# Math Placement and AP Credit

#### The Placement Process

Upon entry to Valparaiso University, all students who do yet not have college credit for mathematics are given a * preliminary placement* into appropriate mathematics classes through an evaluation process that includes ACT or SAT math scores and high school GPA. The preliminary placement for students in the College of Engineering and College of Nursing and Health Professions also takes into account the level of math classes taken in high school. The possible placement levels are 0, 1, 2, or 3, which are described in detail below. If a student determines the preliminary placement level is suitable, there is no need to take the math placement assessment. If a student wishes to improve the preliminary placement, then he or she should take the math placement assessment.

#### Placement Levels

**Placement Level 3: **Students at this level are eligible for everything listed for Placement Level 2, as well as Math 131: Calculus I. This is as high as our placement system goes; placement in mathematics to anything higher than Calculus I requires previous college credit for the appropriate pre-requisite classes (for example, students who have received AP credit for Calculus I may start in Calculus II). __Any student in this placement group should NOT take the math placement assessment.__

The standards for preliminary placement at level 3 are:

__PL 3__: ACT MATH 30 – 36 (SAT MATH 690 – 800) or__PL 3__: ACT MATH 25 – 29 (SAT MATH 590 – 680), and high school GPA of 3.50 or higher, and having taken a course in Precalculus, Trigonometry, or Calculus in high school

**Placement Level 2: **Students at this level are eligible for everything listed for Placement Level 1, as well as Math 115: Trigonometry and Functions, Math 124: Finite Mathematics, and CHEM 121: General Chemistry I. __Any student in this placement group should NOT take the math placement assessment unless direct entry into Math 131: Calculus I is desired.__

The standards for preliminary placement at level 2 are:

__PL 2__: ACT MATH 25 – 29 (SAT MATH 590 – 680) and high school GPA of 3.50 or higher, but NOT having taken a course in Precalculus, Trigonometry, or Calculus during senior year

**Placement Level 1: **Students at this level are eligible to enroll in many quantitative analysis and natural science courses, including BIO 171, CHEM 111, and PSY 201. In mathematics specifically, students are eligible to enroll in Math 111: College Algebra, Math 120: Mathematics and Society, Math 125: Calculus and Functions Part I, and Stat 140: General Statistics. Your choice of whether to take a mathematics / statistics class or a quantitative analysis course in another department should be made in consultation with your academic advisor. __A student in this placement group should NOT take the math placement assessment unless direct entry into a course requiring a higher placement level is desired.__

The standards for preliminary placement at level 1 are:

__PL 1__: ACT MATH 25 – 29 (SAT MATH 590 – 680) and high school GPA below 3.50 or__PL 1__: ACT MATH 20 – 24 (SAT MATH 490 – 580) and high school GPA of 3.50 or higher

**Placement Level 0: ** Students in this group take Math 110: Intermediate Algebra or Math 125: Calculus and Functions Part I before proceeding to further college mathematics and statistics classes. Also, most quantitative analysis and natural science courses require completion of Math 110 or placement higher than Math 110 in order to enroll. Some courses allow you to take Math 110 as a co-requisite course. __Any student in this placement group is encouraged to take the math placement assessment.__

The standards for preliminary placement at level 0 are:

__PL 0__: ACT MATH 20-24 (SAT MATH 490 – 580) and high school GPA below 3.50 or__PL 0__: ACT MATH 19 (SAT MATH 480) or below

**Placement Level NP (No Placement): **Students for whom we do not have sufficient information to determine a placement level. __Any student in this placement group must take the math placement assessment.__

NOTES:

*It is very possible your preliminary placement is lower than you think it should be;*sometimes we have incomplete information. In that event, you can act to supply the missing information, or take the math placement assessment.- Any prior college credit for mathematics or statistics courses (including credit achieved through AP exams and transfer credits) overrides everything in this preliminary placement system.
__Once a student begins in the course stream, progression from course to course relies solely on the standard course pre-requisites.__

#### The Math Placement Assessment (and afterwards!)

Valparaiso University uses the ALEKS PPL system for the math placement assessment. This system provides an adaptive mathematics assessment of up to 30 questions geared towards assessing a student’s mathematical skill. There are no passing and failing levels, simply an overall score reflective of a student’s cumulative skill set. This score guides the appropriate placement into mathematics and quantitative coursework. ALEKS scores and the resulting placement levels (see above for their descriptions) are as follows:

ALEKS SCORE | PLACEMENT LEVEL |

0 – 44 | 0 |

45 – 59 | 1 |

60 – 74 | 2 |

75 – 100 | 3 |

The placement level resulting from taking the ALEKS math placement assessment overrides the preliminary placement level. **After taking the ALEKS math placement assessment the first time, a student may take advantage of the Preparation and Learning modules within ALEKS and subsequent retesting to increase the placement level before the start of the semester.** More information can be found here: aleks.com/highered/ppl/prep_and_learning.

#### AP Credit

AP credit may override the usual math placement process. Students entering with high scores on the AP Calculus or AP Statistics exams are eligible for credit as follows:

- Credit for both MATH 131 and 132 (Calculus I and II) is given for scores of 5 on the AB Calculus exam and 4 or 5 on the BC Calculus exam.
*No math placement assessment is needed.* - Credit for MATH 131 (Calculus I) is given for scores of 4 on the AB Calculus exam and 3 on the BC Calculus exam.
*No math placement assessment is needed.* - Credit for STAT 140 (General Statistics) is given for a score of 4 or 5 on the AP Statistics exam, with a default math placement into Placement Level 2.
*Math placement is still needed for direct access to MATH 131 (Calculus I).*