Taking ALEKS

The online Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces (ALEKS) Placement Assessment covers material from basic math through precalculus. While this exam is not required for many students, you must take ALEKS if:

  • You are an incoming first-year or transfer student and do not have college transfer credits AND you did not take the ACT, SAT, AP Calculus, IB Higher Level Mathematics, or the CLEP Precalculus exams
  • You wish to challenge the initial math placement you received through the University, and understand a lower ALEKS score will result in lower math course placement

Preparing for the Assessment

The ALEKS assessment is open from May 1 to the first Friday of classes. If you choose to challenge your initial math placement, or you don’t have ACT, SAT, AP, IB, or CLEP scores, you should take the assessment as soon as possible.

Since students can take the math placement five (5) times, they can consider every assessment practice for the next assessment. After the initial assessment, Prep and Learning Modules are generated unique to each student, based on the student's correct and incorrect answers. These modules are designed to focus the student's attention on what they are ready to learn and skip what the student already knows. 

Paying for ALEKS

In order to take the ALEKS assessment, you will be charged a total of $25. This includes $5 for Respondus Monitor and a $20 assessment package. The assessment package includes: one (1) initial assessment, unlimited use of the Prep and Learning Module, and up to four (4) additional assessments.

The fee to use Respondus Monitor, and the cost of the assessment package will be billed separately.

Accessing ALEKS

You must access the online assessment through your MyMichiganTech account using the link in your Checklist on the Prospective Student tab.

Taking the Assessment

Set aside roughly 90 minutes of dedicated time for your first assessment. All students get three (3) hours to complete the initial assessment and any additional assessments you may need to take.

The ALEKS placement requires the use of LockDown Browser and a webcam for Respondus Monitor. The LockDown Browser will prevent you from accessing other websites or other applications. You will be unable to exit the test until all questions are completed and submitted. The webcam ensures that you take the exam without assistance of any kind except a pencil/pen and blank paper. Watch this short video to get a basic understanding of LockDown Browser and the webcam feature/Respondus Monitor. You should also make sure you have access to a device that meets these minimum requirements prior to taking the assessment.

Software will be used to record you taking each assessment. These recordings will be made available only to the Math Placement Coordinator and any group set up to review an appeal of academic misconduct.

You may only use pencil/pen, blank paper, and the resources provided by ALEKS. ALEKS will provide an on-screen calculator if you need one to complete a particular problem. Otherwise, you may not use a calculator. You may not receive assistance from friends, family, other websites, textbooks, or any other resource not provided by ALEKS. 

At the beginning of the assessment, you will go through a brief tutorial that will introduce you to the ALEKS system and interface. You will be shown how to enter different types of answers, how to use the ALEKS calculator, and how to graph something by hand. 

Do your best to answer each question correctly, this is an adaptive assessment. The correctness of each question determines the difficulty of the next question. 

If your computer locks up or freezes during the middle of an assessment, try refreshing the page on your browser. If that does not work, close your browser and log back in. The work you have already submitted is saved, and the assessment will pick up where you left off. 

If you need to improve your score to be registered for your recommended first math course, you should use the Prep and Learning Modules that were generated by your initial assessment. The more diligently you use them, the more your mathematical knowledge will increase and the higher score your next assessment should be. A minimum of three (3) hours in the Prep and Learning Modules is required between assessment attempts. 

If you need any technical assistance with the ALEKS Math Placement, please contact ALEKS Support.

If you have additional questions not related to technical support for ALEKS, please contact Ann Humes.

After the Assessment

The highest placement score you’ve earned will determine your math placement. Your ALEKS score is only valid as a prerequisite for your first math course at Michigan Tech.