Information for Incoming First Year Students
Math Placement Information for First Year Students - Please Read Before Taking the PPL Assessment
Everything you need to know about Math Placement for incoming main campus first year students is on this page or in this video. Please read this page before emailing or calling the Math Department. Email is the preferred form of contact so students can get information in writing. We offer advising at orientation and are happy to talk to any student at that time. Students who have any college math credits must see a math advisor at orientation. We will figure out how the credit fits into your UA requirements and math placement at that time.
UA Foundation Math Requirement and Math Placement
Each major at the UA has a specific foundation MATH course requirement set by the major which generally requires taking at least one Math course, or having credit for a particular UA Math course. In order to enroll in a Math course, a student must have the correct math placement. Other courses like CHEM 141/151/161, PHYS 102/181, MCB 181L/R also have math placement requirements. At orientation, students are placed into a math course or prerequisite course base on their major and placement. Many students start with a review course.
Math Placement for first year students is determined by SAT or ACT Math scores, transfer credit, or the PPL Assessment (math placement test).
What do you need to do? Check the Math Placement section of your Next Steps Center. If you have college Math credit through AP, IB, High School Dual Enrollment or other credit, or have recent SAT or ACT scores not reflected in the table in your Next Steps Center, please send an unofficial college transcript or score report to the Math Placement Office so we can use it to update your placement. Once we have all of your information, your placement message will be updated and will let you know whether or not you need to take the PPL Assessment. Note that you must also send official college level transcripts or college credit scores to the University of Arizona to receive credit. Note that you do not need to send official SAT or ACT scores. If your information is updated in your Next Steps Center, you may be asked to take the PPL Assessment.
Read more about SAT, ACT, Math Credit, and the PPL Assessment below.
SAT I MSS, ACT MATH Placement: Scores must be from 8/01/2019 through 2021 for Fall 2021 or Spring 2022 incoming students
How SAT I MSS and ACT MATH scores are used for placement can be found on our Course Placement website. Note that these scores are for your first year only.
Students are given an initial placement in their Next Steps Center based on SAT I MSS or ACT Math scores. Students who do not qualify for their UA foundation MATH requirement through SAT I or ACT math scores will be directed to take the PPL Assessment. Check your initial placement message in your Next Steps Center to find out if the PPL Assessment is recommended/required. If you have scores that are not showing in the Next Steps Center, please send a copy to the Math Placement Office one week prior to your orientation. If you have college math credit, read through the section below.
If you have college-level dual enrollment credit, transfer course credit, AP, IB, CLEP or other credit you must send an official College Level Transcript or AP/IB/CLEP etc. score report to UA. This is not provided through your High School. If your credit is not on your UA record prior to your registration date, you should also email an unofficial college level transcript or AP/IB/CLEP score report to the Math Placement Office one week prior to your orientation date. Include your UA SID and orientation date. We will use this information to update your Math Placement in your Next Steps Center.
- How can I check if my credit is in the UA system?
- How does UA award credit for AP, IB, CLEP, Cambridge and other Exams?
- Out-of-state college level Math courses require an evaluation.
- I have college math credit. What can I take next? or What am I ready to take next?
The PPL Assessment is available to any student, and is recommended to students who do not qualify for their foundation math class based on SAT I MSS or ACT MATH Score. Check your Next Steps Center math message. If we have your SAT or ACT scores and know about your transfer credit, then you should check your Next Steps Center Math message to see if the PPL Assessment is recommended based on your scores and major. If testing is recommended, please take the Assessment.
The first attempt at your assessment through the Next Steps Center is included in your enrollment fee. There are about 30 questions and the test takes 60-90 minutes. There is a 3 hour time limit. You must complete it in one sitting. You can retest for a fee of $26. Tests are proctored through Respondus Monitor, an online proctoring service. Access the PPL Assessment through your Next Steps Center. Disable pop-up blockers and read the information before proceeding to the PPL Assessment link in your Next Steps Center. Read more about the assessment below:
- Respondus Proctoring Quick Guide - You may need this to navigate the testing process.
- Students need high-speed internet, a webcam, and a microphone to access the test through Respondus, an online proctoring service.
- Respondus does not work with a Chromebook. You should try to get access to a PC or MAC in order to take the PPL Assessment.
- Read about the PPL Assessment here. Scores expire after one year.
- You can review for the PPL Assessment .
- You can use blank scratch paper, a writing utensil, and an approved calculator.
- Scores are processed into the UA system several times a day. Check Next Steps 12-24 hours after testing. Note that your placement message in your Next Steps Center is based on the requirements for your current major and may not include all courses.
- You don't have to take the highest level math course that you place into. Many students opt to take a lower level course. See a math advisor at orientation about this option. Don't view your score as you would a regular test. There is no grade and no "failing" score. For example, 40% places a student into College Algebra. Check the scores here.
- Students who need access to screen reading technology for testing should contact the Math Placement Office to access the test. This is not available through the Next Steps Center.
- Students are to take the Math Placement test without the assistance of any persons, textbooks, online materials, or any other assistance. Any violation of this will be considered cheating and a violation of the UA Code of Conduct. There can be serious consequences to artificially high placement testing scores. It is important to make an honest attempt at the test. Once you complete the test, your score is final regardless of any technical difficulties you may encounter during the exam.
- You can retest. There is a retesting fee, $26 per attempt. There is a 24 hour waiting period between tests.
- Once your first test score is processed, you will have access to a free Prep and Learning Module available through your Next Steps Center. This module may not be available after classes begin. Review is strongly recommended before testing. You can test up to 5 times.
- When you retest, look for and click on PLACEMENT ASSESSMENT.
- If you are not able to test remotely through Respondus (no access to high speed internet, webcam/microphone not available), please contact the Math Placement Office for an alternative way to test.
Options for Students Who Place into Math 100
Many students do not progress beyond high school Algebra II, do not take a math class their senior year of high school, or take a non-algebra based course like Statistics. These students tend to place into UA Math 100. Math 100 is a college review course that is paired with SAS 100AX and the Schedule for Success Program. This program is designed to fill in the gaps from high school math curriculum in order to prepare students for UA Math 105, 106, 107, or 112. About a third of our incoming students place into Math 100.
Students who place into Math 100 should review and retest, particularly students who took a high school pre-calculus math course or higher level math. Some students are able to review and successfully qualify for the next level courses. Many students take Math 100 and then continue on to successfully complete the next level math course.