STEM Math Placement

Info for Incoming 2021 Science and Math Freshmen

Please note:

  • Online ALEKS PPL program will be available to matriculated CNSM Fall '21 freshmen starting May 1, 2021.
  • For June registration dates, the CNSM due date for math placement is June 17.
  • For July registration dates, the CNSM due date for math placement is July 16.

Students majoring in biochemistry, biology, chemistry, geology, mathematics, and physics are required to complete calculus as part of their degree.

math course scheme

For all science and math majors, MATH 112A, 112B, 111, and 113 do not count towards degree progress.

Long Path for Biology majors, with MATH 119A Survey of Calculus I:

  1. MATH 112A - Essential Algebra A
  2. MATH 112B - Essential Algebra B
  3. MATH 119A - Survey of Calculus I

Short Path for Biology majors, with MATH 119A Survey of Calculus I:

  1. MATH 113 - Precalculus Algebra
  2. MATH 119A - Survey of Calculus I

Long Path for Biology majors, with MATH 122 Calculus I:

  1. MATH 112A - Essential Algebra A
  2. MATH 112B - Essential Algebra B and MATH 111 Precalculus Trig
  3. MATH 122 - Calculus I

Short Path for Biology majors, with MATH 122 Calculus I:

  1. MATH 113 - Precalculus Algebra and MATH 111 Precalculus Trig
  2. MATH 122 - Calculus I

Long Path for Biochemistry and Geology majors:

  1. MATH 112A - Essential Algebra A
  2. MATH 112B - Essential Algebra B and MATH 111 Precalculus Trig
  3. MATH 122 - Calculus I
  4. MATH 123 - Calculus II

Short Path for Biochemistry and Geology majors:

  1. MATH 113 - Precalculus Algebra and MATH 111 Precalculus Trig
  2. MATH 122 - Calculus I
  3. MATH 123 - Calculus II

Long Path for Chemistry, Physics, and Math majors:

  1. MATH 112A - Essential Algebra A
  2. MATH 112B - Essential Algebra B and MATH 111 Precalculus Trig
  3. MATH 122 - Calculus I
  4. MATH 123 - Calculus II
  5. MATH 224 - Calculus III

Short Path for Chemistry, Physics, and Math majors:

  1. MATH 113 - Precalculus Algebra and MATH 111 Precalculus Trig
  2. MATH 122 - Calculus I
  3. MATH 123 - Calculus II
  4. MATH 224 - Calculus III

Please note that all math and science bachelor degrees (120 units) start with Calculus 1 (either MATH 119A for life sciences or MATH 122 for physical sciences and mathematics). Starting math sequence in MATH 113/MATH 111 or in MATH 112A will add 1 or 2 semesters to your degree, increasing both completion time and cost.

We use CSULB Algebra and Calculus Placement Multiple Measures to place incoming freshman into appropriate 1st semester mathematics course. Please refer to the Math Placement Table below to determine math course you qualify for based on AP Calculus credits and/or SAT/ACT scores.

First Semester STEM Math Course You Must Meet at Least ONE
of the Following Criteria to Qualify:
MATH 224 - Calculus III
  • Calculus-BC AP Test score of 3 or higher
MATH 123 - Calculus II
  • Calculus-AB AP Test score of 3 or higher
  • Mathematics Higher Level IB Test score of 4 or higher
  • Calculus CLEP Examination score of 50 or higher
MATH 122 - Calculus I
  • Math SAT score of 680 or higher
  • Math ACT score of 31 or higher
  • Math SAT II score of 610 or higher
  • ALEKS Mathematics Placement score of 80 or higher
  • Calculus-AB AP Test score of 2
  • Calculus-BC AP Test score of 2
  • Mathematics Higher Level IB Test score of 3
  • Pre-Calculus CLEP Examination score of 50 or higher
  • College Algebra CLEP Examination score of 50 or higher
MATH 119A - Survey of Calculus I
  • Math SAT score of 630 or higher
  • Math ACT score of 27 or higher
  • Math SAT II score of 550 or higher
  • ALEKS Mathematics Placement score of 70 or higher
  • Calculus-AB AP Test score of 2
  • Calculus-BC AP Test score of 2
  • Mathematics Higher Level IB Test score of 3
  • Pre-Calculus CLEP Examination score of 50 or higher
  • College Algebra CLEP Examination score of 50 or higher
MATH 113 - Precalculus Algebra
  • You are classified as "ready for general education mathematics"
  • Math SAT score of 570 or higher
  • Math ACT score of 25 or higher
  • ALEKS Mathematics Placement score of 60 or higher
  • Both: official high school GPA of 3.5+ and Math SAT score of 500+
  • Both: official high school GPA of 3.5+ and Math ACT score of 21+
MATH 112A* - Essential Algebra A
  • You are classified as "ready for general education mathematics"
MATH 112A* and MATH 92 - Essential Algebra A and supplement
  • You did not meet any of the criteria above.

