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- https://sou.edu/academics/mathematics/math-placement/understanding-math-placement-levels/
- https://sou.edu/academics/mathematics/math-placement/understanding-math-placement-levels/

Whether you are a recent high school graduate, transfer student, or current student, it is important to understand the layout of math placement here at Southern Oregon University.

A “Math Placement” represents the numerical assessment of a student’s math skills, in terms of the courses they are eligible to take. A math placement level is created by on of three ways: a placement assessment, SAT/ACT/Smart Balance (SBAC) scores, or the successful passing of a college (including preparatory) math course with a grade of a C- or better. Below you will find information on the different classifications of Math Placements at SOU.

Trying to find information on the Math Placement Assessment? Check out our Math Placement Assessment page!

### What is a Math Level or Math Transfer Level?

In general, if a student has an assigned placement level, it will be either a Math Level, Math Placement Level or a Math Transfer Level. It is possible for a student to have both scores when applying, if they took a college-level math course while in high school, and their ACT/SAT/SBAC scores are still valid.

**Math Level or Math Placement Level (ML)**

A Math Level score is assigned through one of two methods, either an incoming student’s Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), American College Test (ACT), or Smarter Balance (SBAC) math subsection scores, or the actual Math Placement Assessment (known as “Math Placement Level”) here on campus. It is important to note, these scores may be designated before registration, so that a student can enroll in a math course, of an appropriate level, but they do have an expiration date. These various test scores are only considered valid for 2 years from the date the test was administered. This means that when most high school students take their SAT/ACT exam in the junior year, the scores may be expired after the first couple of terms at SOU, prohibiting a student from registering for a math course, if they had not signed up for one yet. By way of example, consider the following scenarios:

- New first-year student who has an assigned math level score (ML) from the SAT or ACT, taken two years before in October 2016, who does not enroll in math during the Fall 2018 term. After October of 2018, the ML assigned by the ACT/SAT will be expired and the student would need to take the Math Placement Assessment on campus to become eligible to enroll in a course for any following term.
- New first-year student who has an assigned math level score (ML) from the SAT or ACT, taken two years before in October 2016, who does enroll in math during the Fall 2018 term. Once a math course at SOU is complete, the ML may no longer be needed, as the course selected by the student will determine any successive math courses. It is important to meet with an advisor, as not every math course can serve as a satisfactory prerequisite for another. A student with an ML of 100, who takes MTH 105 cannot use MTH 105 as a satisfactory prerequisite to MTH 111. The designated prerequisite for MTH 111 is MTH 95, an appropriate transfer course, or the math placement assessment. For more information, read the below areas on ML 100 or MTL 100.

**Math Transfer Level (MTL)**

A Math Transfer Level is assigned by only one method, and that is the successful completion of a collegiate math course, including preparatory courses, with a C- or better grade. The advantage of a math transfer level is that the score itself will never expire at SOU, though it is often encouraged to take a math placement test when in doubt, such as a student’s last completed math course being more than a couple of years old. These scores can only be assigned with official transcripts with the course grade, and high school coursework will not be sufficient to issue a math transfer level. Math transfer levels share the same placement structure as Math Level Scores (or Math Levels), listed below, but in addition, a student may be issued a Math Transfer Level 000 if they took a college math course, and did not pass it, and their Math Level Scores have since expired. An MTL of 000 is an indication that a student would be required to take the Math Placement Assessment in order to take a math course at SOU.

### Math Placement from ACT, SAT, or SBAC Exams Scores

Placements from exam scores are *only* valid for *2 years* after the exam was taken. Students can *only* place into Math Level 100 or 111 from ACT, SAT, or SBAC scores.

Scores lower than the ranges below *must* take the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment.

Students scoring higher than the ranges below are *strongly recommended* to take the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment for accurate placement.

**What does ML 100 mean?**

It is important for a student to understand the math requirements for their intended academic programs. At the ML 100 (or MTL 100) score, a student should speak with an advisor on which course to take.

ML 100 is an indicator that a student can take one of the following courses:

MTH 095 – Intermediate Algebra (preparatory math course, not for degree credit), required to advance to MTH 111Z

MTH 105Z – Math in Society – College Level, intended for students who do not need MTH 111Z.

MTH 211 – Fundamentals of Elementary Mathematics – College Level, intended for students in education programs, who do not need MTH 111

STAT 243Z – Elementary Statistics I – College Level, common for many majors, and cannot be used to advance to MTH 111Z

From the above list, it should be clear that STEM Students should take MTH 095 if they receive a math placement level of ML 100. Once a student passes MTH 095 with a C-, or better, they can take any other ML 100 course at their leisure.

**Placement Level ML 100 - Requirements**

SAT Exam – Students who score a Math Subscore between 490 – 520

ACT Exam – Students who score a Math Subscore between 17 – 19

Smarter Balance (SBAC) – Students who score a Math Subscore of 3

**What does ML 111 mean?**

It is important for a student to understand the math requirements for their intended academic programs. At the ML 111 (or MTL 111) score, a student should speak with an advisor on which course to take. Students at this level may take the following courses:

MTH 105Z – Math in Society – College Level, intended for students who do not need MTH 111Z for their program(s)

MTH 111Z – Precalculus I: Functions – College Level, intended for students who will need any successive math courses, such as those in the STEM Majors, or Pre-Professional tracks.

