Math Placement

The single most common mistake made by students is neglecting to prepare for the placement test.

Page Last Updated: August, 2019




What is ALEKS PPL?

CSN uses an ALEKS PPL (Placement, Preparation and Learning) assessment to determine the mathematics course in which you will have the greatest success. ALEKS PPL is a web-based program that uses artificial intelligence to map a student’s strengths and weaknesses. The placement assessment is up to 30 questions and generally takes 60-90 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 PPL consists of three parts:

  • An Initial Assessment
    • NOTE #1: The initial assessment may be taken at home in an unproctored environment. However, if unproctored, this initial assessment score CANNOT be used for placement.
    • NOTE #2: If a student elects to take the initial assessment in the Testing Center, they can use the score for placement purposes.
  • The Prep and Learning Module, an Individualized, Self-Paced Online Review
  • Access to Four Additional Placement Assessments
    • NOTE: Students must work in the ALEKS PPL for at least five hours between attempts.

CSN encourages each student to spend time in the Prep and Learning Module, even if the desired score is achieved. Time spent in ALEKS PPL will ultimately lead to better preparation and improved grades.

Accessing ALEKS PPL (Coming Soon!)



  • You cannot "pass" or "fail" any placement test, but it is very important that you do your very best on these tests so that you will have an accurate measure of your academic skills.
  • The results are provided upon completion, and entered in to the MyCSN system on the same day. Students will be allowed to register for the corresponding course within 24 hours of completing any placement test.
    Math Placement Scores
  • All placement levels are good for two years.
  • As an alternative to the ALEKS PPL, students may take the Next-Gen ACCUPLACER Math Placement Test in the CSN Testing Center (See Below).
  • Students can also attempt raise their placement level by taking the Algebra Refresher course offered through CSN's Workforce Program.
  • Students seeking an AAS or AGS degree should check with a counselor or advisor about the specific math requirements for that degree. For many of those non-transferable degrees, students may only need to take MATH 104B (Applied Math) or MATH 116 (Technical Math), and do not need to take any math placement test to register for these courses.



What is the Next-Gen ACCUPLACER Test?

The Next-Gen ACCUPLACER Math Placement Test is written by the College Board. It is a computerized test that determines your knowledge in math (as well as reading and writing) as you prepare to enroll in college-level courses.

The Next-Gen ACCUPLACER Math Placement Test Consists of Three Distinct Tests:

CSN Next-Gen ACCUPLACER Testing Procedure

  • CSN does not charge the students to take the Next-Gen ACCUPALCER Tests.
  • The Tests must be taken in person at one of the CSN Testing Centers.
  • You do not need to make an appointment to take the test, but it is strongly recommended that you do so. Information on making appointments can be found at
  • The average time taken is about one hour. You must begin the test at least an hour and a half before the Testing Center closes.
  • Scratch paper will be provided, but NO calculators are allowed!​
  • Students may retake the Next-Gen ACCUPLACER test after two weeks. Students may not, however, take the Next-Gen ACCUPLACER more than twice in any six-month period.