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MATH 1225 Placement FAQs

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Virginia Tech uses ALEKS Placement, Preparation and Learning (PPL) to find the strengths and weaknesses of your mathematical knowledge, report results to you, and then, if necessary, provide you with online learning modules for improving your knowledge to prepare for MATH 1225. 

Access to ALEKS is available now!

Important: The deadline to earn eligibility to enroll in MATH 1225 for Spring 2022 is January 22, 2022.

ALEKS Placement, Preparation and Learning (PPL) is a web-based program consisting of two parts:

  1. Adaptive, open-response MATH 1225 Placement Assessments covering material from college algebra through precalculus; the assessment does not test any calculus principles whatsoever.
  2. A Prep and Learning Module which provides an individualized, self-paced online review.

ALEKS begins with an initial placement assessment. Your initial assessment will provide a score that will determine whether you are eligible to enroll in MATH 1225. If you are not eligible to enroll based on your initial assessment score, you will have a chance to work on identified weaknesses through the targeted Prep and Learning Module before attempting additional placement assessments.

MATH 1225 Placement Assessments contain up to 30 questions, and generally take 60-90 minutes to complete. 

If you are NOT interested in taking MATH 1225, you do NOT need to use ALEKS.

If you are unsure of your MATH 1225 eligibility status, you can check your status on your orientation page:

  • Log into Hokie Spa.
  • Click on "View your General Student Information."
  • If there is a drop-down menu on the next screen, select the current term.
  • Click on "View Orientation Information."

Your status will be one of the following: 

You do not have to use ALEKS. You have satisfied the prerequisites for MATH 1225 and are eligible to enroll in MATH 1225 now. We encourage you to discuss your course plans with your academic advisor before enrolling in MATH 1225.

You can use ALEKS to become eligible to enroll in MATH 1225. For other ways to become eligible, see Qualifying for MATH 1225.

If you do NOT intend to take MATH 1225, no further action is needed.

Take a MATH 1225 Placement Assessment to determine your eligibility to enroll in MATH 1225.

You cannot satisfy a prerequisite for MATH 1225 with a grade in an equivalent course taken at another institution (including MATH 1014, 1025, 1536, 1225).

See Qualifying for MATH 1225 to learn how you can become eligible to enroll in the course.

ALEKS PPL is available to all Virginia Tech students, free of charge.


Your MATH 1225 Placement Assessment is designed to determine what you know and what you need to work on; you do NOT need to review/study for the assessment. At the end of the assessment, you will have a much better sense of your strengths and weaknesses, and have a chance to brush up on topics that may have been forgotten or haven't been practiced for some time. 

Therefore, you should take your initial assessment soon as possible! Access to ALEKS is available now and is offered free of charge for Virginia Tech students

When taking a MATH 1225 Placement Assessment, enter the required proctoring password when prompted: VTMATH1225.


You are strongly encouraged to complete your initial placement assessment at least 3 business days prior to your orientation academic advising appointment.

You are eligible to enroll in MATH 1225 with a score of 76 or better on a MATH 1225 Placement Assessment.

**NOTE: Due to unprecedented circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, Virginia Tech made a one-time adjustment to the required minimum MATH 1225 Placement score for Fall 2021.

You will be allotted multiple attempts to pass the assessment. 

Only the highest score is used for determining eligibility.

A passing score satisfies a prerequisite to enroll in the course, but does not guarantee a seat in MATH 1225.

To ensure the best chance of securing a seat in the course, it is strongly recommended that you complete your initial assessment immediately. We do not suggest extensive study time and/or preparation prior to your initial assessment; the goal is to assess what you know (and don't know) right now.

The deadline to earn eligibility for a particular semester is two days prior to the last day to add classes. For Spring 2022, the deadline is January 22nd, 2022.

NOTE: To enroll yourself in MATH 1225, your major must satisfy the course restrictions (see the timetable or contact your advisor if you are unsure). If your major is not listed, and you have a passing score on the MATH 1225 Placement Assessment, you can request a force add.

You have access to a total of five MATH 1225 Placement Assessments over a 12 month period.

  • Three assessments are released prior to the start of the fall semester
  • An additional two assessments are made available no later than November 30 to earn eligibility for the upcoming spring semester.

Your initial assessment is available immediately.

While your initial assessment was available immediately, your second and third assessments are available to you

  • only if it has been 24 hours after you completed the previous assessment AND
  • after you have spent 3 hours in the Prep and Learning Module.

REMINDER: Assessments 4 and 5 are not available to earn eligibility for the fall semester.

