Take the Math Diagnostic Test

Registering for an Account

  1. CLICK HERE. This link will automatically create an account for you. It will prompt you to Shibboleth (Duo Logon) where you can access the Math Diagnostic Test.
    • If you are not prompted to Duo Logon, try to open the link in an Incognito tab, clear your browser cookies, or use a web browser that is not Safari.
    • If you created an account in the past that is now in an expired cohort, we will have to contact ALEKS to reset your account. Please email ugrad[at]math.ucla.edu to with “Reset ALEKS MDT Account” in the subject header and your name and student ID number in the body. Note that resetting your account does not give you free access to the new cohort. If you already attempted the MDT in your previous cohort, you will have to pay for the new one. 
  2. Click on the option that requires you to pay for a class code.
    • Fee waivers may be available to UCLA students who entered from Fall 2020 and after. You may be eligible if your UC application was waived. If you think you are eligible, DO NOT pay for a class code. Please contact ugrad[at]math.ucla.edu with “Request MDT Fee Waiver” in the subject header and your name and student ID number in the body. Once we confirm your eligibility for a class code, we will respond with a fee waiver code.
      • Incoming Fall 2024 students: Our office is still waiting for a list of students who would be eligible for a fee waiver. If your UC Application was waived, please wait until May 1st to email out office for an MDT fee waiver.
  3. If ALEKS asks for your institution, type “Univ of Calif Los Angeles” in the search bar.
  4. Complete your payment and registration.
  1. Register for an account on ALEKS (www.aleks.com). CLICK HERE for detailed instructions on how to register.
  2. Email ugrad[at]math.ucla.edu for the 10-character class code.
  3. Once you receive the code, go to ALEKS to apply the code and your a payment. You will also need your UID.

Taking the Math Diagnostic Test (MDT)

  • Log into the ALEKS site with your MyUCLA logon ID and password.
  • Before beginning the test, ALEKS will walk you through a tutorial on how to use the embedded tools to calculate and input your answers.
  • Once you start the test, you will have 2 hours to answer 20-30 questions (See Topics Covered)
    • The test cannot be paused. If the test is not completed in this time, no score will be recorded and ALEKS will provide a new test. 
    • There is no preparation module available before the test begins.

Interpreting Your Score

After completing the initial test, you will receive a report of your topic mastery and your score.
Score Placement
80% + Math 31A / Math 3A
60% – 80% Math 31AL
30% + Math 1
What’s the difference between Math 31A and 31AL?
Math 31A and 31AL cover the same topics, except Math 31AL has an additional hour each week for students to go over precalculus material. Math 31AL is intended for students who score high on the “Math 1” spectrum but low on the “Math 31A” spectrum. Both courses allow students to move forward with Math 31B if they receive an acceptable grade. Students who need Math 31A for their major are allowed to take Math 31AL instead.

Retaking the Diagnostic Test (If Necessary)

  • If you are not satisfied with your score, you can access a second or third attempt after spending 5 hours in the Prep and Learning Module and 48 hours after the previous test was completed.
    • The Learning Module is only accessible to students who have attempted the MDT one or two times. It is not accessible as a preparation tool before the first attempt.
  • The score from latest attempt is used for your placement. We will not use scores from your previous attempt(s) if you prefer them over your second or third scores.
  • Your access expires 1 year after you register and pay for for the MDT. Please complete the MDT and necessary repeats before your access expires.

Enrolling into a Mathematics Class

If your enrollment pass is active, you can self-enroll into the appropriate math class 24 hours after receiving your score. Math advisors will not enroll students as an alternative to waiting for scores to be synced.

    Math Diagnostic Test FAQ

    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.

    We recommend that the following students take the MDT at least 4 weeks before their New Student Session:

    • 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 and do not know how their AP test scores will transfer in
    • Students who have AP credit or other course credit for Math 1, 3A, 31A, or 31AL but wish to repeat them at UCLA. Please note that repeating the course means no grade or unit credit and a permanent transcript notation.

    The MDT is only a placement test. Scores from the MDT do not grant additional credit or remove credit that is already awarded by UCLA Admission. Scores from the MDT do not waive students out of a math course.

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

    Newly-admitted studentsUCLA Admission has to first process your transcript before advisors can give concrete recommendations on whether or not you need to take the MDT. Transcripts are typically not processed until 1-3 weeks before your New Student Session. After UCLA Admission processes your transcript, if you disagree with the credit given or not given, then you can petition with us by emailing ugrad[at]math.ucla.edu.

    If you plan skip the MDT before attending your New Student Session, it would be at your own risk and you may not be eligible to enroll into Math 1, 3A, 31A, or 31AL during your enrollment window.

    We do not waive the MDT based on the reasons below:

    • I received a 4 or below on the AP Calculus AB exam
    • I received a 3 or below on the AP Calculus BC exam.
    • I received a 5 or below on my IB Mathematics Analysis and Approaches HL exam.
    • I took these courses in high school but did not take any AP or IB exams.
    • I took these courses in high school via dual enrollment. I did not take any AP or IB exams, and my course did not transfer in as a college course equivalent to Math 1.

    Students should take the MDT at least 2 weeks before their enrollment pass is active in case there are technical errors they would need to resolve with the Mathematics Student Services Office or ALEKS.

    Although we do not recommend it, students can take the MDT 2 days before their enrollment pass is active because it takes about 24 hours for the MDT score to sync with the enrollment system.

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

    The enrollment system syncs with ALEKS scores overnight. 

    Students should take the MDT at least 2 weeks before their enrollment pass is active in case there are technical errors they would need to resolve with the Mathematics Student Services Office or ALEKS.

    Although we do not recommend it, students can take the MDT 2 days before their enrollment pass is active because it takes about 24 hours for the MDT score to sync with the enrollment system.

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

    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.