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Campus Alert

  • Carroll uses Accuplacer (Next Generation), a College Board product, to test for English skills. Preview and practice Accuplacer’s sample questions.
  • If the English computerized test results are not decisive, students will be required to provide a writing sample to determine placement.
  • Students are allowed unlimited time to write the essay based on a choice of prompts.
  • Should you decide to retest you are allowed unlimited time to write the essay based on a choice of prompt. Before you schedule your appointment, we highly encourage you to take advantage of the Academic Center. They will assist you with preparation for the essay component. Most students really benefit from this resource –  Advising & Class Support,
  • English professors review the essay and determine course placement based on the grammar, punctuation, organization and idea development. Prospective students should construct a well-organized short essay including an opening paragraph, supporting paragraphs, and a conclusion.



  • When and where do I take the math placement test?
    • If you are currently in a high school math class, wait until the class is complete, this will help you to be best prepared.
    • Tutoring is available before your first test to help you prepare. We highly recommend taking advantage of this by contacting the Academic Center and scheduling an appointment.
    • Tutoring and/or independent preparation will put you in the best position to place into the right class.
    • Placement testing occurs in the Testing Center (A-132), but you should check in with the Admissions Office (A-101) first.
  • How long will the math placement test take?
    • The test is untimed, so you may take as much time as you need within the hours of operation for placement testing in the Testing Center. We suggest that you plan for at least 1-2 hours of time for this placement test. See Carroll’s website for the Testing Center’s placement testing hours.
  • What is involved in the math placement test?
    • ALEKS PPL is a web-based placement test. Before you begin, there will be a few brief survey questions along with a tutorial to show you how to enter your answers. Even though you will only be entering your final answers into the computer, you should work through each problem on paper provided by the Testing Center. Your test may contain up to 30 questions. All questions are free response – there are no multiple choice questions. The test covers a broad spectrum of mathematics topics.Topics that may be tested include:
      • Real numbers (including fractions, integers, and percentages)
      • Equations and inequalities (including linear equations, linear inequalities, systems of linear equations, and quadratic equations)
      • Linear and quadratic functions (including graphs and functions, linear functions, and parabolas), exponents and polynomials (including integer exponents, polynomial arithmetic, factoring, and polynomial equations), rational expressions (including rational equations and rational functions)
      • Radical expressions (including higher roots and rational exponents)
      • Exponentials and logarithms (including function compositions and inverse functions, properties of logarithms, and logarithmic equations)
      • Geometry and trigonometry (including perimeter, area, volume, coordinate geometry, trigonometric functions, identities and equations)
  • Am I allowed to use any resources during the placement test?
    • You may not use notes, formula sheets, or any other reference materials. We will provide a calculator. (You will not be able to use your own calculator.)


  • What if math isn’t a strong subject for me?
    • No matter what your skill level is, ALEKS PPL is designed to figure out what you already know and what you still need to work on. If you are given a question that you are unsure of how to solve, it is recommended that you make your best attempt and still answer the question. There is an “I don’t know” option for each question as well. Remember that this system will give you a different type of problem each time, so even if you don’t know a couple questions in a row, you should still attempt all subsequent questions with your best effort. You may not go back to any questions after you have answered them, so take your time and submit each answer carefully.
  • How will I know my score and what math course I am eligible to take?
    • At the end of the test, your score will appear on the screen along with a prompt directing you to an advisor who will process your score and tell you what math courses you are eligible for. Remember that the purpose of the assessment is to identify what course(s) you are prepared to take.


  • What if I’m not happy with my results and math eligibility?
    • If you are unhappy with your results, you may retest. You are required to wait 24 hours before you attempt the test again. You are also required to complete 5 hours of remediation on ALEKS prior to your first retest. Three hours of remediation on ALEKS is required for all subsequent attempts. You may retest 4 times, giving a total of 5 times that you may take the test. Please note that a $10 fee is charged each time you retest. The highest score that you obtain will be the one used for placement. All test attempts must be completed in the Testing Center.


  • What resources are available to help me prepare for the placement test?
    • Prior to taking the ALEKS PPL test, you may visit the Academic Center in L-288 for two weeks of test preparation tutoring. This is on a drop-in basis, but you may visit as much as you would like. See the Academic Center’s website or call 410-386-8300 for hours of operation or any other questions. We also recommend the following resources for review and practice:
      • Khan Academy (mobile app or
      • CK-12 (mobile app or
    • Once you have taken the placement test, you will be automatically placed into a Prep and Learning module within ALEKS. This Prep and Learning module is a place for you to learn, practice, and review topics based upon your first placement attempt only. Work within the Prep and Learning module does not change your previous placement attempts, but helps you prepare for retesting. Just log into using the username and password given when you took your initial placement test, and follow the recommended path to start your Prep and Learning. You may attend drop-in tutoring to work through the ALEKS Prep and Learning module before you retest as well. Since your placement result is the minimum preparation for your course, it is also suggested that you continue to use the ALEKS Prep and Learning module in order to be better prepared when the semester begins. You will have access to your Prep and Learning module in ALEKS for 180 days once it is started.
    • For any other questions regarding math placement or eligibility, contact the Math Success Navigator:
      Jenelle Cutitta or 410-386-8117
  1. Be sure you apply to Carroll and set up your student email.
  2. It’s important to review your math skills prior to your first test (watch the video and see the links in the math drop-down above for study tips).
  3. After setting up your account, watching the video, and studying, you are ready to test. Allow 2 hours so you will not feel rushed.
  4. Call Admissions to discuss whether you need to test, 410-386-8430.
  5. If it’s determined that you need to take the English or Math placement test, please call Testing to schedule, 410-386-8450.
  6. After your test, you will receive your results. If necessary, you will receive guidance about what you need to work on to move to a higher class. Five hours of work in the ALEKS math software are required before you may test the 2nd time (if desired). There is a $10.00 retest fee. You may take the math placement test a total of five times. After the 2nd test, three hours of study are required before each additional test. The highest placement is the score that will be counted.

    Please direct questions about the testing process to the Testing Center, 410-386-8450.
    Please direct questions about test results to the Advising Office, 410-386-8435, or to your academic advisor.