Math Placement FAQ

ALEKS Cut Scores
ALEKS Cut Scores

The NMU mathematics placement program is designed to help students determine appropriate mathematics and computer science courses to enroll in at NMU.   All new students will take a proctored math placement exam during orientation.

Q: How important is mathematics placement?
A: Correct placement is extremely important.  Low placement will recommend a course you do not need resulting in a waste of time and money.  Placement that is too high will recommend a course above your level causing undue hardship, stress and a waste of time and money.  Take the exam very seriously!

Q: Who should take the Math Placement Test?
A: Everyone who attends an in-person or online orientation session. This includes all freshman students coming straight out of high school.

Q: Are calculators allowed?
A: No.  Calculators are not allowed on this test. Remember, correct placement is very important so be honest!

Q: Who does not need to take an exam?
A: Those who have already earned college-level mathematics credits that will transfer to NMU.

Q: What happens if I score 3 or higher on my AP Calculus Exam?
A: Five (5) credits of Calculus I will be granted along with permission to enroll in Calculus II at NMU.

Q:  Should I review mathematics texts or other material before taking the exam?
A:  Yes.  If you have not had mathematics for some period of time, a little refresher might keep you from taking an extra class that you might otherwise be able to skip. Our recommendation is to review any material that you had once mastered but are now out of practice with.

Q: What is the NMU Mathematics Placement Test like?
A: The Math Placement Test is an online proctored test through the ALEKS system. The exam has approximately 30 questions, with up to 2 hours to complete.

Q: When can I take the Exams? 
A: The Math Placement Test is taken during orientation.

Q: How soon will I be able to register for classes after taking one of the placement exams?
A: If you take the Math Placement Test (offered during orientation), you will be able to register for classes that same day.

Q: What information is required before taking the exam?
A: Students must have a valid NMUIN.

Q: How do I find my Mathematics Placement results?
A: Results for the Math Placement Test are made available during orientation. If you have questions about your results, contact

Q: Does it mean I cannot come to NMU if my placement results are not high enough?
A: No. Your math placement recommendation does not change NMU admission status nor does it affect your GPA.

Q: How often can I take a placement exam?
A: Students may retake the placement exam two additional times, but must do 5 hours of remediation within the ALEKS system before retesting. Retakes will be offered at designated times throughout the year. Students will need to sign up in advance. If you have questions about retesting, contact

Q: Whom should I contact for further information?
A: Please contact the Academic & Career Advisement Center at 906.227.2971 or