Placement assessments and introductory courses

Course prerequisites ensure that students are placed into courses in which they are likely to succeed. The Department of Mathematics enforces a prerequisite policy for most of its courses, but the Mathematics Placement Assessment can be used to place into MAT 1050 (will be replaced with MAT 1070 starting fall 2020), 1070 (offered beginning fall 2020), 1110, 1120, 1800, 2010, and STA 2210. This policy applies to new, continuing, transfer, and graduate students.

Register for a placement assessment

 

Placement into introductory courses

  • Students who are taking a course for the third or fourth time will need to follow a special process. Please email mathundergrad@wayne.edu for further information.
  • Students may visit Advising Works to schedule an appointment with a Department of Mathematics academic advisor to discuss their placement situation.
  • Students intending to take MAT 0993, MAT 1000, and STA 1020 are not required to take the placement assessment, although it is recommended.

When to take the Mathematics Placement Assessment

The Mathematics Placement Assessment must be taken prior to the beginning of the semester in which the student wants to take MAT 1050, MAT 1070, MAT 1110, MAT 1120, MAT 1800, MAT 2010, or STA 2210. Consult the Math Placement and Quantitative Experience guide for the placement assessment schedule, registration instructions, and other information.

FAQs

Preparation

Why would I take the ALEKS PPL Assessment? The Placement Assessment is used if you do not have an ACT or SAT, if it is expired, if your prerequisite course is expired, or if you would like to improve your ACT or SAT placement. It is also used if you need to repeat a course for a third or fourth time.

Are ALEKS PPL Assessments proctored? Normally, the second and last assessments will be proctored, however during the coronavirus shutdown the assessments will be unproctored. This is due to the fact that not all students have the technological capability to run proctoring software at home. However, students will be expected to sign an academic integrity statement.

Is there a fee for using ALEKS PPL? Yes. A $37 fee will be paid upon registration for the program. This is a one time fee for 12-month access.

Do I need to install any software or plug-ins prior to taking the ALEKS Placement Assessment? No. There are no required plug-ins or applets required with your use of ALEKS PPL. As long as you have access to the internet and are using an updated browser, you should not experience difficulties in taking your Placement Assessment.  For a list of preferred browsers, please review the ALEKS system requirements on their support site: http://www.aleks.com/support/system_requirements

How do I prepare for my first assessment? In the ALEKS program you do not prepare for the first assessment. The goal of your first assessment is to determine what your learning modules will be. If your first assessment places you into the course that you need to take, then you are done. If it does not, then you can use your personally tailored learning modules to attempt to increase the placement score on your next assessment. 

What topics are covered during the ALEKS PPL Assessment? ALEKS PPL is an online, adaptive system that covers a broad spectrum of mathematics topics. The length of the Placement Assessment will vary, but can be up to 30 questions. You will see some, but not all, of the math you have learned in high school.

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), 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).

Can I practice using the ALEKS input tools before I begin the Placement Assessment? ALEKS will begin with a brief tutorial to make sure you are comfortable with the math palette tools before your Placement Assessment begins. The tutorial shows you how to enter different types of answers, how to use the ALEKS calculator, and how to graph. If you aren't sure how to input an answer, or need help while you are taking the ALEKS Placement Assessment, select the Help button below the answer palette tools. Going to the tutorial during your Placement Assessment will NOT impact your Placement Assessment results.

Do you need extra help?

Students should review thoroughly before taking the placement exam. The Mathematics Resource Center, located in room 1198 FAB, is available for assistance. The Academic Success Center also offers tutoring and math literacy services.

Taking the Placement Assessment

What is the format of the questions on ALEKS? ALEKS is not a multiple-choice Placement Assessment. It is open-response and requires you to work out solutions with a paper and pencil, then enter them into ALEKS. Be sure to have scratch paper with you.

May I use a calculator while using ALEKS? Calculators are provided in the ALEKS PPL program during the Placement Assessment on select problems. The student is not allowed to use their own calculator.

May I use any other resources during a Placement Assessment? You may only use a pen or pencil, paper, and the resources provided within ALEKS. You should not receive assistance from friends, family, other websites, textbooks, or any other resource not provided by ALEKS. Using outside resources will lead to improper placement and potentially course failure. It is a violation of Wayne State's honor code.

