Student working on a white board in the library

Math Placement

The NSHE Gateway Enrollment And Corequisite Policy

Effective Fall 2021, Nevada public colleges and universities began requiring all new, beginning students to enroll in the gateway college-level English and math courses required for their program/major within their first year of study. Some gateway courses include college-level coursework only, while others include the same college-level coursework along with corequisite instruction. Corequisite instruction delivers in-class, in-time support to ensure student success. While enrollment in courses featuring corequisite instruction is open to all students, a qualifying test score is required to enroll in courses without the corequisite support.

Upcoming Events

No events at this time. Please check again soon.

Placement Methods

Math Placement by Existing Test Scores

Placement by SAT or ACT

UNLV uses your ACT or SAT test scores as the basis for placement into your first English or math course. The chart below shows where you place based on your current test score.

If you do not have an ACT or SAT test score or you would like to improve your current placement, you can change your placement with ALEKS.

UNLV Math Placement Scores
UNLV Math Course ACT Score SAT Score
Math 120E + Math 20B (Corequisite Math - 5 credits) <22 <530
Math 124E + Math 24B (Corequisite Math - 5 credits) <22 <530
Math 126E + Math 26B (Corequisite Math - 5 credits) <23 <550
Math 120 – Fundamentals of College Math 22 530
Math 124 – College Algebra 22 530
Math 126 – Precalculus I 23 550
Math 127 – Precalculus II 25 580
Math 128 – Precalculus I & II 25 580
Math 132 – Finite Mathematics 24 580
Math 181 – Elementary Calculus I 28 650

Math Placement through UNLV Department of Mathematical Sciences

Math Department Placement Test

The Department of Mathematical Sciences offers a scantron-based, paper and pencil placement test with a 90-minute time limit. It can place a student in Math 120, 122, 124, 126, 127, 128, and 132. Students can repeat the exam to try to place higher after three months. For more information, visit the Department of Mathematics Proficiency Exam page.

Math Placement with ALEKS


If a student does not have a qualifying score or credit for the mathematics course they wish to enroll in, UNLV requires an ALEKS Placement, Preparation, and Learning (ALEKS PPL) assessment to determine readiness.

ALEKS PPL is a web-based program that uses artificial intelligence to map a student’s strengths and weaknesses. The Placement Assessment contains up to 30 open-response questions and generally takes 60 to 90 minutes to complete. After the Placement Assessment, an individualized Prep and Learning Module is available for students to refresh their knowledge on forgotten topics. Students then have the opportunity to reassess and improve their placement.

ALEKS is offered year-round; however, it is best to take ALEKS as soon as possible and prior to your registration and new student orientation. This program is provided to UNLV admitted students at no cost, and ALEKS accounts remain active for one year.

How does the ALEKS program work?

ALEKS is an adaptive program–it selects questions for you based on your answers to previous questions. This adaptive technique avoids asking you questions that are too easy or too far beyond your current state of readiness. Because of this, you must answer each question before you can move on to the next question, and you cannot go back to previously answered questions. The number of questions you receive may vary, but it will never be greater than 30.

Components of the ALEKS assessment

Initial Assessment

The Initial Assessment will gauge what skills you have mastered and what skills you might need to brush up on. It is not necessary to study for the Initial Assessment.

After you complete the Initial Assessment, you will receive a score and projected placement into a math course. This score will not be considered for placement–it is just an indicator of your current skill mastery.

Prep and Learning Module

Based on your Initial Assessment score, ALEKS will provide you a customized learning module to practice old or forgotten skills. Once you have practiced in the learning modules, you will take your first Placement Assessment.

Placement Assessments

The Placement Assessment will be available once you have practiced in the learning modules. Your score and placement results will be added automatically to MyUNLV, which are accessible by your academic advisor. Please allow up to 24 hours for your results to appear.

You can retake the ALEKS Placement Assessment up to four times, for a total of five attempts when you count the Initial Assessment. After each attempt, you will be required to work in the learning module for a certain number of hours before you can take ALEKS again. The placement process is complete when you achieve your desired placement result or have taken the assessment five times.

Required ALEKS Scores

The score a student needs to earn depends on which math course is required for their major. Students should consult with an academic advisor to determine which math course they need to take.

Required ALEKS Scores
Course Required ALEKS Score Corequisite Courses

Math 120: Fundamentals of College Mathematics

Math 124: College Algebra


Students who score 0-45 may enroll in an expanded course. Expanded courses are 3+2 credits. 3 of 5 credits count as Math 120 or 124 and towards graduation; the two corequisite credits do not count toward the total needed for graduation.

Math 120E + 20B
Math 124E + 24B

Math 126: Precalculus I


Students who score 0-60 may enroll in an expanded course. Expanded courses are 3+2 credits. 3 of 5 credits count as Math 126 and towards graduation; the two corequisite credits do not count toward the total needed for graduation

Math 126E + 26B

Math 127: Precalculus II

Math 128: Precalculus and Trigonometry

61-75 AND 41-100 in ALEKS Trig No corequisite courses
Math 132: Finite Mathematics 61-75
Math 181: Calculus I 76-100

Process and requirements for Placement Assessments

Each attempt that is considered for placement must be proctored. Students may take Placement Assessments from home, proctored remotely with a lockdown browser and webcam monitoring, or on campus, in a designated lab with a live proctor.

