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Math placement test

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Whatcom uses the ALEKS math placement test, a computerized program with adaptive questioning to help you determine what you know and don't know in math.  ALEKS provides a unique experience for every student, highlighting strengths and using challenges to ensure proper placement and learning support.  

Practice first! 

To prepare for the math placement test, take a practice exam and complete individualized lessons to refresh your knowledge on forgotten or difficult math topics.  When you are ready, expect to spend 60 to 90 minutes on the 30 question assessment.  The program provides an on-screen calculator and the testing center provides paper and pencil to work through open-response answers.  

We recommend you take a practice exam to familiarize yourself with both navigation in the online environment and the online calculator.   

Are you ready? 

Students ready to complete a proctored math placement test have...

  1. Applied to Whatcom Community College.  Applications are processed within 1-2 business days.   
  2. Activated their MyWCC account.  The math placement exam requires an active MyWCC account.  
  3. Reserved an appointment time: General students - contact Advising & Career Services.  Running Start students - contact the Running Start Office.  
  4. Closed out practice exams.  Students must finish a practice exam by providing an answer or clicking "I don't know" on each question.  

Please note: One $25 fee for placement (math and/or English) will be applied to tuition/fees in the quarter the first placement occurs.  To request a fee waiver, please see an advisor for eligibility requirements. 

I'm ready! 

Students may take up to five exams for practice or for placement.  You may start with two back-to-back practice exams, but can choose to take either one as a proctored, scored test used for placement.  The third exam will be a proctored, scored test used for placement.  After spending three hours in the learning modules, another practice exam can be taken.  The fifth exam will be a proctored, scored test used for placement.  

Test 1  Test 2  Test 3  Test 4  Test 5

Practice or

Practice or


Proctored only  

Practice or

Proctored only


Take the math placement test
(Log in to MyWCC.  Hover over Advising and click on ALEKS math placement)

I took the test!  What do I do now? 

Once you complete the test, review the score information in your ALEKS account.  You will have a detailed chart showing about your math skills level and the score you received on the test.  Use the table below to interpret your placement score at Whatcom.  


Course Placement


 Math 151 (or higher. Please contact the Math Department to place higher.)


 Math 142, 148


 Math 107, 141, 145, 146


 Math 99


 Math 98


 Math 87 or Math 97


 Math 94

0 - 6

 ABE Math


Retake the math placement test

ALEKS allows retakes 48 hours after the first placement attempt so you have time to study.  The placement test can be taken twice and the higher score will be used for placement.  Students interested in retaking a proctored placement test must spend at least three hours in the learning module.  

Learning modules are customized mini-refresher courses on math topics according to your ALEKS score.  The modules, designed to prepare each student for greater success in math courses, help students save time and money while significantly improving test scores and course completion.  

Register for classes

Math placement scores will be entered into the student system within 48 hours.  Once your score is entered, you may register for courses online.  To register sooner, please take your score report to an advisor for a signature override.