Can I review a question after I've answered it? Because ALEKS is adaptive, once you submit an answer, you cannot change it. Be sure to carefully check your answer before submitting your response.

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

Are Placement Assessments timed? Yes. You will have 2 hours to complete an assessment. If you have student disabilities accommodations for additional time, your time will be adjusted accordingly.

What happens if I do not complete a placement assessment in the allotted time? In an unproctored assessment, if you do not submit within the 2 hours, the score will not count and you will have to redo the assessment. In a proctored assessment, you will be given a placement result whether you submit or not, but it will not be a true reflection of your abilities.

What is my placement result? Your placement result (overall score) is a number from 0 to 100. It represents the percentage of topics ALEKS has identified you have mastered.

Course placement is determined as follows:

Level 4 (ALEKS score 76-100)

MAT 2010 or lower and STA 2210

Level 3 (ALEKS score 61-75)

MAT 1110, 1120, 1800 or lower

Level 2 (ALEKS score 46-60)

MAT 1070 or lower

Level 1 (ALEKS score 0-45)

MAT 0993, MAT 1000 or STA 1020 (These courses do not require any placement to enroll.)

1. The course you should choose is determined by your intended major. Please consult an academic advisor.

2. See "What Makes an ACT, SAT, MPE or MPA Placement Score Valid (Validated)?" above this chart for restrictions to placement.

Where can I see my score? 

  • You will receive your unofficial score immediately upon completion of your Placement Assessment.
  • Your ALEKS score can be viewed by re-entering ALEKS using the same access link for which you took the Placement Assessment.
  • Your ALEKS score will be uploaded to STARS under Tests within one week of your ALEKS Assessment. You will not be able to register for your course until it is uploaded to STARS. Advisors and departments are NOT authorized to override students into any courses based on unofficial ALEKS scores.

How long is my placement result valid? Scores are valid for 3 semesters after the semester in which you take the assessment. So for example, if a student takes the exam in February of 2020, the exam is good for placement in Spring/Summer 2020, Fall 2020, and Winter 2021. For summer 2020 courses, students must have completed their placement assessments by 9 pm on May 1, 2020. 

What if I do not place into the course I wanted? This is a perfect opportunity to take advantage of the Prep and Learning Modules offered within ALEKS PPL. An individualized study plan will be created 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 the course I wanted anyway? No, you must achieve the minimum placement result to take each corresponding class.

What if I placed into the class I wanted? Congratulations, if it was in any assessment during the coronavirus crisis! You do not need to continue any further in the ALEKS PPL program unless you would like to use it to improve your outcome in the course you are about to take. After the coronavirus crisis, you will need to place into the course you want during one of the proctored assessments in order to take that course.

Can I retake the ALEKS PPL Assessment? Yes, you may take up to 3 Placement Assessments during the coronavirus crisis. However, to make each attempt worthwhile, it is important that you spend time working in your ALEKS Prep and Learning Module between Placement Assessments so that you can improve your skills. Therefore, at least 3 hours of time in the learning modules is required before taking the next assessment.

Can I retake the ALEKS Placement Assessment immediately? No. You must wait 48 hours between Placement Assessments. There is generally no benefit to re-taking the Placement Assessment immediately after completing a prior attempt. You cannot improve your results by simply re-taking the Placement Assessment without spending time in the Prep and Learning Module to refresh material that you may have forgotten.

What if I don't understand my placement? Students may email a Department of Mathematics advisor at mathundergrad@wayne.edu to discuss their placement situation.

Prep and Learning Modules

How long do I have access to my Prep and Learning Module? You will have access to your Prep and Learning module for your 12-month subscription.

Is there an additional fee for my Prep and Learning Module? Access to a Prep and Learning Module is included along with the additional Placement Assessments.

Must I work in my ALEKS Prep and Learning Module between Placement Assessments? Yes. You can retake the Placement assessment 2 additional times during the coronavirus crisis to improve your score. (The highest score will be used for math placement). Students are required to work in the Prep and Learning Modules for at least 3 hours prior to each Placement Assessment to increase success.

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. Select the placement tab in the upper right corner of the ALEKS page to start a new Placement Assessment.

Can 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.

