Math Placement For New or Returning Student

Any new or returning student who needs a valid math placement to take a Parkland College math course must have the required ACT/SAT scores or unexpired college-level math course credits or take Parkland assessment testing.

ACT/SAT scores are valid for two and a half years from the date taken.

Parkland uses the Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces (ALEKS) service for our math assessment testing.  Along with testing service ALEKS also provides testing preparation and learning modules.



Review this chart to determine if you need to take a placement test. If you score into a desired course stop here and sign up for new student orientation (if  you have less than 15 hours of college credit) at the following link SOAR, or call 217/351-2219 to schedule an appointment with an Advisor. If you did not score into a desired course follow the steps below to setup your assessment test. 


SAT MATH Score ACT MATH Score Parkland Course Placement
000-339 0-11 TRN 050
340-379 12 MAT 059
380-459 13-15 MAT 060
460-499 16-19 MAT 110, 131, 151, 072
500-529 20-21 MAT 072, 097, 098, 134
530-619 22-24 MAT 097, 098, 134, 107, 108
620-649 25-26 MAT 105, 106, 124
650-719 27-29 MAT 125, 141, 143, 145, 160, 200
720-800 30-36 MAT 128


Set up accounts/access needed for Math Assessment:


  1. Use your seven digit Parkland College ID found in your acceptance letter to create a ParklandONE account with the ParklandOne Password Station
  2. Access your Parkland Student email account using your ParklandOne credentials. (ALEKS will send you messages through your Parkland Student email account.)
  3. Access ALEKS PPL by using your ParklandONE credentials. (Please note, this link is the only way you will be able to access your ALEKS profile.)
    Call 217/353-3333 if you need assistance logging in to the system

  4. Make an appointment for your ALEKS PPL proctored assessment at the Parkland College Assessment Center

Information about the Math Assessment:

The ALEKS testing service consists of three parts:

  •     The initial Placement Assessment, which is unproctored.
  •     The Prep and Learning Module, an individualized, self-paced online review.
  •     Access to four additional Placement Assessments, which need to be proctored.

The testing service is an online, adaptive system covering a broad spectrum of mathematics topics. The length of the assessment will vary but can include up to 30 questions. You will see some, but not all, of the math you have learned in high school. It is an assessment designed to identify if you are prepared for a particular course.
Topics covered:

  • Real numbers (including fractions, integers, and percentages)
  • Equations and inequalities (including linear equations, linear inequalities, systems of linear equations, and quadratic equations)
  • Linear and quadratic functions (including graphs and functions, linear functions, and parabolas), exponents and polynomials (including integer exponents, polynomial arithmetic, factoring, and polynomial equations), and rational expressions (including rational equations and rational functions)
  • Radical expressions (including higher roots and rational exponents)
  • Exponentials and logarithms (including function compositions and inverse functions, properties of logarithms, and logarithmic equations)
  • Geometry and trigonometry (including perimeter, area, and volume, coordinate geometry, trigonometric functions, and identities and equations).

Informational FAQs

Can I practice using the ALEKS system before starting testing?

ALEKS begins with a brief tutorial to make sure you are comfortable with the math palette tools before your assessment begins. The tutorial demonstrates how to enter different types of answers, how to use the calculator, and how to graph and use the Help button. Going to the tutorial while taking the Placement Assessment will NOT impact your Placement Assessment results. After the tutorial, you may begin your unproctored/practice assessment.

Where may I take my Placement Assessment?
  • Parkland College Assessment Center
  • Any testing center approved by the Director of the Parkland College Assessment Center.
Is there a fee for using the ALEKS PPL Assessment?
  • Placement Assessment #1 (unproctored), access to the Prep and Learning Module, and Placement Assessment #2 (proctored) are free of charge.
  • There is a $10 fee for any subsequent reassessment. 
Do I need to install any software or plug-ins prior to taking the ALEKS PPL Assessment?

No, there are no plug-ins or applets required. As long as you have access to the Internet and are using an updated browser, you should not experience difficulties in taking a Placement Assessment. For a list of preferred browsers, please review the ALEKS system requirements on their support site.

Are assessments tests proctored?

The first Placement Assessment (out of 5 total) is unproctored and not used for placement. This unproctored attempt is allowing you to preview the test and see what your placement would be without preparation. Placements Assessments 2–5 will be proctored and the best score will be used for mathematics placement at Parkland College.

What is the format of the questions on ALEKS?

The testing is open-response and requires you to work out solutions and enter your responses.

May I use a personal calculator while using ALEKS?

