Loyola University Chicago


Math Placement Assessment

Math Placement at Loyola

Precalculus and calculus courses (MATH 117: Precalulus I, 118: Precalculus II, 131: Applied Calculus, and 161: Calculus) at Loyola University Chicago (“LUC”) are rigorous and professors expect that students placed in the course are capable of meeting the demands of the material. Since students are admitted with a wide variety of strengths and backgrounds in mathematics and from a wide variety of high schools, these expectations may differ from students’ experiences in high school math courses.  Furthermore, students might be unaware that they may struggle in collegiate math courses.

Therefore, to better ensure student success in these math courses:

Incoming first-years: LUC places students in classes based initially on students’ recent ACT and/or SAT math scores and transfer credits. If a student is dissatisfied with that placement, a student can take up to four math placement assessments at LUC. 

Transfer Students: LUC places students in classes based upon academic advisors evaluation of transfer credits and/or the math placement assessment test.

Current Students: See the math placement coordinator.  If a student is dissatisfied with that placement, a student can take up to four math placement assessments at LUC.

Additionally, students who decide to take math placement assessments at LUC will have access to online Learning Modules to assist them in improving the breadth and depth of their mathematical knowledge.

Students enrolling in or intending to enroll in Core Quantitative Analysis courses (STAT 103: Fundamentals of Statistics and/or MATH 108: Real World Modeling) do not take math placement assessment test(s).

For more information, refer to the information below and on the accompanying web pages to the left.

Frequently Asked Questions

The table indicates the highest course in which a student can enroll given a specific ACT, SAT and/or ALEKS math score.  A student is allowed to enroll in a lower level math course if the student so desires.

MATH 100: Intermediate Algebra

MATH 117: Precalculus I

MATH 118: Precalculus II

MATH 131: Applied Calculus

MATH 161: Calculus

If you have a valid ACT or SAT that places you in the course you want/need, do not take the MPAT (ALEKS). So do not take the MPAT if your ACT score is 28 or above, or your SAT score is 680 or above.

Note that these test scores are valid for a limited time and then they expire.  Test scores expire because we want to place you based on your current math knowledge.

ACT Math subscore

expires after two (2) years.  ACT scores less than two years will be evaluated, only if the student’s “admit term” start date is no older than one (1) year plus ten (10) days.

SAT I Math subscore

expires after two (2) years.  SAT scores less than two years will be evaluated, only if the student’s “admit term” start date is no older than one (1) year plus ten (10) days.

Math Placement Assessment Test - ALEKS - expires one (1) year after the test date.

< 24, MATH 100


24-25, Math 117


26, MATH 118


27, MATH 131


>= 28, MATH 161

< 590, MATH 100


590 – 639, MATH 117


640 – 659, MATH 118


660 – 679, MATH 131


>= 680,  MATH 161

< 45, MATH 100


45 – 59, Math 117


60 – 74, MATH 118


>= 75, MATH 131 and 161


Students have the opportunity to take one sample math placement assessment test "(MPAT"), the score of which is not used to place you in a class,  and four proctored MPATs, the scores of which are used to place you in a class.

Before coming to Loyola University Chicago ("LUC"), take the sample practice MPAT.  It gives you practice taking the assessment and it does generate Learning Modules unique to you, generating math topics you need to work on to improve your knowledge of mathematical concepts.  You can take this sample MPAT at anytime from anywhere in the world. 

To take the sample MPAT, log into the luc.edu/LOCUS.

  • Please enter your LUC UVID (username) and your password.
  • The UVID corresponds to the letters appearing before "@luc.edu" in your Loyola University Chicago email address.
  • After logging into LOCUS,

                   New Students Entering in the Fall: Look within the Next Stop portlet (example below).  You will see the link to the MPAT - ALEKS - there.

  • All Eligible Students: Look in the Enterprise Menu (example below). Click on Academics.  You will see the link to ALEKS there.


To take the proctored MPAT, the results of which are used to place you in a math class, you must come to LUC.  See the next FAQ.

To take the proctored MPAT, the results of which are used to place you in a math class, you must come to LUC.  The proctored MPAT lasts 90 minutes. (If you need extra time, contact SSWD at http://www.luc.edu/sswd/applyforaccommodations/.  These tests that have extra time will be at different locations and at different times.)  You will need a pencil/pen.  Blank paper will be provided.  The 90 minute proctored test will be offered on the following dates and times:

May 26, at 8 am in the Information Commons ("IC"), room 120 (90 minute test)

June 1, 3, 6 at 8 am in Sullivan Center, room 253 (90 minute test)

June 13, 16, 20, 23, July 7, 11, August 24 at 9:30 am in the IC, 3rd floor (90 minute test)

June 14, 17, 21, 24, July 8, 12, August 25 after the bbq (starting about 2 pm) in the IC, 3rd floor  (90 minute test)

(Students who need extra time would take it starting at 2 pm in Sullivan 253. Contact SSWD, http://www.luc.edu/sswd/applyforaccommodations/ to make a reservation.)

