2.1. About the PPL Assessment (Math Placement Test)?
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The University of Arizona Department of Mathematics is currently using the PPL Assessment tool for placement into all of its entry-level courses.
There are several topics on the PPL Assessment. In a relatively short period of time (60-90 minutes), the program assesses the percentage of the student's current knowledge of topics from the PPL Assessment topics (how many of the total topics has the student already mastered) by asking a small number of questions (usually 30).
The PPL Assessment is adaptive and chooses each question on the basis of a student's answers to all the previous questions. Each student, and therefore each set of assessment questions, is unique. It is impossible to predict the questions that will be asked. By the time the student has completed the assessment, there is a precise picture of her knowledge of the course, knowing which topics she has mastered and which topics she hasn't out of all of the topics in the course.
Take this exam as if you were taking an in-person proctored exam. Do not make use of any outside materials or persons while taking this assessment. Do not access any resources other than the approved materials listed below, such as a phone, tablet, notes, books, etc. or communicate with other people.
Fees: There is a $26 fee for each test for incoming transfer students, re-admits, non-degree seeking students, graduate students, and current students. The fee is charged to the student UA Bursar's account. There may be other proctoring fees.
The first test for incoming First Year and International students is included in their new student fees if the first test is completed through the Next Steps Center access. There is a fee after the first test ($26 per test).
UA Online campus student testing fees are paid through UA Online.
Rules: You can use an approved calculator (see list here), scratch paper, and writing materials. No other items are allowed. Make sure you are in a quiet space and turn of any loud music or other noise.
You have 3 hours to test and need to do so in one sitting. Please stay in your seat and focus on the computer screen until the exam is complete. If an interruption occurs, briefly explain what happened by speaking directly to your webcam. If you are disconnected, you should log back in immediately and resume testing. The problems must be done in order.
It is likely that you will be asked questions on material you have not yet learned. On such questions it is appropriate to answer, "I don't know." On any question that you have familiarity with, however, it is important to make an attempt and submit an answer. "I don't know" is interpreted by ALEKS to mean that you do not know the topic, and this will be reflected in the assessment results. Try your best to solve any problems that you think you might be able to solve. It is better to answer incorrectly on a topic that you have seen before, than to use the "I don't know" button and then skip related topics.
Once you access the exam, your score will be recorded and is not changeable.
Your entire session must be recorded with audio and video, or your score may be invalidated.
Any suspicious behavior may result in an invalidated test score and may be reported to the Dean of Students. Your score is not finalized until your video has been reviewed.
Scores are processed into the UA system daily at 5am, 12pm, 4pm, 6pm, and 8pm Monday through Saturday and at 5am, 6pm, and 8 pm on Sunday.
You can retest (usually for a fee) but you must wait 48 hours.
How long is the test? The test is about 30 questions. Questions must be answered in order. You cannot go forward or backward to view or change answers. The test usually takes 60-90 minutes. There is a 3 hour time limit. If time expires, your current score is recorded.
Possible Topics - The ALEKS PPL Assessment covers a broad spectrum of pre-calculus material from first year high school algebra through precalculus. The ALEKS system is fully automated and the ALEKS Assessment is adaptive. ALEKS chooses each question on the basis of a student's answers to all the previous questions. Each student, and therefore each set of assessment questions, is unique. It is impossible to predict the questions that will be asked. The first questions asked will be drawn from across the curriculum, and may be too easy or too hard. As the assessment proceeds, your answers will be used to give the system an idea of your knowledge, and it will gradually focus the questioning in an individually appropriate way. By the end of the assessment you should find the questions generally challenging but reasonable for your individual level of knowledge. By the time the student has completed the assessment, ALEKS has developed a precise picture of her knowledge of the course, knowing which topics she has mastered and which topics she hasn't out of all of the possible topics. An overview of how ALEKS works is available.
How Do I Access the PPL Assessment? Go here.
Materials Allowed - Pen or pencil, Scratch Paper, Calculator
Fees - For incoming main campus first year students and incoming main campus International students, there is no charge for the first test taken through the Next Steps Center. This fee is already included in new student fees. For any retest attempts, there is a fee of $26 per test.