No, an on-screen calculator will be provided.

May I use any other resources during a Placement Assessment?

Outside resources are not allowed to be used during the proctored assessments. Any attempt to do so while taking the proctored assessment will be considered cheating and the assessment will be stopped and the result will not be used for placement. You will forfeit that attempt.

Can I review a question after I have answered it?

No, once you submit an answer, you cannot change it. Be sure to carefully check an answer before submitting your response.

What if I see questions I don’t know?

It is likely 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 that you do your best. I don't know is interpreted by ALEKS to mean that you do not know how to solve the topic, and this will be reflected in your Placement Assessment results. There is no penalty for incorrectly answering a question on the Placement Assessment; it only helps ALEKS understand what you do and do not know.

Are Placement Assessments timed?

No, you are free to complete the Placement Assessment at your own pace. If you need to exit Placement Assessment during testing, you will be able to log back in and pick up where you left off. However, it is important that you fully complete the unproctored assessment before going on to the next assessment.

What is my placement result?

Your placement result (overall score) is a number between 0 and 100. It represents the percentage of topics ALEKS has identified you have mastered.

ALEKS Score Place Into
0-2 TRN 050
3-6 MAT 059
7-13 MAT 060
14-29 MAT 110, 131, 151, 072
30-36 MAT 072, 097, 098, 134
37-45 MAT 097, 098, 134, 107, 108
46-60 MAT 105, 106, 124
61-75 MAT 125, 141, 143, 145, 160, 200
76-100 MAT 128

Where can I see my score?
  • You will receive your score immediately upon completing your Placement Assessment through your student email.
  • You may view your ALEKS score by re-entering ALEKS using the same access link for which you took the Placement Assessment.
  • Your ALEKS scores are added to your Parkland student profile, which is accessible by your advisor.
How long is my placement result valid?

Your placement result is valid for 30 months.

What if I do not place into the course I wanted?

This is a perfect opportunity to take advantage of the Prep and Learning Module. The program will create an individualized study plan based on your performance on the initial Placement Assessment. ALEKS will identify what you know and what you are ready to learn next so you can brush up on lost knowledge.

I did not place into the class I wanted. Can I take it anyway?

No; you must achieve the minimum placement result to take each corresponding class.

May I retake the ALEKS PPL Assessment?

You must wait 48 hours between Placement Assessments. You may take up to five Placement Assessments: one unproctored and four proctored. However, it is required that you spend five hours working in your ALEKS Prep and Learning Module between proctored placement assessments. There will be an $10 fee for each reassessment.

How long do I have access to my Prep and Learning Module?

You will have six months of access to your Prep and Learning module. Access to the module will not begin until you select Start on the top of your screen. DO NOT select into the Prep and Learning Module until you are ready to start working.

Is there an additional fee for my Prep and Learning Module?

The module is free and you will have access to the materials for six months.

Must I work in my ALEKS Prep and Learning Module between Placement Assessments?

You can retake the Placement Assessment up to four additional times to improve your score. The highest proctored score will be used for math placement. You are required to work in the Prep and Learning Module for a specific amount of time prior to each Placement Assessment to increase success.

  • Placement Test 3, the 2nd proctored assessment: you must complete five additional hours of work in the Prep and Learning Modules before attempting assessment, wait 48 hours, and pay the $10 reassessment fee.
  • Placement Test 4, the 3rd proctored assessment: you must complete five additional hours of work in the Prep and Learning Modules before attempting assessment, wait 48 hours, and pay the $10 reassessment fee.
  • Placement Test 5, the 4th and final proctored assessment: you must complete five additional hours of work in the Prep and Learning Modules before attempting assessment, wait 48 hours, and pay the $10 reassessment fee.
What are ALEKS Knowledge Checks?

While working in a Prep and Learning Module, you will periodically complete a Knowledge Check to make sure you have mastered the topics you gained in Learning Mode. If you do not show mastery during the Knowledge Check, the topics will be added back into your Learning Pie so you can review them again.

Does progress in an ALEKS Prep and Learning Module count toward placement?

No; you must complete a new Placement Assessment to change your placement result. ALEKS Prep and learning module is intended to give you the resources necessary to help you improve your placement.

May I change to a different Prep and Learning Module later?

No; you may only use one Prep and Learning Module. If you are unsure which module to select, use the module recommended by ALEKS. Call ALEKS to inquire as to change learning modules.

What do I do if my web browser gets stuck or my computer crashes while I am taking a test?

Close the browser or log out and log back in. ALEKS will resume exactly where you left off, with no loss of your previous answers.