FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

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 CLEP Precalculus or Calculus exam
  • Incoming first-year and transfer students who are not receiving college math 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 Calculus exam, or below a 50 on the CLEP Precalculus or Calculus exam

02

When should I take the ALEKS Placement Assessment?

The assessment opens to all admitted undergraduate students on February 17. If you do not anticipate receiving AP, IB, CLEP or math transfer credit, we strongly encourage you to complete your assessment(s) and Prep and Learning Module by June 30.

If you are a non-engineering major, we encourage you to complete your assessment(s) and Prep and Learning Module before online course registration for non-engineering students opens June 4-18.

If you are a student in the College of Engineering, your schedule will be prepared for you by the Registrar’s Office in mid-July. Engineering students are scheduled into cohorts (groups of students who take the same courses together) based on your ALEKS Placement Assessment results, AP/IB/CLEP or math transfer credit received. Completing your assessment by June 30 will allow you to have a complete class schedule.

Ideally you want to take the assessment so that you can fully utilize the Prep and Learning Module and have time to take additional assessments if you wish to improve your course placement. The Prep and Learning Module is only available for six weeks from the time you begin using it.

03

How do I begin using ALEKS?

Log on to your MyMichiganTech account and review the math placement assessment item in your Enrollment Checklist. Your username and password were mailed to you with your acceptance letter. If you have forgotten your log in information, contact the admissions staff at 888-688-1885 on weekdays between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. eastern time for assistance. For security reasons, we can not send your log in information through email. 

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.

04

Is there a fee for using ALEKS?

There is a $25 fee for the Math Placement Assessment in ALEKS; see Cost and Payment Information for details. 

05

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.

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

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

Yes, for a minimum of three hours between the first and second placement assessments. You will need to spend a minimum of five hours before you take your last 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.

08

Are placement assessments timed?

Yes, you have 24 hours to complete each assessment. We strongly recommend that you complete your assessments and Prep and Learning Module work by June 4-18 if you plan to major in nonengineering programs and by June 30 if you plan to major in engineering if you are not taking the AP Calculus or IB Higher Level Mathematics exam. 

09

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.

10

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.

11

What is my placement result?

Your placement result is your percentage mastery on the best assessment. Course placement is determined as follows.

Michigan Tech CourseCourse NamePlacement Result
MA1020Quantitative LiteracyGreater than 0
MA1030College Algebra I55 or lower
MA1032Precalculus56-69
MA1135Calculus for Life Sciences70 or higher or minimum AP score of 2
MA1161Calculus Plus with Technology I70-79 or minimum AP score of 2
MA1160Calculus with Technology I80 or higher or minimum AP score of 3

MA1160 and MA1161 cover the same material, but MA1161 moves at a different pace--giving students an additional day of lecture each week.  

12

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

Only students who earn a 1 on the AP Calculus AB exam will need to take the placement assessment. Students with a 1 on the AP Calculus AB exam will want to start the placement assessment as soon as possible after receiving the score.

Students with an AP Calculus AB score greater than 1 can view the AP Advanced Placement Credit Guide for details on how you will be placed.

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.

13

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, your starting math course at Michigan Tech will be determined you your transcript evaluation. You must have earned a grade of a '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.

14

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

You can use a Prep and Learning Module to review and learn before taking another placement assessment to potentially improve your placement result.  You should choose the Prep and Learning Module for the class you are trying to get into.  If you are unsure which module to select, use the module recommended by ALEKS.

15

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.

16

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.

17

Can I access ALEKS after June 30?

ALEKS will be available to you after June 30, provided the six week Prep and Learning Module time has not expired.

If you did not receive a qualifying score on the AP, IB, or CLEP exam, you may take the test after learning your score. Keep in mind, ALEKS scores submitted after your class schedule has been prepared may result in changes to your entire schedule—including the days and times of other courses—as a result of a change in math placement.

18

How long is my placement result valid?

Your placement result is valid for one academic year. 

19

Can I practice using ALEKS before I begin placement?

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

20

How long do I have access to my Prep and Learning Module?

You will have six weeks of access from the time that you start using your Prep and Learning Module.

21

Is there an additional fee for my Prep and Learning Module?

Access to a Prep and Learning Module and up to three placement assessments is included with the $25 fee.

22

Can I change to a different Prep and Learning Module later?

No, you may only use one Prep and Learning Module. You should choose the Prep and Learning Module for the class you are trying to get into. If you are unsure which module to select, use the module recommended by ALEKS.

23

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. 

24

Does a progress assessment in an ALEKS Prep and Learning Module count toward placement?

No, you must complete a new placement assessment to change your placement result. 

25

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.

26

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

If you experience any technical difficulties contact ALEKS support immediately at http://support.aleks.com/assess_placement.

27

I'm not sure I plan to enroll at Michigan Tech. When should I take the placement assessment?

We strongly recommend you begin your Placement Assessment no later than May 19. Starting by this date will give you access to the full six-week Prep and Learning Module if you wish to work toward improving your placement result. If you decide prior to May 19 that you plan to enroll at Michigan Tech, we suggest starting your ALEKS assessment as early as possible.

If you are taking the AP Calculus exam and earn a score of 1, we recommend you begin the assessment as soon as possible after learning your score.

28

What if I can't complete the assessment by Orientation week?

If you are unable to complete the assessment before arriving on campus for Orientation in August, your class schedule will be incomplete. You must take the assessment during Orientation and your schedule will be adjusted before classes begin.

29

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.