 

Technical Support

What do I do if my web browser gets stuck or my computer crashes while I'm taking the Placement Assessment? Simply close the browser, or log out and log back in. ALEKS will resume the Placement Assessment exactly where you left off, with no loss of your previous answers.

Where can I get help with ALEKS?

http://www.aleks.com/faqs/technical

http://support.aleks.com/assess_placement

 

Courses and assessment

  • MAT 0993: Beginning Algebra

    MAT 0995 is a three credit course which carries no degree credit. There are two options: 1) a computer-based course meeting in the Mathematics Computer Lab (MCL). Each student must complete a minimum of three hours per week in the MCL in addition to attending the two-hour regular class meeting or 2) the Rising Scholars Program.

    Topics

    • Review of arithmetic, integers, fractions, decimals, percents, ratios
    • Algebra: solving equations and inequalities, algebraic expressions, graphing, problem-solving

    Prerequisites

    MAT 0993 is the first course in the Wayne State Developmental Mathematics program. Students should take the mathematics placement exam to determine their current level of mathematical knowledge. Students may enroll in MAT 0993 without taking the placement exam, but this is not recommended.

    Materials fee (computer-based course only)

    The fee, which is part of the tuition, covers the cost of access to MyMathLab. This gives the student access to all course materials, including the textbook, videos, homework, quizzes and tests.

    Grades 

    ANC, BNC, CNC, UNC (NC stands for "no credit" since this course carries no degree credit). Successful completion of this course (CNC or higher) qualifies the student to enroll in MAT 0995, MAT 1000, or MAT 1050. This prerequisite is valid for one year (three semesters).

  • MAT 1000: Mathematics in Today's World

    MAT 1000 is a three-credit course which studies some of the applications of mathematics to topics of general interest in today's society. Attaining a C or better in this course will meet the quantitative experience general education requirement. This course is not a prerequisite for any other math department course.

    This course does not require placement in order to be taken. However, if a student is attempting this course for a third or fourth time they will need to follow a particular procedure. Please email mathundergrad@wayne.edu for more information.

    Textbook

    The required textbook is For All Practical Purposes, Mathematics in Today's World, Tenth Edition, by COMAP.

    Topics

    An exploration of current applications of mathematics, such as gerrymandering, consumer mathematics, cryptography, identification numbers, art, music, statistical design, optimal decision making, and risk assessment.

    Prerequisites

    MAT 1000 is changing to reflect the new quantitative experience general education requirement. As a result, this course will no longer have a prerequisite. Any student can enroll, without restriction.

  • MAT 1050: Intermediate Algebra with Trigonometry

    MAT 1050: Five credits (two credits towards graduation) five hours/week

    This is an intermediate algebra course that also includes an introduction to logarithms and trigonometry. Successful completion (C- or above) of this course qualifies the student to enroll in MAT 1110, MAT 1500, or MAT 1800 during the following year (three semesters).

    MAT 1050: Seven credits (three credits towards graduation) nine hours/week

    This option is referred to as PREP. Students who successfully complete PREP will be invited into the Emerging Scholars Program (ESP). This class is the same as MAT 1050 with the addition of a workshop that meets twice each week for two hours. During the workshop, students work in groups solving challenging mathematics problems. Students majoring in engineering, mathematics, mathematics education, or science should enroll in MAT 1050 PREP rather than the five-credit version.

    Topics

    • Algebra: Properties of the real number system, equations and inequalities, lines, graphs, introduction to functions, exponents, logarithms
    • Geometry and trigonometry: Basic concepts, introduction to the trigonometric functions, solving right triangles

    Prerequisites

    Students qualify for MAT 1050 by having achieved one of the following:

    • Satisfactory score on the mathematics placement exam in the past 12 months
    • A grade of ANC, BNC, or CNC in MAT 0993 taken at Wayne State University in the past 12 months
    • A validated ACT math score of 21 or higher
    • A validated SAT math score of 500 or higher (before March 2016), or a validated SAT math score of 530 or higher (March 2016 or later)

    For placement at this level, students should have a command of numerical and beginning algebra concepts and techniques corresponding approximately to one year of high school algebra.

    E-book and online homework

    This course uses an e-book and online homework. You must have an access code, which is available at the campus bookstore.

    MAT 1050 students are encouraged to work online homework in the Mathematics Computer Lab, where tutors are readily available to assist.