If you do not earn a passing score, we strongly suggest that you enroll in MATH 1984, SS: Preparation for Calculus. 

In order to take your placement assessment you will need the following (more details can be found under ‘Tell me more about ALEKS’):

  • Device with reliable internet connection
    • Windows running 10, 8, or 7
    • Mac running OS X 10.12+
    • Note: Chromebooks are not compatible.
  • Microphone and webcam
  • Lockdown Browser (download here)
  • Photo ID (Virginia Tech ID, Driver’s license, State ID, passport)
  • Blank paper and pencil
  • A distraction free environment for up to three hours

Please read through ALL of the information under 'Tell me more about the MATH 1225 Placement Assessments...'  
If you still believe you need testing accommodations to take the MATH 1225 Placement Assessment, please contact Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD).  SSD and the Mathematics Department will work together with you to determine the best way to meet your accommodation needs.

Yes, you have 3 hours to complete a Placement Assessment once it has begun.  There will be a maximum of 30 questions and the average time to complete an assessment is 80 minutes. You cannot stop the assessment and return; the assessment must be completed in one sitting.

MATH 1225 Placement Assessments are remotely proctored using LockDown Browser and Respondus Monitor. 

  •  LockDown Browser is a custom browser that secures the testing environment by preventing access to other applications, copying, printing, or visiting other websites while taking assessments in ALEKS PPL. 
  • Respondus Monitor is an automated “remote proctoring” companion application for LockDown Browser that uses webcam and video technology to record you during your online placement assessment. Faculty members monitor the recordings to ensure the integrity of the proctored assessment.
  • Avoid wearing baseball caps or hats with brims.
  • Ensure your computer or tablet is on a firm surface (a desk or table). Do NOT have the computer on your lap, a bed, or other surface where the device (or you) are likely to move.
  • If using a built-in webcam, avoid tilting the screen after the webcam setup is complete.
  • Take the assessment in a well-lit room and avoid backlighting, such as sitting with your back to a window.
  • Use the Respondus Monitor Live chat for any pre-assessment issues related to your webcam and microphone

View the ALEKS Respondus Monitor Student Startup Guide for help in getting started.

The Virginia Tech Honor Code applies to students when taking the MATH 1225 Placement Assessment. 
Failure to abide by this policy may result in a failure of the exam and/or other sanctions imposed by the university.

You may only use a pen or pencil, paper, and the resources provided by ALEKS. You will also need a microphone and webcam for remote proctoring.

ALEKS will provide an on-screen calculator if you need one to complete a particular problem. No other calculator is permitted.

You may not receive assistance from friends, family, other websites, textbooks, or any other resource not provided by ALEKS. An inflated score will misrepresent your mathematical background and significantly decrease your chances of success in MATH 1225. It is important that you are honest about your skill level. 

The Virginia Tech Honor Code applies to students when taking the MATH 1225 Placement Assessment. 
Failure to abide by this policy may result in a failure of the exam and/or other sanctions imposed by the university.

ALEKS will begin with a brief tutorial before your initial MATH 1225 Placement Assessment begins. In order to use the Prep and Learning Module, ALEKS must first determine what you already know and what you're ready to learn. So, your initial placement assessment must be taken BEFORE accessing the Prep and Learning Module.

While working in the Prep and Learning Module, you will periodically complete a Knowledge Check to ensure you are on the optimal learning path. A Knowledge Check determines what you’ve mastered and what you’re ready to learn.

A Knowledge Check does NOT qualify as a Placement Assessment.

No. You must complete and earn a passing score on a new MATH 1225 Placement Assessment to become eligible to enroll in MATH 1225.

Select the placement tab in the upper right corner of the ALEKS page to start a new MATH 1225 Placement Assessment.

No. A status of ‘MATH 1225 – Not eligible to enroll’ means that you have not satisfied a MATH 1225 prerequisite. If you did not achieve the minimum score through ALEKS, see Qualifying for MATH 1225 for information on other ways you can become eligible to enroll in MATH 1225.

Congratulations! You can continue to use your Prep and Learning Modules for up to 12 months. Take advantage of the targeted review and learning features in ALEKS to prepare for success in MATH 1225.

Allow up to 3 business days for your MATH 1225 eligibility status to be updated. Provided seats are available and your major meets the course restrictions (see the timetable or contact your advisor if you are unsure), self-enroll in MATH 1225 using Hokie Spa. If you receive a restricted major error, you can submit a force add request

For technical support while using ALEKS PPL:

For questions about eligibility to enroll in MATH 1225: