Precalculus Proficiency Assessment (PPA)

The Precalculus Proficiency Assessment (PPA) is offered to students who want to enroll in Math 30, 30X, 71, 71X, 42, 42X without having to meet the prerequisites some other way.  More information on prerequisite courses and PPA scores are listed on the main Calculus page.

  • Students who already meet the prerequisites or who want to enroll in Precalculus or College Algebra do not need to take the PPA. 
  • Students who do not already meet the prerequisites will not be able to enroll in their class until they have received a satisfactory score on the PPA.
  • Students who took the AP Calculus Exam should refer to the  Calculus page. for more information.
  • Students with transfer credit should check the SJSU course articulation agreements to see if their transfer credits satisfy the prerequisites. 


What is the PPA?

The PPA is conducted through ALEKS PPL, an adaptive online program that uses artificial intelligence to map a student's strengths and weaknesses.  It consists of 3 parts: 

  1. Initial Placement Assessment (30 questions, about 60-90 minutes to complete)
  2. Prep and Learning Module (individualized, self-paced online review)
  3. Access to 2 Placement Assessments (proctored by the SJSU Testing Office)


How do I register for the PPA?

If you need to take the PPA, visit the Testing Office website. For questions, contact the Testing office at


When do I get my scores?

Your score will automatically be uploaded to your MySJSU record.  The score will be used to recommend the highest possible Math course for your major.


PPA for Incoming Freshmen

It is strongly recommended that incoming freshmen take their PPA before their orientation so that they will be able to register for the appropriate math classes during orientation registration.
If you have any issues, contact the Testing office at