*Please note that MATH 112A and MATH 112B as a combined pair (6 units total) is the equivalent of MATH 113 (3 units). You can reduce the number of math courses you will need to take if you can qualify for MATH 113 instead. ALEKS Mathematics Placement can help you qualify for MATH 113.

Science and math freshmen who do not qualify for Calculus I (MATH 119A/122) based on AP exams or SAT/ACT scores are required to complete the online ALEKS PPL Mathematics Placement before summer orientation.


ALEKS Mathematics Placement Program

The purpose of the Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces (ALEKS) Mathematics Placement Program is to assess each individual student's math skills and place him/her into an appropriate college math course. To register for ALEKS PPL log into your CSULB SSO account and follow the ALEKS PPL Registration Instructions (PDF).

If you are classified as M1, M2, or M2C (ready for general education mathematics) you are expected to independently complete 4 ALEKS assessments unless you have scored 90+% on your first, second, or third assessment.

If you are classified as M3 or M4 (ready for general education mathematics with additional support), you are expected to independently complete all 4 ALEKS assessments--no exceptions.

On your own, take the initial diagnostics (1st assessment) to determine your current mathematics knowledge. This assessment generally takes 60 to 120 minutes and has no more than 30 questions. ALEKS PPL uses your work in the initial diagnostics to determine what topics you need to learn in the Prep and Learning Module in order for you to improve your mathematics knowledge.

There is a 48 hour cool-off period between any two consecutive assessments. During this period, work in the Prep and Learning Module to refresh and improve your mathematics skills for at least 5 hours. The more time you spend on the Prep and Learning Module, the better your score will be on the next assessment. After you have spent at least 5 hours, take another assessment (2nd assessment) to obtain a new PPL score.

Please see Summer Guidance for Incoming CNSM Freshmen for dates and deadlines.


More About ALEKS PPL

CSULB uses the ALEKS PPL Math Placement Test to assess students' prerequisite knowledge of GE B4 courses with the purposes of improving students’ math placement, sharpening their math skills, and shortening their years to graduation.

Backed by decades of research, ALEKS Placement, Preparation and Learning (ALEKS PPL) is the premier adaptive learning and assessment platform used by millions of students around the world. ALEKS PPL uses adaptive, open-response questioning to rapidly and accurately assess each student on a wide range of course material in 30 questions or less. Students are correctly placed and given the opportunity to improve their placement with targeted learning through the Prep and Learning Module.



Am I exempt from taking the ALEKS PPL Math Placement?

Exemptions from the ALEKS PPL Math Placement Test can be made if you have qualifying SAT/ACT, IB, CLEP, or AP Calculus scores. Please check the GE B4 course requirements for your major and then find your math placement based on your SAT/ACT, IB, CLEP, or AP Calculus scores above.

How do I take the ALEKS PPL Math Placement?

Once you have accepted our admission offer and paid the registration fee you will be able to access ALEKS PPL through the "ALEKS Calculus Placement" chicklet in your myCSULB account.

Your ALEKS PPL score will be used for placement. It is important to complete the test honestly and without outside help. Incorrect placement (either too low or too high) will negatively impact your grades and academic progress.

How many ALEKS Assessments should I complete?

  • For M1/M2 students: you should continue working on ALEKS until you score 90% on assessment or until you have completed four (4) ALEKS Assessments. Between ALEKS Assessments, you should spend at least 5 hours with the Prep and Learning Module to improve your math skills.
  • For M3/M4 students: you must complete all four (4) ALEKS Assessments, no exceptions. Between ALEKS Assessments, you should spend at least 5 hours with the Prep and Learning Module to improve your math skills.

Where can I get help after I receive my ALEKS Math Placement Test information?

Only valid in summer months from May 25 to July 31: You may contact our student assistant by email at math.placement@csulb.edu.


Early Start Mathematics

If you are required or recommended to attend Early Start Mathematics (ESM), you must select your SOAR date on July 20 or later. You may be exempted from ESM requirement if you complete all 4 ALEKS PPL modules and score 60 or above on at least one of the assessments.


EOP Summer Bridge and HSI Step into STEM

If you elect to participate in STEP into STEM or the EOP Bridge Program, you must select your SOAR date on July 20 or later so that your placement information can be updated for your registration date.

Contact

CNSM Academic Advising Center
CNSM-Advising@csulb.edu