    View past final exams for practice

  • MAT 1070 College Algebra

    A college algebra course with emphasis on functions. Some sections are offered by the Rising Scholars Program (RSP). These sections require departmental approval and must be taken with MAT 1075, a two-hour workshop. During the workshop, students work in groups solving challenging mathematics problems. Students majoring in engineering, mathematics, mathematics education, or science are encouraged to enroll in the RSP section. Email emergingscholars@wayne.edu for more information regarding the RSP sections. Offered Every Term.

    Topics

    • Properties of the real number system, equations and inequalities, lines, graphs, algebra of functions, modeling, exponents, logarithms, systems of equations and conic sections 
    • Introduction to trigonometry if time allows 

    Prerequisites

    Students qualify for MAT 1070 by having achieved one of the following:

    • Satisfactory score on the mathematics placement exam in the past 12 months
    • A grade of ANC, BNC, or CNC in MAT 0993 taken at Wayne State University in the past 12 months
    • A validated ACT math score of 21 or higher or a validated SAT math score of 530 or higher in the past 24 months.

    For placement at this level, students should have a command of numerical and beginning algebra concepts and techniques corresponding approximately to one year of high school algebra.

    E-book and online homework

    This course uses an e-book and online homework. You must have an access code, which is available at the campus bookstore.

    MAT 1070 students are encouraged to work online homework in the Mathematics Computer Lab, where tutors are readily available to assist.

  • MAT 1110: Mathematics for Elementary School Teachers I

    MAT 1110 is a 3 credit course that meets for four hours each week. The extra hour will be used for students to work in groups using manipulatives. Successful completion of the course (C- or better) qualifies the student to enroll in MAT 1120 during the following 12 months.

    Topics

    • Problem-solving
    • Sets, functions
    • Reasoning
    • Number theory
    • Whole numbers, integers, fractions, and decimals

    Prerequisites

    Students qualify for MAT 1110 by having achieved one of the following:

    • Satisfactory score on the mathematics placement exam in the past 12 months
    • Grade of C- or better in MAT 1050 or MAT 1070 (which will be offered in Fall 2020 semester) taken at Wayne State University in the past 12 months
    • Validated SAT math score of 600 or higher, or a validated ACT math score of 26 or higher in the past 12 months
    • Post-baccalaureate students qualify by any of the above methods or by documenting to a math advisor the satisfactory completion of a college or university mathematics class at the level of precalculus or above

    For placement at this level, students should have a command of algebra and basic geometry corresponding to approximately three years of college preparatory mathematics.

    Textbook

    • MATHEMATICS For Elementary Teachers, A Conceptual Approach, Ninth Edition, by Bennett, Burton, and Nelson
    • MATHEMATICS For Elementary Teachers, An Activities Approach, Ninth Edition, by Bennett, Burton, and Nelson
    • Manipulative Kit

    All three items may be purchased together for a discounted price. These will also be used for MAT 1120.

  • MAT 1120: Mathematics for Elementary School Teachers II

    MAT 1120 is a three-credit course that meets for four hours each week. The extra hour will be used for students to work in groups using manipulatives.

    Topics

    • Statistics
    • Probability
    • Geometry
    • Measurement

    Prerequisites

    Students qualify for MAT 1120 by having achieved one of the following:

    • Grade of C- or higher in MAT 1110 taken at Wayne State University in the previous 12 months
    • Satisfactory score on the mathematics placement exam in the previous 12 months, and transfer of MAT 1110 equivalent with a grade of C or higher
    • Validated SAT math score of 600 or higher, and transfer of MAT 1110 equivalent with a grade of C or higher
    • Validated ACT math score of 26 or higher, and transfer of MAT 1110 equivalent with a grade of C or higher
    • Post-baccalaureate students qualify by any of the above methods, or by satisfactory completion of a college mathematics class at the level of precalculus or above, and transfer of MAT 1110 equivalent with a grade of C or higher

    For placement at this level, students should have a command of algebra and basic geometry corresponding to approximately three years of college preparatory mathematics.

    Textbook

    • MATHEMATICS For Elementary Teachers, A Conceptual Approach, Ninth Edition, by Bennett, Burton, and Nelson 
    • MATHEMATICS For Elementary Teachers, An Activities Approach, Ninth Edition, by Bennett, Burton, and Nelson 
    • Manipulative Kit

    All three items may be purchased together for a discounted price.

