About the Math Diagnostic Test (ALEKS PPL)

  • Students who do not have AP credit or other course credit for Math 1, Math 3A, Math 31A, or Math 31AL
  • Students who are waiting for UCLA to receive their AP test scores or other course credit
  • Students who have AP credit or other course credit for any of these courses but wish to repeat course(s) at UCLA (please note that repeating the course means no grade or unit credit and a permanent transcript notation)

Each student who takes the diagnostic test through ALEKS PPL will be charged a $20 fee (non-refundable) upon logging in, which covers 12 months of access to the Prep and Learning Module.

Taking the diagnostic test does not grant additional credit or remove credit that is already awarded by UCLA Admission.

UCLA requires students to take a math diagnostic test (MDT) called ALEKS Placement, Preparation and Learning (ALEKS PPL) Assessment. The MDT determines the mathematics course in which you will have the greatest success. ALEKS PPL is a web-based program that uses artificial intelligence to map a student’s strengths and weaknesses. The assessment is up to 30 questions and generally takes 60-90 minutes to complete. After the assessment, an individualized Prep and Learning Module is available for students to refresh their knowledge on forgotten topics. Students then have the opportunity to reassess and improve their placement.

ALEKS consists of three parts:

  • An Initial Placement Assessment
  • The Prep and Learning Module, an individualized, self-paced online review
  • Access to 1 additional Placement Assessments

UCLA encourages each student to spend time in the Prep and Learning Module, even if the desired score is achieved, because time spent in ALEKS will ultimately lead to better preparation and improved grades.

During academic terms (fall, winter, spring), we close the MDT at the end of Week 2 and re-open it on Monday of Week 4.

After students finish their assessment, it takes about 24 hours for their score to sync with the enrollment system. Students should take the MDT at least 2 days before their enrollment pass is active.

The assessment will ask up to 20-30 questions. You should plan to complete the assessment in one 2-3 hour sitting, uninterrupted – you CANNOT pause or go in and out of the test.

You must work in your Learning Module for at least five hours in between placement assessments. There’s a 48 hour “cooling off” period after each placement assessment. You can work in your Learning Module during this time, but you cannot start a new placement assessment until the cooling off period has ended.