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Marquise Berry Mercy College Student

Math Placement Information

Mathematics course placement depends upon your planned major, previous course work and other considerations. Your PACT mentor can help you navigate requirements to make sure you register for the appropriate Math course as you embark on your Mercy career. 

To meet Mercy College’s General Education requirements, students must complete one of the following three Math courses:

  • MATH115: Math for Liberal Arts
  • MATH116: College Algebra
  • MATH117: Introduction to Statistical Reasoning

Information for Choosing a Math Course

There are four important things to keep in mind as you choose the right Math course:

  1. Please consult with your PACT mentor and make sure that your selection matches with the requirements of your anticipated major.
  2. Students can be waived from the MATH115, 116, or 117 requirement based upon courses completed in high school (though you will still need to take another Math course to fulfill General Education requirements).
  3. Some students taking MATH115 or 116 will be placed in specific “Co-Requisite” sections of these courses, where they will receive additional support throughout the semester to help them succeed. Placement in these “Co-Req” sections is based upon student performance in high school coursework and standardized exams.
  4. Students have the option of taking an online Mathematics placement exam to make sure they end up in the appropriate (Co-Req or non-Co-Req) section of MATH115 or 116 or in a more advanced Math course.

Overview of Requirements

The following charts offer an overview of the placement criteria and details on how to opt into the placement exam. 

For incoming first-year students

The placement is based on any ONE of the following (#1—#6) criteria except for students who are in a high school that has an articulation agreement with Mercy College on Math 116 (who will have their credits transferred if they meet the requirement of the agreement).


1.  HS MATH GPA ≥82

2. New York State Math Regents Exams (any exam scores 73 or better)

3. SAT (Math section 510 or better) OR ACT (math scores 22 or better)

Students will be placed into Math 115 or Math 116 based on the major program of study. Undecided students will be advised that they may take either course; however, if a student completes Math 115 and later chooses a major requiring Math 116, Math 116 will also need to be completed. In that case, Math 115 may count toward the 18 credit open elective General Education requirement.
4. High School Pre-Calculus, Calculus, Integrated Algebra (or equivalently, Algebra II) or Statistics (B or better, or 83 or better out of a 100 scale) Students will be waived from Math 115 or Math 116. However, students still need to fulfill the General Education requirement in quantitative reasoning by completing Math 131, Math 122, Math 201, or higher-level quantitative reasoning course for which the prerequisites have been met.
5. AP math courses (C or better) OR AP math exams (3 or better) Students who have completed AP Calculus AB will get Math 260; AP Calculus BC will get Math 261. Their general education math requirement (Math 115 and/or Math 116) should be waived. Students can use Math 260 to substitute Math 115 or Math 116 if these courses will not be used in their chosen majors. Otherwise, they have to take one quantitative reasoning course suggested in item #4.
6. NONE of the criteria #1—#5 applies or available Students will be placed into Math 115 Co-Req or Math 116 Co-Req or Math 117[1].

[1] Available for certain majors, please consult with your PACT advisor.

For transfer students

In addition to the criteria (#1—#6) from Part I, transfer students can also use the following criteria for placement.


7. Math courses (College Algebra or higher) taken and received C or better at other accredited Higher Ed. institutions

Students will be placed according to existing articulation agreements. If there is no existing articulation agreement, the mapping to the corresponding course at Mercy College will be done by the department of Mathematics and Computer Sciences.

Optional Placement Assessment

The purpose of the placement assessment (ALEKS PPL) is to help students self-remediate some math topics, as well as give students placed in the corequisite course the option of “placing out” of this requirement, by the beginning of the semester. The best result of the placement assessment can override the original placement outlined in Part I and Part II.

Based on the best ALEKS PPL assessment score, students will have the option to be placed into one of the following courses:


ALEKS PPL Score Courses
0-20 Math 115  Co-Req or Math 116  Co-Req or Math 117
30-45 Math 115 or Math 116
46-60 Math 122
61-75 Math 201
76-100 Math 244 or Math 260]

Information to Know

What is ALEKS PPL?

ALEKS PPL (Placement, Preparation and Learning) is a powerful artificial-intelligence-based assessment tool that zeroes in on the strengths and weaknesses of a student's mathematical knowledge, reports its findings to the student, and if necessary, provides the student with a learning environment for bringing this knowledge up to an appropriate level for course placement.

