About ALEKS Math Placement and Preparation


What is ALEKS?

ALEKS is a powerful artificial-intelligence based assessment tool that zeros in on the strengths and weaknesses of a student’s mathematical knowledge, reports its findings to the student, and then provides the student with a learning environment for improving this knowledge to an appropriate level for course placement.

UGA now offers ALEKS Placement, Preparation and Learning (PPL) for students who wish to take  Calculus I (MATH 2250). Students planning to take Pre-Calculus (MATH 1113) are also strongly encouraged to use the ALEKS PPL to improve their readiness for Pre-Calculus.  Since math courses are demanding, it is important for students to begin in the course most likely to lead to success. Students will  be permitted to take MATH 2250 if they  demonstrate readiness through ALEKS.   After completing the initial assessment, students who are not happy with their placement or wish to improve their precalculus skills may use the included learning modules and then retest.

Which students should use ALEKS Placement?

All students who wish to take Calculus (MATH 2250 or 2200) who do not already have credit or exemption from Pre-Calculus (MATH 1113) should use ALEKS PPL for placement.  Students who plan to take Pre-Calculus (MATH 1113) or the UGA Math Exemption Exam are also strongly encouraged to use the ALEKS PPL program.  Using ALEX PPL program might:

  • Place you into Calculus I, giving you a better start towards your degree.
  • Improve your UGA Math Exemption Exam score, resulting in an exemption from Pre-Calculus.
  • Improve your performance in Calculus I or Pre-Calculus.
  • Improve your performance in other science classes (it is known that students with strong Pre-Calculus skills perform better in first year chemistry classes).

Placement into Calculus I (MATH 2250 or 2200)

MATH 2250 and MATH 2200  at UGA have a required prerequisite of Pre-Calculus (MATH 1113). Traditional ways to forego this requirement include:

A score of 16 or higher on the UGA Math Exemption Exam. 
A score of 3 or higher on the AP Calculus AB or BC exam.

ALEKS PPL Math Assessment now gives you a third option.  If you score 76 or higher on the ALEKS assessment you will be allowed to take MATH 2250.

There are differences:  

A score of 16 or higher on the Math Exemption Exam will give you an exemption from MATH 1113 which can count in your Core Area I while your ALEKS PPL score will not exempt requirements since it is unproctored. However, if you successfully complete MATH 2250, your Core Area I requirement will be exempted.

You can only take the Math Exemption Exam once, but ALEKS allows multiple tries while helping you to fill in the gaps.

Should students also take the UGA Math Exemption Exam?

It is a good idea to also take the UGA Math Exemption Exam even if ALEKS places you into Calculus so that you can be assured of the exemption of MATH 1113.  A good strategy is to work through ALEKS until you are happy with your score, and then take the Math Exemption Exam to see if you can get the MATH 1113 exemption.  Don't worry, if you place into MATH 2250 with one asssessment but not the other, we will still allow you to take MATH 2250.

When do students take ALEKS Placement?

You will be deciding your schedule at Orientation so you should complete your ALEKS assessment at least two days before your Orientation session. So GET STARTED NOW! 

What if I place into Calculus after Orientation?

Even if you do not place into calculus before your advising appointment at orientation, you can still work in the Preparation modules and retake the placement exam.  If you end up making the cut score into Calculus, contact your advisor and discuss changing your schedule.

Does my ALEKS  Placement score expire?

Your ALEKS Placement score is good for three semesters (including summer)  after you take the exam.  For instance if you take the exam in Summer 2018, the score is good for Fall 2018, Spring 2019, and Summer 2019.  If you decide to delay taking Calculus I beyond three semesters, you will need to retake the ALEKS Placement Assessment.

How long will it take?

The ALEKS Placement Assessment takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to complete.  After the assessment, an individualized Preparation and Learning Module is available for you to review and learn material, and to improve placement and eventual course outcomes.

All students are strongly encouraged to spend several hours using the ALEKS Preparation and Learning Module.  Even if you have achieved placement in MATH 2250, time spent in ALEKS will better prepare you with a firm command of the basics.

Can I retake the ALEKS Placement Assessment?

Yes, you may take up to 5 placement assessments. 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.

Can I retake the ALEKS Placement Assessment immediately?

You must wait 48 hours between placement assessments. There is generally no benefit to re-taking the assessment immediately after completing a prior attempt. You are unlikely to 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.

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

Yes, you must work with the Learning Modules for at least 3 hours between assessments. 

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

No. You must complete a new Placement Assessment to change your placement result.  Select the placement tab in the upper right corner of the ALEKS page to start a new Placement Assessment.

What is the cost?

The ALEKS Placement, Preparation and Learning Program costs $25 which you will be asked to submit on your first login.  This will give you access to up to 5 tries on the placement exam as well as six months of access to the Preparation and Learning Modules, allowing you to brush up on your basic Pre-Calculus skills while you study Calculus.

Get Ready

Academic integrity

The only purpose of the assessment is to give an accurate measure of your current mathematical skills so that you will have a better opportunity to be successful in your courses. There is no benefit to inflating or deflating your abilities on the assessment. Taking a class that is not appropriate for your current level of mathematical knowledge could delay your graduation. Therefore, while you are taking the assessment, do not consult any other source for help (friends, family, internet searches, textbooks, etc.), and do your honest best.

In addition, as a member of the University of Georgia community, you are expected to uphold the University of Georgia Student Honor Code and Academic Honesty Policy. 

What you need

Your UGA Myid (e.g. xyz5000) and password.
A pencil and paper.
A reliable internet connection.
2-3 hours of time.
A space conducive to doing your best work.

All other resources are provided by ALEKS.

You should NOT use your own calculator. If one is needed to answer a question, ALEKS will provide one automatically for that question.

You should NOT use other resources such as textbooks, websites, or friends. Use of non-permitted resources may result in you being required to take a course for which you are not prepared.

What to expect

This is a free response assessment; there are no multiple choice questions. Before you take the assessment, ALEKS will present a short tutorial on how to enter answers, how to use the graphing utilities, and how to use the built in calculator that will be offered when appropriate. TAKE YOUR TIME WITH THIS TUTORIAL AND BE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND HOW THESE FEATURES WORK.

Are placement assessments timed?

No, you are free to complete the assessment at your own pace.  However, each assessment must be submitted within 48 hours of beginning the assessment.

What does my placement score mean?

A score of 76 or higher means that you should be ready to take Calculus I (MATH 2250) and will allow you to enroll in this course.
A score of 61 or higher means that you should be ready to take Pre-Calculus (MATH 1113).
A score below 61 suggest that you may struggle in MATH 1113 and you should discuss options with your advisor. 

Where can I get help with ALEKS?

If you run into trouble, contact  https://www.aleks.com/support/contact_support  or https://www.aleks.com/support/form/assess_placement.


Get Started

 Please CLICK HERE to sign up now with your UGA MyID and password.  Click on "purchase access online" and get started.