Placement Testing

The professionals in PennWests's Center for Testing are ready to help you achieve your academic goals

The center:

  • Coordinate placement and testing.
  • Provide information on academic procedures and policies.
  • Explain general education and major requirements.
  • Help students explore re-testing opportunities.

Placement Assesment for Fall 2022

Incoming freshmen and transfer students may need to take a placement assesment for mathematics to ensure they begin with a course that matches their academic needs. A placement assessment and a developmental course may be required whether you are studying on campus or online.

Your SAT or ACT scores (or transfer credits) will determine whether you are required to take a placement assessment for mathematics.  Students who do not submit SAT/ACT scores or transfer credits must take the assessment.  

Students who do not achieve a predetermined score on the assessment must enroll in the appropriate developmental course. 

Mathematics - ALEKS is an online assessment that uses artificial intelligence to assess a student’s knowledge in Mathematics. Students who place into the developmental course, DMA 092 Introductory Algebra are encouraged to work on the learning modules and take the assessment again.

  •  30 – 45 questions
  • Approximately 1 – 2 hours
  •  Once started, must finish within 48 hours
  •  Re-testing is possible after at least 3 hours of review in learning modules

See the required scores to determine whether you should schedule a placement test.

Taking the Placement Assessment

The ALEKS Mathematics assessment is offered, online, and free of charge. First-time freshmen for fall 2022 will receive an email with instructions to access their placement testing card on the Penn West Experience Portal. Transfer students who need the assessment will receive an email with a link to access ALEKS. 

A note for students with disabilities:You may request accommodations for placement testing by contacting the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) at 724-938-5781 or

Appropriate documentation and prior approval is required; accommodations must be approved at least one week before the testing date. The OSD staff may adjust test times/dates to accommodate student/staff needs.  Once accommodations are approved please contact the Placement Testing Center at or (724) 938-5779 to obtain instructions for testing.


Please contact:
Claire Pizer, Management Technician for Starfish and Testing
Center for Testing
Office for Student Outreach and Success
(724) 938-5779