Mathematical Sciences

Course Placement

Montana Tech can use several different methods to place you in an appropriate math course

  • ACT, SAT, or AP/IB test score
  • Transfer credits from another college or university
  • Score from an accepted placement test (Placement Exam, College Success, or ALEKS PPL)

Our goal in making placement decisions is to place you in a mathematics course that you have the best chance of successfully completing.  We use our student data to develop placement guidelines that ensure that you will have an excellent chance of passing the math course in which you are placed.  For this reason, we do not override placement decisions.

FAQ about mathematics placement decisions

 

Because Montana Tech uses several different placement methods, you might not have to take a placement test when you enroll. 

 

Our goal is to place you into the highest level of mathematics course possible.  For example, suppose you apply to Montana Tech and you have an SAT score that places you into College Algebra and you have credit for precalculus from a Dual Credit math course that would place you into Calculus 1.  We would use the higher of those two placements.  So, your advisor would enroll you into Calculus 1.

 

There are a couple of reasons that you may have to take a course both in high school and in college.  Math content in high school courses typically isn’t standardized.  This means that high school teachers can teach a course called “Algebra” different ways.  Some teachers might include some topics while others do not.  It might be that your high school covered different topics than the ones we cover here at Montana Tech.  Unless you are taking a course that is standardized like AP or IB courses, we can’t be sure that all of the content in our course was also covered in the course you took in high school.  Some students take additional math courses in high school after taking the ACT/SAT. Those scores may not reflect all of the things you learned in that additional year of mathematics.

 

Yes.  If you think you have not been placed appropriately you can challenge your placement by registering for one of our placement tests (ALEKS PPL or College Success).  To determine which option is best for you, check with your advisor.

FAQ about placement exams

 

Montana Tech administers College Success and ALEKS PPL for math placement. 

 

If you are trying to place into either precalculus or calculus, you will need to take ALEKS PPL.  If you are trying to place into an entry level college math, you can take either College Success or ALEKS PPL. 

 

ALEKS PPL allows you to retake the placement test up to four times and to review between tests.  The College Success placement can be taken again after two weeks.

 

College Success study materials for the math and writing exam can be found here can be found here.  ALEKS will do an initial placement test.  Then you will have an opportunity to use the study materials in ALEKS to study before retaking the placement test.

FAQ College Success placement test

 
Montana Tech currently covers the cost of placement testing for incoming students. 
 

If you are trying to place into either precalculus or calculus, you will need to take ALEKS PPL.  If you are trying to place into an entry level college math, you can take either College Success or ALEKS PPL. 

In-person College Success exams are proctored at Montana Techs Highlands College Campus. Register here for an in-person exam.

 

Once you have completed College Success your scores will be sent to Montana Tech. If you plan to re-take the placement exam you will want to notify your advisor.

 

You need to notify your advisor by July 15th to change your placement for the fall semester, by December 15th for the spring semester, and by April 15th for the summer terms.

FAQ ALEKS PPL

 

When you register for ALEKS PPL, you take an initial placement test that is no more than 30 questions.  The system will use this to give you an initial placement decision and to identify content that you may want to review.  After 48 hours and at least 3 hours reviewing, you may retake the placement test.  We recommend spending at least 5 hours reviewing between placement tests.  You can repeat this process of reviewing and then retesting up to 4 times.  ALEKS PPL is available to you from March in the year you register to March the following year.

 

If you are trying to place into either precalculus or calculus, you will need to take ALEKS PPL.  If you are trying to place into an entry level college math, you can take either College Success or ALEKS PPL. 

If you are taking the ALEKS placement tests remotely, you will be using Respondus Monitor and a Lockdown Browser to ensure test security.  You must take the test on a PC, Mac, or iPad.  Information on how to download lockdown browser is available here https://www.aleks.com/support/lockdown_system_requirements

 
Montana Tech currently covers the cost of placement testing for all incoming students.
 

You will need your student ID and your Montana Tech email before you can register for ALEKS.  You will also need the Class code J9VUL-MR9DW.

 

You will go to https://www.aleks.com/ and choose “Sign Up” from the menu at the top right.  You will enter the Class code ULQXR-K9LERYou will select “No I have never used ALEKS before.” On the next page, you will enter your name, your Montana Tech ID, and your Montana Tech email address in order to create an account.  Once your account is created, you will then pay for an access code using a credit card.

 

Since you can take the placement test multiple times, you will need to email your advisor to let them know that you are finished taking placement tests.  Please make sure to email your advisor by July 14th to revise your placement for your fall math course, by December 14th to revise your placement for your spring math course, and by April 14th to revise your placement for your summer math course.

 

You need to notify your advisor by July 15th to change your placement for the fall semester, by December 15th for the spring semester, and by April 15th for the summer terms.