Mathematics and Statistics Department - Placement and Developmental Courses

Please read this letter to incoming freshmen

If you took the Entry-Level Mathematics (ELM) Test, your score will place you into one of three math placement categories:

  • Eligible for General Education-level math courses
  • Require one semester of a developmental math course (Math 45)
  • Require two semesters of developmental math courses (Math 35 and Math 45)

Developmental math courses (also called remedial math courses) do not count toward degree progress, but they do require text books and count toward university and financial aid unit caps. You can save a substantial amount of time and money by reducing the number of, or eliminating the need to take, developmental math courses.

The SSU Mathematics and Statistics Department offers the ALEKS software package to students who wish to improve their math placement category determined by their ELM score or prior coursework. ALEKS is an online software package designed to assess a student’s math competency up to the level of Calculus I.

Interested students can take an initial self-assessment test online with ALEKS at no cost. After the initial assessment, ALEKS will recommend an online ALEKS course module based on the results of the initial assessment.

After taking the assessment, you will have the option to purchase the recommended ALEKS course module for $35 (fee waived if you received a CSU application fee waiver; see the fee waiver request form). If you have not already qualified for GE Math, you should choose either the "Prep for Int. Algebra" or "Prep for PreCalculus" module, to be placed into the correct content to prepare for re-taking the ELM. If you have already qualified for GE-level Math, you may wish to purchase the "Prep for Calculus" module, if you wish to take calculus this Fall.

Students who spend at least 25 hours on the ALEKS module are encouraged to retake the ELM on Saturday, August 22 (the Saturday before Fall classes begin) on campus. An improved score on the ELM can save you an entire semester of a developmental math class!

The best way to prepare for retaking the ELM is to invest significant time (at least 25 hours) in the online ALEKS course module and tutorial.

To get started and take your assessment, you may register for an ALEKS account at this ALEKS registration link. An SSU ID number is required for this registration. The registration process will provide each student with a unique login and password to ensure access to the ALEKS system.

Once registered, you are directed toward a brief tutorial of the system, and then you immediately begin an initial assessment. The results of the initial assessment are used to direct you to course modules and tutorials that are designed to help you practice skills that you need to strengthen.

There is lots of helpful information about the ELM, including practice questions and direct access to the ALEKS ELM Prep module, at the CSU Math Success web site. Click on "Exam Prep."

Before beginning the assessment, you should read the Frequently Asked Questions about math placement and ALEKS.