact ALEKS Support at:  (https://mhedu.force.com/aleks/s/alekscontactsupport

If you have additional questions (not related to the technical support for the ALEKS system) regarding the MPA, please contact PlacementTest@luc.edu.

(Examples: no access to ALEKS in LOCUS, your SAT math score was higher, etc.) Technical support for the ALEKS system should be directed to ALEKS Support (https://mhedu.force.com/aleks/s/alekscontactsupport). (Examples: LockDown Browser is not working, ALEKS screen is blank, etc.) If your screen freezes, just reboot and log back in and you will be on the same question.