Everything You Need to Know

About ALEKS

1

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.

2

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. International students who are unable to take the assessment prior to arriving on campus will take the assessment during Orientation in August and your class schedule will be adjusted before classes begin.

3

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 July 15-31. Students admitted after July 20 will be contacted by email with details on how and when to take ALEKS.

4

When is the best time to take ALEKS?

We strongly recommend you take your first assessment as close to May 1 as possible. Students who wait until the last minute typically do not place into the recommended first math course after the initial assessment.

On or near May 1, set aside 90-minutes of dedicated time for your first assessment and be prepared to take ALEKS seriously. If you don’t reach the score you need for your recommended first math course, dedicate time to work in the Prep and Learning Modules between assessments. You can not take the next assessment until you spend a minimum of three (3) hours working in a Prep and Learning module.

Should you need to take three assessments to reach your goal score, you will need to dedicate a minimum of 10.5 hours to the process.

5

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. Then, use the link in your Enrollment Checklist on the Prospective Student tab to access the ALEKS assessment.

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. Or, fill out this short form and we will connect with you.

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.

6

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.

7

What material does the placement assessment cover?

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

8

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 work in the Prep and Learning Module for a minimum of three hours between assessments. 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.

9

What is a Prep and Learning Module?

Prep and Learning Modules are targeted training sessions that allow you to improve your skills in areas you did not perform as well in during the previous assessment(s). You must work in a Prep and Learning Module for a minimum of three (3) hours before taking your next assessment. You may start and stop working within Prep and Learning as often as you like, but will not be able to take your next assessment until you have logged three hours in the system.

Students who spend ten or more hours in an ALEKS Prep and Learning Module typically score 7 to 10 percent higher on subsequent assessments.

If you place in your recommended first math course after your initial assessment, you may use a Prep and Learning Module to help you prepare for your first math course at Michigan Tech.

10

Why do I take an assessment before I'm able to review with a Prep and Learning Module?

The ALEKS assessment is designed to determine what you know. Consider your first assessment to be a diagnostic of where you are with your current level of mathematical knowledge. If you don’t reach the score you need for your recommended first math course after the first assessment, don’t panic! Plan to work in a Prep and Learning Module for a minimum of three (3) hours before taking your next assessment. The Prep and Learning Module you select will be customized to help you strengthen areas you need to focus on for greater success with your next assessment. Three assessments and unlimited use of the Prep and Learning Module are included with your ALEKS package.

11

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.

12

Can I practice using ALEKS before I begin placement?

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

13

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.

14

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.

15

Are placement assessments timed?

Yes, you have 24 hours to complete each assessment.

16

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.

17

Can I access ALEKS after June 30?

ALEKS will be available July 15-31 to students who were admitted after June 20 or who received an AP Calculus score of 1. If you have extenuating circumstances which prohibit you from taking ALEKS while it is open, you must make prior arrangements with the admissions staff by emailing a detailed explanation to mtu4u@mtu.edu.

18

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. Details will be emailed you if you are eligible to take the assessment during a later time. Your schedule will be adjusted before classes begin.

19

How long is my placement result valid?

Your placement result is valid for one academic year. 

20

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

1

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

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

See your recommended first math course based on your intended major and learn what you need to do to place into that course.

2

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 Guides 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.

3

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.

4

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.

5

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.

6

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.

Technical Support

1

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

If you do not have access to a computer, contact the director of first year math at amhumes@mtu.edu to discuss your situation.

2

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

Contact ALEKS support immediately or call 714-619-7090 and ask for placement support.