MTH 211 – Fundamentals of Elementary Mathematics – College Level, intended for students in education programs, who do not need MTH 111Z

STAT 243Z – Elementary Statistics I – College Level, common for many majors, and cannot be used to advance to MTH 111Z

Why should you consider taking MTH 111 right away as a STEM Student?

It is *critical* for STEM Students to take this math course, as it is a key component of all lower-division STEM and Pre-Professional programs.

From the above list, it should be clear that STEM Students should take MTH 111 if they receive a math placement level of ML 111Z. Once a student passes MTH 111Z with a C-, or better, they can take any other ML 100 or ML 111 course at their leisure.

**Placement Level ML 111 - Requirements**

SAT Exam – Students who score a Math Subscore greater than 520

ACT Exam – Students who score a Math Subscore greater than 19

Smarter Balance (SBAC) Exam – Students who score a Math Subscore of 4

**Can I test into a higher level than MTH 111?**

Students who are designated a Math Level, say from an SAT or ACT test, which can only go to MTH 111Z (Precalculus I) but they feel they have skills beyond this level, they may take the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment in order to place into courses all the way to MTH 251 (Calculus I). This is a great option for students who scored well on the ACT or SAT exam, or have taken advanced coursework in high school, but didn’t receive college credit.

Please know, students who place into a *higher* level of math will not receive credit for any class which come before it, but simply be allowed to start at a higher level.

### Math Placement from the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment

Students who take the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment can place anywhere in the preparatory math courses, all the way up to calculus. Below is a reference to help students navigate the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment scores.

**ALEKS Math Placement Assessment Scores for Beginning through Intermediate Algebra**

Students who complete the Math Placement Assessment can have any of the following placements in preparatory mathematics, these courses are meant to help prepare students for a successful performance in college-level math, and are not included in degree credit:

ALEKS Score 0 – 9: Math Level 060 – Students may only register for MTH 060

ALEKS Score 10 – 29: Math Level 060 – Student may register for MTH 065, or MTH 060

ALEKS Score 30 – 39: Math Level 060 – Student may register for STAT 243Z, MTH 095, or any lower levels

**ALEKS Math Placement Assessment Scores for Entry-Level through Calculus**

These placement levels indicate the potential to take collegiate math courses. For course descriptions, please check the SOU catalog. These levels apply a “trickle down” property, meaning that a student may elect to take any courses under the level into which they placed. For example, a student who places into MTH 111Z may elect to still take MTH 95, if desired.

ALEKS Score 40 – 44: Math Level 100 – Student may register for MTH 095, STAT 243Z, MTH 211, or MTH 105

ALEKS Score 45 – 59: Math Level 111 – Student may register for MTH 111Z

ALEKS Score 60 – 74: Math Level 112 – Student may register for MTH 112Z

ALEKS Score 75 or Greater: Math Level 251 – Student may register for MTH 251

MTH 251 is the highest course that a student can use the placement to enroll in. Beyond this level, the students must have college credit equal to or greater than MTH 251, in which case they would be assigned a Math Transfer Level (MTL)

### Math Placement from Collegiate Coursework (Math Transfer Level)

**Math Transfer Level (MTL) Criteria**

A Math Transfer Level (MTL) is designated when a student is entering the university having completed either:

- Approved Test Credit and/or Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or College Level Examination Program (CLEP) scores of an appropriate level. Full list of course and exam equivalencies at sou.edu/admissions/apply/equivalencies.
- Earned math credit. In some cases, foundational coursework can be used to assign a MTL, though it would be less than the 100-level.

**Math Transfer Levels Explained**

These placement levels indicate the potential to take college-level math courses. For course descriptions, please check the SOU catalog. These levels apply a “trickle down” property, meaning that a student may elect to take any courses under the level into which they placed. For example, a student who transfers into MTH 111 may elect to still take MTH 95, if desired.

An MTL may be assigned for *any* level of math, like those listed above. Here is a list of MTLs:

Foundational Math Transfer Levels: MTL 060, MTL 065, MTL 095

Collegiate Math Transfer Levels: MTL 100*, MTL 111, MTL 112, MTL 251

Advanced Math Transfer Levels (cannot be obtained by any other placement method): MTL 252, MTL 253*, MTL 254*

* Please see additional information below

**I have an MTL of 100**

Students who are entering the university with a MTL of 100 will be in one of two categories:

- Students who have had a preparatory math course equivalent to MTH 095.

These students may advance into courses such as MTH 105Z, MTH 111Z, MTH 211, or STAT 243Z. - Students who have not had a preparatory math course equivalent to MTH 095.

These students*may only*be eligible for MTH 105Z and STAT 243Z. In order to take a course such as MTH 111Z, or MTH 211, students must take the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment.

Please use the below information as reference:

MTH 095 – Intermediate Algebra (Preparatory math course, not for degree credit), required to advance to MTH 111Z

MTH 105Z – Math in Society – College Level, intended for students who do not need MTH 111Z.

MTH 211 – Fundamentals of Elementary Mathematics – College Level, intended for students in education-related programs, who do not need MTH 111Z

STAT 243Z – Elementary Statistics I – College Level, common for many majors, and cannot be used to advance to MTH 111Z

**I have an MTL of 253 or 254**

Students who have a transfer level into this area have placed into the more advanced math courses. At this level, students should be meeting directly with an advisor from the Math Department to ensure successful transition into coursework at the university. This is a great time to mention interest in a variety of Math Programs!