First of all, relax. This is an “assessment,” not a test. ALEKS is designed to determine what you know. At the end of the ALEKS Math Placement, you will have a much better sense of your strengths and weaknesses in math. You will then have a chance to work on those weaknesses. There is really no penalty for incorrectly answering a question on the assessment. The most important thing is that you take the assessment seriously and give it an honest effort so that the assessment truly reflects your level of knowledge and math preparedness.
Be honest about your skill level. There is no benefit to cheating on the placement assessment – your only reward will be that you registered for a math class for which you do not yet have the skills to succeed. Therefore, while you are taking the assessment, do not consult any other source for help (friends, family, internet searches, etc.). The purpose of the placement assessment is to give an accurate measure of your current mathematical skills so that you will be successful in your mathematics course(s).
How much does it cost?
There is no cost to you taking the placement exam. You have access to the Preparation and Learning Modules for 6 months.
What is the exam like?
- There is a brief tutorial at the beginning of the assessment. The tutorial will introduce you to the ALEKS system and interface. The tutorial shows you how to enter different types of answers, how to use the ALEKS calculator, and how to graph something by hand.
- The ALEKS Placement Assessment covers material from Basic Math through Precalculus.
- The exam is an open-response, adaptive assessment that covers hundreds of topics in 30 questions or less (it is not multiple choice).
- The assessment is untimed but you must complete it within 24 hours of when you begin.
- The assessment requires an average of 90 minutes to complete but the amount of time will vary by student.
- Enter your answers carefully. Once you submit your response to a question, you cannot return to that question.
- Select “I don't know” ONLY if you have no idea how to work a problem. If you select “I don’t know” repeatedly, it will lower your score on ALEKS.
How do I begin using ALEKS?
- Log into OASIS.
- Under Checklist 1, select Math Placement
- Click the "ALEKS Math Placement" link.
What does my score mean?
You will be able to see your ALEKS placement score immediately after you finish the test. The math course you take usually depends on your intended major. You will work with your advisor to determine which course is best for you and your major.
Can I retake the test to earn a better placement score?
Yes, after the initial assessment, a targeted and individualized Preparation and Learning Module is available for students to review and learn material. Students will have up to four additional attempts (5 total) to improve their ALEKS placement score after the initial assessment. The highest attempt is used for placement into mathematics courses. Students have up to 6 months from their first placement test to start the learning modules. At the end of the ALEKS assessment and learning module preparation students will have a much better sense of their strengths and weaknesses in mathematics.
What do I have to do first before retaking the test?
Students must wait 72 hours between each new attempt and spend at least 5 hours working in the preparation and learning modules before the second and third attempt; at least 3 hours before the fourth and fifth attempt.