What is the exam like?

  • The ALEKS Placement Assessment covers material from Basic Math through Precalculus.
  • The exam is an open-response, adaptive assessment that covers hundreds of topics in 30 questions or less (it is not multiple choice).
  • The assessment is untimed, but you must complete it within 3 hours of when you begin.
  • Placement assessments require an average of 90 minutes to complete but the amount of time will vary by student.

Exam Rules

  • You can take the ALEKS placement assessment anywhere any time before the beginning of the semester. The placement assessment will be remotely proctored through LockDown browser, so the minimum technology requirement is a laptop with a working webcam and the internet access. If you don’t have a laptop with webcam, please consult with your PACT advisor.
  • You will need paper and a pen or pencil. No other items are permitted to be used during the exam. Cell phones are strictly prohibited.
  • ALEKS will provide an on-screen calculator if you need one to complete a particular problem. Otherwise, you are not allowed to use a calculator.
  • You may not receive assistance from family, friends, other websites, textbooks or any other resource not provided by ALEKS.
  • Use of outside resources including calculators, notes, books, or websites, may lead to improper placement and course failure and is considered cheating.
  • The Math & CS Department reserves the right to require a student whose ALEKS PPL Assessment is inconsistent with other assessments to retest under on campus proctored conditions. If a student is found to have cheated, the student will be in violation of Code of Conduct and subject to its penalties.

Access the Exam

If you decide to take the (optional) ALEKS PPL assessment, contact the Testing Center ( from your Mercy email account for a 10-character ALEKS PPL code. Please do not share this code, it is intended for a one-time use for yourself. Upon receiving the code, follow the step-by-step instruction in the attached “PPL Mercy College" to access the ALEKS PPL.

After the Exam

  • You will receive your score immediately upon completion of your placement assessment. Your score will be automatically recorded and updated to your student profile up to one day from completion the assessment; then, you need to contact your PACT advisor in order to register or adjust for the appropriate course.
  • You may check the meaning of your score and the course placement in Part III of the Math Placement page.
  • If you are not satisfied with your placement results, you may retake the ALEKS PPL Assessment up to three times, by the beginning of the semester.
  • After the assessment, a targeted Prep and Learning Module is available for you to review and learn material, and to improve placement and eventual course outcomes.
  • Before you can retake an assessment, you must work in the Prep and Learning Module a minimum of five hours.
  • There is a 48-hour waiting period between reassessments.
  • Your highest assessment score will be used for course placement.
  • Your score is valid for 12 months. If your score expires between registration and the first day of classes, you must purchase a new subscription and retake the exam.

Preparing to Retake the Exam

There is a preparation and learning module available in the ALEKS PPL program after you complete the exam the first time. This module offers a collection of practice problems and explanatory material available to help you review and learn the material, and to improve placement and eventual course outcomes.

  • The Prep and Learning Module available to you is chosen by the ALEKS program, based on your initial ALEKS PPL assessment performance.
  • After you finish the Initial Assessment, you will see your ALEKS Learning Pie. This pie represents your current knowledge of the course material. Notice that ALEKS has assessed that you already know some of the material!
  • Even if you have achieved placement in your desired course, time spent in the ALEKS Prep and Learning Module will better prepare you for your upcoming course and ultimately lead to better grades.
  • You will have six months of access from the time you start using your Prep and Learning Module.
  • The cost for the Prep and Learning Module is included in your ALEKS PPL subscription.
  • Progress made in the Prep and Learning Module will not count towards your placement score. You must complete a new placement assessment in order to change your placement result.
  • While working in the Prep and Learning Module, you may consult other sources such as textbooks, websites, and tutors if you choose to do so.

Module Expiration

Prep and Learning Modules expire 6 months from when you first access them. You must complete 5 hours in the Prep and Learning modules and wait 48 hours prior to testing again. If your modules expire you will not be able to test again unless you purchase a new subscription.

Help with ALEKS PPL

ALEKS Customer Support (800-258-2374;


If you have a disabling condition that may interfere with your ability to successfully complete any exam, please email


There is no cost to you for your initial subscription to ALEKS PPL. You may need to pay for any subsequent subscriptions if you do not register for the course prior to your score or subscription expiring.