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ALEKS Math Placement Information

A Message about Math Placement to our Students (and Parents)

Dear Students,

Placement is not about skipping courses. The purpose of the ALEKS math placement assessment is to give an accurate measure of your current mathematical skills, so you will be placed in a math course where you have a greater chance to be successful. It is important that you take the assessment seriously and give it an honest effort, so your assessment truly reflects your level of knowledge and math preparedness.

“But I took that class in high school” is a phrase we hear frequently, but several factors in your high school career affect your readiness for certain college level mathematics courses. Many incoming students have had courses in high school that have the same course title in college. Therefore, you may anticipate that your experience in a college math course will be the same experience you had in high school. However, most college-level courses progress at a much faster pace than similar courses in high school. For example,

High School Course: 90 min classes, 5 days per week = 450 minutes of weekly instruction
College Course: 50-75 min classes, 3-4 days per week = 150-225 minutes of weekly instruction

The corresponding college course has half the instructional time and will likely cover the material in greater depth and faster pace than the high school class.

Additionally, many students start their high school level math in middle school and complete their math requirements by their sophomore or junior year. Students then elect not to take math their senior year in high school, or they take a course that is not an algebra-based course, which is necessary to prepare for the calculus sequence that many majors require. The result is that a student’s prerequisite math skills can deteriorate over that one to two year period, jeopardizing their success in future college level mathematics courses which may be required for particular majors, such as psychology, business, science, or computer science, etc.

BOTTOM LINE: When you attempt a course for which you do not have the prerequisite skills it can delay graduation, negatively impact your GPA, and you risk losing scholarships. Our primary goal with math placement at The College of Charleston is to ensure academic success for all students.

Questions about the Placement Test? Math Placement FAQs

Directions to accessing your ALEKS Math Placement Test.


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