Details on downloading the lockdown browser are available on under the Resources tab.

If you would prefer to take the ALEKS Placement assessment on campus with a live proctor you can schedule an appointment here.

You will have two hours to take the placement assessment. Most students take between 60 and 90 minutes to complete. ALEKS is not multiple choice—each question is open response and requires working answers out on paper, then entering them into the assessment.

You should avoid answering “I don’t know” as much as possible to receive an accurate score. You usually know more than you think!

The purpose of placement testing

Results from the Placement Assessment will be used to determine the most appropriate courses for each student as they move forward with college coursework.

The Placement Assessment is not a test–instead, it is designed to determine what a student knows and what skills a student needs to work on. At the end of the ALEKS PPL Assessment, a student will have a better sense of their strengths and weaknesses in math. Students then have a chance to strengthen skills that might have been forgotten or haven’t been practiced for some time.

Set up your ALEKS account

  • Students will access ALEKS through MyUNLV.
    • Click on the Resources block and go to the ALEKS link tab.
    • Click “Continue to ALEKS”
  • The required password and link to the lockdown browser can be found in the Summer and Fall Placement Instruction Document
  • If you would prefer to take the ALEKS Placement assessment on campus with a live proctor you can schedule an appointment here.

Preparing for the Placement Assessment

Meaning of the Initial Assessment score

Upon completion of your Initial Assessment, you will receive a numbered score between zero and 100. This score represents the percentage of topics in the ALEKS library that you have mastered. This score will be used to assign you to a Prep and Learning Module.

ALEKS Scores and Corresponding Modules
ALEKS Score Prep and Learning Module
0-9 Prep for Beginning Algebra
10-24 Prep for Intermediate Algebra
25-39 Prep for College Algebra
40-45 Prep for Precalculus
46+ Prep for Calculus

Prep and Learning Modules for your goals

  • If your first ALEKS score was between zero and 24, you will be assigned to the Prep for Beginning Algebra or Prep for Intermediate Algebra Learning Modules. You must work in these modules and “Master” or “Learn” 60% of each topic before you can be moved up to the next Learning Module. It is not recommended that you take your Placement Assessment if you are assigned to Prep for Beginning or Intermediate Algebra. You should wait until you have completed those practice modules.
  • To place into Math 120 or 124, you must score 46 or above on your placement. You should work in the Prep for College Algebra Learning Module to earn a score of 46 or above.
  • To place into Math 126, you must score 61 or above on your placement. You should work in the Prep for Precalculus Learning Module to earn a score of 61 or above.
  • To place into Math 127 or 128, you must score 61 or above and score 41 or above in ALEKS Trig. You MUST work in the Prep for Calculus Learning Module in order to access Trigonometry Topics.
  • To be placed into Math 181, you must score 76 or above on your placement. In order to earn a score of 76 or above, you must work in the Prep for Calculus Training Module.

If you need help advancing in your Learning Modules or need to be moved to different Learning Modules, please email

Retaking the Placement Test

What to do if you didn’t get your desired placement

If you didn’t place into the class you wanted on your Placement Assessment, do not worry. ALEKS has created a customized Prep and Learning module to help you brush up on your skills for your next attempt. Retaking ALEKS can never place you into a lower course–only your highest score will be used to determine your placement.

Accessing the Prep and Learning Module

  1. In ALEKS, you will see “Up Next: Improve Your Knowledge” in a Prep and Learning Module. Click “Get Started” to launch the module.
  2. Based on your initial placement assessment, ALEKS will recommend one of five modules. Click “Start” to launch the module.
  3. The Learning Pie will help you keep track of which topics you’ve mastered in the module. As you work in the module and build your skills, more sections of the Learning Pie will fill in.
  4. Occasionally, ALEKS will give you Knowledge Checks to gauge whether you’ve mastered a topic. If you need additional practice on a topic, it will be added back to your Learning Pie.

Requirements for retaking assessments

  • Upon completion of your Initial Assessment, you may immediately start your first Placement Assessment.
  • Following your second assessment, you must complete a minimum of five hours in the Prep and Learning Modules before taking your next assessment.
  • Following your third Assessment (one Initial and two Placement Assessments), you must complete a minimum of three hours in the Prep and Learning Modules prior to your fourth and fifth assessments.
  • You will follow all of the same instructions on the instruction sheet found under the Resource tab in MyUNLV.
  • If you would prefer to take the ALEKS Placement assessment on campus with a live proctor you can schedule an appointment here.

Next steps after passing the assessment

Your placement process is complete once you have placed into your desired class on the Placement Assessment. Your scores will be added to your student records within approximately 24 hours, and your academic advisor will be able to view them once they are available.

Once your student records are updated, you should be able to enroll in your math course (unless you have holds on your account for other reasons).

Even though your placement process is complete, your ALEKS account remains active for one year and you have continued access to your customized prep and learning modules. Though you’ve proven you have the skills to get started in your desired class, we encourage you to take advantage of the ALEKS learning module to be even better prepared for college-level math.