Saturdays June 11, 18, July 9, 16, 23, 30, August 6, 13, 20, 27 at 9 am in Sullivan Center 253 (90 minute test)

For incoming first-years, register here https://uao.luc.edu/portal/math-placement-assessment

For transfer students, register here https://uao.luc.edu/portal/math-placement-assessment

For current students, register https://uao.luc.edu/portal/math-placement-assessment or https://uao.luc.edu/portal/math-placement-assessment

For students who need accommodations, contact SSWD at http://www.luc.edu/sswd/applyforaccommodations/

For current students during the school year, contact the Math Placement Coordinator, John Houlihan, jhouli1@luc.edu.

The current MPAT is ALEKS PPL ("ALEKS"), Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces, Placement Preparation and Learning. ALEKS is a Web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system, which uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine exactly what a student knows and doesn’t know.  ALEKS then provides the student individualized topics (Learning Modules) which the student can use to learn the material with which the student had difficulty.  When using the Learning Modules, ALEKS also provides the advantages of one-on-one instruction, 24/7, from virtually any Web-based computer for a fraction of the cost of a human tutor.

Please be aware that the test and learning modules will be available to you for 6 months following your initial taking of the ALEKS practice assessment.

Students who need to take ALEKS will have the opportunity to take one (1) practice, sample assessment test and four (4) proctored assessment tests, along with six (6) months of access to individualized learning modules to learn (or relearn) material to improve their score.  Your best proctored ALEKS score will indicate the course you are eligible to take. However, you may enroll in a lower level math course after talking with your advisor.

ALEKS assesses eleven major math topics.

1. Whole Numbers, Fractions, and Decimals

2. Percents, Proportions, and Geometry

3. Signed Numbers, Linear Equations and Inequalities

4. Lines and Systems of Linear Equations

5. Relations and Functions

6. Integer Exponents and Factoring

7. Quadratic and Polynomial Functions

8. Rational Expressions and Functions

9. Radicals and Rational Exponents

10. Exponentials and Logarithms

11. Trigonometry

 See a complete detailed list here.

Only students whose ACT/SAT math scores have not placed them into the math course they want or need (see What ACT, SAT, and/or math placement scores do I need for which course? ) and who have a link to ALEKS in LOCUS need to take the MPAT.  If your ACT score was 28 or above, do not take the MPAT.  If your SAT score was 680 or above, do not take the MPAT - unless you really want to work on more algebra in the Learning Modules.

Students with majors listed here need to take math courses which the MPAT places you in.  Generally, Chemistry and pre-health majors need to start in MATH 118, Precalculus II.  Students majoring in Physics, Engineering, and/or Math & Statistics need to start in MATH 161, Calculus I.

It is also strongly recommended that all transfer students who have appropriate transfer credit take the assessment if they will need additional math courses at LUC. If the score on the assessment indicates a lack of preparedness for the course, the student should apply themselves to mastering the topics in the ALEKS Learning Module and take the reassessments until they have the appropriate score.

New students should contact Undergraduate Admissions prior to May 1. After May 1, you may contact the HUB to confirm that your new major requires math placement assessment test, and request access to the assessment.

  • E-mail: placementtest@luc.edu
  • By phone: 773.508.7700
  • In person: Sullivan Center for Student Services, 6339 N. Sheridan Road, Chicago, IL 60660.

If you are registering prior to the date when the AP results are known, and your ACT and/or SAT math scores do not place you into the math course you need/want (see What ACT, SAT, and/or math placement scores do I need for which course?), you should take the MPAT. Click here to see the AP scores that qualify for credit.

No. Loyola's math placement is specifically designed to place students into a Loyola University Chicago math course, or appropriate course requiring math pre-requisites.

Possibly. Some courses require certain levels of math before you can take them. To find the prerequisites for a course, use the class search or course catalog features in LOCUS (if you don’t have a login, you can sign in as a guest) and look at the course descriptions.

Contact an academic advisor.  Your advisor will be listed in LOCUS on your Student Center. 

Incoming first year students should contact First and Second Year Advising.

Transfer, junior, or senior students should contact their College or School advisors. 

Online: http://www.luc.edu/advising/schools.shtml

The proctored ALEKS assessment must be completed within 90 minutes. For those who need more time, you have to contact SSWD, http://www.luc.edu/sswd/applyforaccommodations/

LUC pays for the first ALEKS bundle: one (1) practice assessment, four (4) proctored assessments and a six month access to your individualized learning module.  Your proctored ALEKS score(s) is(are) valid only for one year prior to enrollment in a math course.  If you do not enroll in a math class within one (1) year of your highest proctored assessment, you will have to pay $25 online in order to receive a second bundle composed of one (1) practice assessment, four (4) proctored assessments and a six-month learning module.  Again, the proctored assessment score would be valid for one year.