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Math Placement

Math placement at Washington State University Tri-Cities

WSU Math Placement through ALEKS
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WSU math placement through ALEKS

Washington State University Tri-Cities requires the WSU Math Placement Exam through ALEKS to assess a student’s prerequisite mathematical knowledge for course placement. ALEKS is a powerful artificial-intelligence based assessment tool that zeros in on the strengths and weaknesses of a student’s mathematical knowledge, reports its findings to the student, and then if necessary provides the student with a learning environment for bringing this knowledge up to an appropriate level for course placement.

The WSU Math Placement Exam through ALEKS is a fully automated, adaptive system that covers a broad spectrum of college algebra and pre-calculus material. The length of the assessment runs from 20-30 questions. The exact number of questions will vary due to the adaptive mechanism. You should plan on two hours to complete the exam.  You will only need paper and pencil to take the exam. ALEKS provides a calculator when necessary, so do not use your own.


With only a few exceptions, WSU undergraduate students are required to take the WSU Math Placement Assessment (MPA) to determine readiness for various courses. You will not be able to register for a WSU math course without either a math placement score, transfer credit for a prerequisite course, or AP Calculus credit. AP Calculus AB scores of 2 or above will be accepted for placement into Math 140, Math 151, Math 171, or Math 202. AP Calculus AB scores of 3-5 will be accepted for placement into Math 172. Scores from SAT, ACT, or the State of Washington intermediate or advanced math placement test cannot be used for placement at WSU.

Results and Re-assessment

After taking the assessment, your results will be updated on the morning of the next business day. You will then be able to register for the class into which you qualify. After the first assessment, all re-assessments must be proctored. You may retake the placement assessment up to four times. Before the first re-assessment, you are required to spend 3 hours in the Prep and Learning module and an additional 5 hours in the Prep and Learning module before the second re-assessment.

Online proctoring of re-assessment is available through ProctorU for an additional fee. The ProctorU fee is paid directly by the student to Proctor U. The fee is $25 if you schedule a re-assessment at least 72 hours in advance and $33.75 if you schedule less than 72 hours in advance.

You may schedule your online re-assessment at any time to be proctored on or after July 1, 2015. For more information about ProctorU, setting up a ProctorU account, or scheduling a proctoring session, please visit ProctorU.  Note that ProctorU calls the online re-assessment the “ALEKS Placement Re-Assessment.” To locate it quickly in ProctorU just type “ALEKS” into the “Exam” search field.

Re-Assessment Registration


Last Updated: September 10, 2015