Everything You Need to Know

About ALEKS

01

Who has to take the ALEKS Placement Assessment?

  • Incoming first-year students who are not planning to take the AP Calculus, IB Higher Level Mathematics, or the CLEP Precalculus or Calculus exam.
  • Incoming first-year and transfer students who are not receiving college transfer credit for College Algebra or higher.
  • Incoming first-year students who earn a 1 on the AP Calculus exam, below a 5 on the IB Higher Level Mathematics exam, or below a 50 on the CLEP Precalculus or Calculus exam.

02

Do international students need to take the ALEKS Placement Assessment?

Yes. All incoming students without qualifying AP, IB, CLEP, or college math credit must take the Placement Assessment. If you are unable to take the assessment prior to arriving on campus, you will take the assessment during Orientation in August and your class schedule will be adjusted before classes begin.

03

When do I take the ALEKS Placement Assessment?

The assessment is open from May 1 to June 30. You will be placed in a math course based on the highest score on file for you by June 30.

Students admitted after June 20 may take the assessment between July 15 and August 15.

Students admitted after August 5 may take the assessment in a proctored lab on campus from August 23 to September 4.

04

How do I access the ALEKS assessment?

Log on to your MyMichiganTech account using the username and password mailed to you with your acceptance letter. If you have forgotten your log in information, contact the admissions staff at 888-688-1885 weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. eastern time for assistance. For security reasons, we cannot send your log in information through email or give your information to parents or other family members.

If you are an international undergraduate student, use the log in information provided at time of application. For assistance, contact the International Programs and Services office by email at ips@mtu.edu.

05

Is there a fee for using ALEKS?

There is a $25 fee for the ALEKS Placement Assessment; see the Cost and Payment Information section on the homepage for details.

06

Can I retake the ALEKS Placement Assessment?

Yes, you may take up to three placement assessments for the $25 fee. However, to make each attempt worthwhile, it is important that you spend time working in your ALEKS Prep and Learning Module in between placement assessments so that you can improve your skills.

Students who spend ten or more hours in ALEKS Prep and Learning Module typically score 7 to 10 percent higher on subsequent assessment(s).

You must wait 48 hours between placement assessments. There is generally no benefit to re-taking the assessment immediately after completing a prior attempt. Unlike the ACT or SAT, you cannot improve your results by simply re-taking the assessment without spending time in the Prep and Learning Module to refresh material that you may have forgotten or to learn new material.

07

May I use a calculator while using ALEKS?

ALEKS will provide an on-screen calculator if you need one to complete a particular problem. Otherwise, you may not use a calculator.

08

May I use any other resources during a placement assessment?

You may only use a pen or pencil, paper, and the resources provided by ALEKS. You may not receive assistance from friends, family, other websites, textbooks, or any other resource not provided by ALEKS. Using outside resources may lead to improper placement and ultimately frustration and possible course failure.

Academic integrity and honesty are central components of a Michigan Tech education. View our academic integrity policy.

09

Are placement assessments timed?

Yes, you have 24 hours to complete each assessment.

10

How long will a placement assessment take to complete?

Placement assessments require approximately 90 minutes to complete, but the amount of time will vary by student. There will be a maximum of 30 questions.

11

Can I access ALEKS after June 30?

ALEKS will be available between July 15 and August 15 only to students who were admitted after June 30 or who received an AP Calculus score of 1.

12

What if I can’t complete the assessment before it closes?

If you are unable to complete the assessment before it closes, your class schedule will be incomplete. Please be aware that most schedules rely on your beginning math course. You may have the opportunity to take the assessment between July 15 and August 15. Details will be emailed you if you are eligible to take the assessment during this time. Your schedule will be adjusted before classes begin.

13

How long is my placement result valid?

Your placement result is valid for one academic year. 

14

What are ALEKS Progress Assessments?

While working in a Prep and Learning Module, you will periodically complete progress assessments to solidify your gains in knowledge. Progress assessments do not count towards placement or change your placement result.

Course Placement

01

What do I need to place into the different math courses?

Placement into your first math course is determined by one of the following:

02

What if I am taking the AP or IB exam or already have AP or IB credit?

Only students who earn a 1 on the AP Calculus AB exam or below a 5 on the IB Higher Level Mathematics exam need to take the placement assessment.

View our Credit Guide for details on how you will be placed with a qualifying score.

If you already took the AP Calculus AB or BC exam and did not have your scores sent to Michigan Tech, contact College Board at 888-CALL4AP. Our school code is 1464.

03

What if I took math through a college?

Students who have or plan to complete College Algebra or higher through a community college or other four-year school will be placed based on their transcript evaluation. You must have earned a grade of 'C' or higher to receive transfer credit. Be sure to have your official final college transcript sent directly to Michigan Tech from the school you are attending.

04

What if I do not place into the course I want?

Use a Prep and Learning Module to review and learn before taking another placement assessment to potentially improve your placement credit.

You need a score of 56–69 to place in Precalculus (MA1032) or a 70 or higher to place in Calculus (MA1160 or MA1161). For engineering students to stay on track to graduate in eight semesters (four years), you most likely need to start in Calculus. Starting in Precalculus will likely increase your time to graduate to nine semesters (four-and-a-half years). Starting in a math course below Precalculus will likely increase your time to graduate to ten semesters (five years).

Return to ALEKS and work in the required Prep and Learning Module, and then take a second (or third) assessment to improve your placement. Use the Prep and Learning Module for the class you are trying to get into. If you are unsure of which module to select, use the module recommended by ALEKS.

05

I did not place into the class I wanted. Can I take it anyway?

No, you must achieve the minimum placement result to take the corresponding class.

06

I placed into the class I wanted. Do I have to continue using ALEKS?

Congratulations! The placement result is the minimum preparation required for your course. Continue to use your Prep and Learning Module to improve your chances for success once you enroll at Michigan Tech. Take advantage of the targeted review and learning features in ALEKS to potentially get a better grade in your class.

Preparation

01

What material does the placement assessment cover?

The ALEKS Placement Assessment covers material from basic math through precalculus.

02

Must I work in my ALEKS Prep and Learning Module between placement assessments?

Yes, for a minimum of three hours between each assessment. Remember, students who spend ten or more hours in the ALEKS Prep and Learning Module typically improve their assessment score by 7 to 10 percent.

03

May I use a calculator while using ALEKS?

ALEKS will provide an on-screen calculator if you need one to complete a particular problem. Otherwise, you may not use a calculator.

04

Can I practice using ALEKS before I begin placement?

ALEKS will begin with a brief tutorial before your placement assessment begins.

Technical Support

01

What if I don't have a computer or have access to a computer?

If you do not have access to a computer you will have to wait until Orientation in August to take the Math Placement Assessment in ALEKS. Your class schedule may be readjusted based on your ALEKS score and math placement.

02

What if I have technical difficulties or need help with ALEKS?

Contact ALEKS support immediately at http://support.aleks.com/assess_placement or call 714-619-7090 and ask for placement support.