  • MAT 1800: Precalculus

    MAT 1800 is a four-credit course on elementary functions with trigonometry. Students in the Emerging Scholars Program must also enroll in the accompanying problem-solving workshop: MAT 1990, for a total of six credits. Successful completion (C- or above) of this course qualifies the student to enroll in MAT 2010 during the following year (three semesters).

    Topics

    • Basic definition and concept of a function
    • Definitions, properties and graphs of polynomials, rational, exponential, logarithmic, trigonometric, and inverse trigonometric functions

    Prerequisites

    Students qualify for MAT 1800 by having achieved one of the following:

    • Satisfactory score on the Mathematics Placement Exam in the previous 12 months
    • Grade of C- or better in MAT 1050 or MAT 1070 (which will be offered beginning Fall 2020 semester) taken at Wayne State University in the previous 12 months
    • A validated SAT math score of 620 or higher or a validated ACT math score of 26 or higher in the previous 24 months.

    For placement at this level, students should have a command of algebra and basic geometry, corresponding to approximately three years of college-preparatory mathematics.

    View past final exams for practice

    Online homework

    This course utilizes the WebAssign online homework system. You must have an access code, which is available at the campus bookstore.

    Textbook

    Precalculus, Mathematics for Calculus, 7th Edition, by James Stewart, Lothar Redlin and Saleem Watson. The textbook is available as an eBook that comes with your purchase of a WebAssign access code.

  • MAT 2010: Calculus I

    MAT 2010 is a four-credit course on Calculus. Students in the Emerging Scholars Program must also enroll in the accompanying problem-solving workshop: MAT 2110, for a total of six credits. Successful completion (C- or above) of this course qualifies the student to enroll in MAT 2020 during the following 12 months.

    Topics

    • Calculus is the study of change
    • Definitions, concepts, and interpretations of the derivative and the definite and indefinite integrals
    • Differentiation, integration, applications

    Prerequisites

    Students qualify for MAT 2010 by having achieved one of the following:

    • Satisfactory score on the mathematics placement exam in the previous 12 months
    • Grade of C- or better in MAT 1800 taken at Wayne State University in the previous 12 months
    • A validated SAT math score of 670 or higher or a validated ACT math score of 29 or higher in the previous 24 months.

    Students should have a command of algebra and basic geometry, corresponding approximately to four years of college-preparatory mathematics.

    Textbook

    Calculus, Early Transcendentals, 7th Edition, by James Stewart

  • STA 1020: Elementary Statistics

    This course covers the basic concepts and some elementary methods in statistics with the use of mathematics for calculation and simple analysis. Having learned the materials contained in this course, a student should have some rudimentary knowledge about how data is collected, how to organize and to display data, how to interpret the results and how to draw conclusions from the results.

    This course does not require placement in order to be taken. However, if a student is attempting this course for a third or fourth time they will need to follow a particular procedure. Please email mathundergrad@wayne.edu for more information.

    Topics

    • Descrip­tive statistics
    • Correlation and regression
    • Notions in probability
    • Bino­mial and normal distributions
    • Testing hypothesis

    Textbook

    The required textbook is Beginning Statistics by Carolyn Warren, Kimberly Denly, & Emily Atchley, 2nd ed.

  • STA 2210 Probability and Statistics

    Sophomore level course covering Probability & Statistics

    Topics

    • Basic probability theory (definition of probability, conditional probability, independence, random variables, expectation and variance, normal distribution, law of large numbers, central limit theorem)
    • Descriptive statistics (histograms, scatter plots, box plots, mean, variance, quantiles, empirical rule, z-scores), statistical inference (confidence intervals for mean, t-tests, chi-square tests, linear regression, analysis of variance) and data analysis. Offered Every Term.

    Prerequisites

    Students qualify for STA 2210 by having achieved one of the following:

    • MAT 1800 with a minimum grade of C- 
    • MAT 2010-2350 with a minimum grade of C- 
    • A validated SAT math score of 670 or higher (after March 2016) or a validated SAT math score of 650 or higher (before March 2016)
    • A validated ACT math score of 29 or higher in the previous 24 months