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Understanding Exemptions Generated from Unit Pretests


PLATO courses contain unit pretests, posttests, and end of semester tests, also known as Course Level Assessments (CLA). They contain a fixed set of questions and are presented in a random order. Learners take unit pretests in PLATO courses to exempt from modules within that unit.


CLA's are made up of testlets, a group of questions that measure a Learners mastery of the learning objective of a module. When the testlet is created, the number of questions that must be answered correctly to be exempted from a module is included as part of the data that is passed to PLATO Learning Environment® (PLE). When a Learner takes a pretest, they will be exempted out of a module based on attaining the number of correct answers indicated for the testlet associated to a given module.

As a rule of thumb, the way the number of required correct answers is determined follows the 80% mastery rule. For testlets that have fewer than five questions, the number of correct may not always equate to 80% so common sense prevails. For example, if there are four questions in a testlet, three is the number of correct needed to exempt out of a module, which isn’t 80% but makes the most sense. A Learner can be exempt from selected modules by a unit pretest in a PLATO course even if the Learner's overall test score is less than 80%.

What's Next

See the link below for more information on how CLA's work:

Working with pretests, posttests, and end of semester tests

Do Learners need to complete exempted modules?

The circle with the E in the Exemption column means the Learner has been exempt from the activity (usually a module) by an assessment or an Instructor.  An empty circle in the Completion column means that the Learner has not started the activity.

The exemption means that the Learner has demonstrated mastery of the objectives in the module. Learners do not need to complete the module and can go onto the next one. An exempted module will count as mastered in the Grade Report and in Grade Tracker if weighted by Module Mastery. 

NOTE:  If a Learner completes a module that was originally marked exempted, the system will generate a score and completion status for activities that were completed in that module. This progress can be reviewed in reports as either "in progress", or "completed" while the exempted module will continue to reflect the exemption. However, should a learner work in an exempted Graded Discussion or Dropbox Activity, this will effectively "unexempt" the activity in reports and in Grade Tracker.


It is imperative that learners do not work in exempted material unless the learner wants to disregard the exemption, or the instructor wants to have the item included despite the exemption.

If the student performs in an exempted item on accident, and that adversely affects their progress, we recommend the student reach out to their Instructor.

Other Considerations

Does scoring 100% on a unit pretest exempt from all activities including the unit posttest?

A Learner who receives a score of 100% on a unit pretest in a PLATO Course will see exemptions for all the unit modules that are covered by the pretest. If there are any modules in the unit not covered by the pretest, the Learner will need to complete those activities. The unit posttest cannot be exempted by results from the pretest.


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