Calculus Placement

In general, ALEKS PPL placement is required for enrollment in MATH 75, MATH 75A, or MATH 70. 


  • passing MATH 6 with an A or B is sufficient to enroll in MATH 75;
  • passing MATH 6 with a C or better is sufficient to enroll in MATH 75A or 70; and
  • passing MATH 3 or MATH 3L with a C is sufficient to enroll in MATH 70.

What if I Took High School Calculus?

Students who received A or B in high school Calculus class may be allowed to enroll in MATH 75, 75A, or 70 without taking the Calculus placement test. 

If you passed the AP Calculus AB test with a score of 3 or higher and submitted the official scores, you already have credit for MATH 75 and may enroll directly into MATH 76. If you passed the AP Calculus BC test with a score of 3 or higher, you have credit for MATH 75 and MATH 76 and may directly enroll in MATH 77.


ALEKS Placement, Preparation and Learning (PPL)  Fresno State ALEKS PPL Portal

ALEKS PPL is a learning and placement program. It uses adaptive questioning to determine your mathematical knowledge and skills quickly. It is free of charge to students.

You should take the initial knowledge check seriously. It will determine your preparation module, so do your best so you can skip topics you already know. Take this initial placement by yourself without a calculator so that the system gets a true picture of your mathematical knowledge.

The ALEKS PPL system will give you topics you are ready to study and practice which are appropriate to your current skill level. It is advised that students complete at least 70% of their ALEKS PPL pie chart before taking a proctored placement test.  

After practice and study of at least 5 hours of practice in the system and 48 hours after your previous placement, you may take another placement to see which course you would place in.

If you did not place for the course you would like, continue to practice in ALEKS PPL and take another placement. You are allotted five total placement tests.


Understanding Your ALEKS PPL score:

Understanding Your ALEKS PPL
ALEKS Score Class
76-100 MATH 75
66-75 MATH 75A
51-100 (Biology majors) MATH 70
40-65 MATH 6 recommended
1-39 MATH 3L recommended


  • If your score is 76 or higher on ALEKS PPL, you are eligible to enroll in MATH 75.
  • If your score is between 66 and 75 on ALEKS PPL, you are eligible to enroll in MATH 75A.
  • If your score is 51 or higher on ALEKS PPL and a Biology major, you are eligible to enroll in MATH 70.
  • If your score is between 40 and 65 in ALEKS PPL, you are recommended/advised to enroll in MATH 6 (Pre-calculus).
  • If your score is 39 or lower on ALEKS PPL, you may want to consider enrolling in MATH 3L (for category III and IV) and/or MATH 5 (Trigonometry). Use the ALEKS pie chart to determine which class is better after consultation with your advisor.



Set up:

  1. Set up a quiet place to work. Place your laptop or tablet with a webcam on a hard surface. Chromebooks will NOT work. If you lack such a device or internet, see the “Resources” section below to learn how to request them.
  2. Don't lie down on a couch or bed while taking an exam. There is a greater chance you'll move out of the video frame or change your relative position to the webcam.
  3. Turn on your web camera and make sure your face is clear.  Light sources should come from behind the camera and in front of your face. Make sure little light comes from behind you. Don't take an exam in a dark room. Avoid wearing baseball caps or hats that extend beyond the forehead.
  4. Select a distraction-free environment for the exam. Televisions and other people in the room can draw your attention away from the screen. Other people that come into view of the webcam may also trigger flags by the automated system. Try to be in the room alone. Please inform other people that you are not to be disturbed while taking the placement. 

What is NOT allowed during the exam:

  1. No outside assistance is permitted. Each student has a unique knowledge state that consists of the math topics he/she knows, does not know, and is ready to learn. The ALEKS placement assessment determines the unique knowledge state of each student. The system can then properly place students into a course based on their math abilities. Outside assistance includes getting help from others and from other materials. Other individuals are not to be in the room while you are taking the test.
  2. The webcam and lockdown browser are how students are proctored so the webcam lens must not be covered up or otherwise obscured. It should show the student's face at all times.
  3. No outside calculators are permitted. A calculator icon will appear on the screen when it is allowed to be used. However, blank paper and a pen/pencil are allowed for students to work out problems.
  4. No use of cell phones or other electronic devices are permitted. Please have pencil, pens, and scratch paper ready.  

Log in and begin:

  1. Enter the Fresno State ALEKS PPL Portal
  2. Log in with your Fresno State username and password.
  3. To join a new course, please use the registration code QE4RT-PULPF.
  4. The ALEKS placement assessment uses Lockdown Browser. After you finish the tutorial, ALEKS will ask you to download Lockdown Browser. Even if you have previously downloaded Lockdown Browser for a course or assignment, you will still need to download this version as it is unique to ALEKS PPL.
  5. This placement assessment also uses Respondus Monitor. This system requires a working webcam. 
  6. When a student is ready to take the placement, they will choose the proctored placement link on the left hand side of their ALEKS PPL portal.
  7. ALEKS will ask the student for a proctor password. The password is “GOBULLDOGS1”.
  8. Students will have three hours to take this test. You cannot save your work and come back to the test.

The video will make sure that the student alone took the placement without improper aids.  If the student did have improper aid, the proctored placement score will be voided.  Student will be informed that their placement is valid when it is entered into the Fresno State Peoplesoft system. 


After your initial knowledge check:

  1. You will now be able to practice topics that ALEKS PPL’s knowledge believes you are ready to learn. Have paper and pencil ready to take notes and work through problems.
  2. Start working through topics. Be sure to read through the cover sheet for problem type and solution strategy before solving problems.
  3. Solve problems carefully. If you get two or three problems correct in a row, ALEKS PPL will know that you understand how to do the problem and save you time.
  4. If you get problems wrong, ALEKS PPL will show you the correct method to solve the problem. Study the solution carefully and try again. If you get another one wrong, it will provide a cover sheet for problem type and solution strategy. Take careful notes.
  5. If you are stuck or want to move to another area, there is a little drop down menu that will let you choose different topics.
  6. If you are fully frustrated, take a break and start again the next day. It is completely normal to be tired and move on.
  7. You will be expected to do five hours of study before you can take another placement.
  8. Whenever you are ready, take another proctored placement. 




Calculus Readiness Test)


The CRT is a single placement exam consists of two parts* in one booklet:

  • The first 40 questions cover various topics, and

  • The last 10 questions are related to trigonometry.

Practice tests that illustrate some of the types of questions you will see in the Calculus Readiness Test can be taken online at:

*Students in biology that are trying to place in MATH 70 DO NOT need to take the trigonometry part of the CRT.