ALEKS Placement

The ALEKS Pathway involves using the ALEKS PPL: Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces Placement, Preparation and Learning process.

How do I use ALEKS Placement?

ALEKS placement process: How the process works

Graphic logo for ALEKS (Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces)

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

Kennesaw State University (KSU) is now introducing ALEKS Placement for math students planning to take Calculus I (MATH 1190), Elementary Applied Calculus (MATH 1160), or Pre-Calculus (MATH 1113). Since math courses are demanding, it is important for students to begin in the course most likely to lead to success. After completing the initial assessment, students can improve their math skills using the included learning modules and then retest in a proctored environment. It is this proctored assessment that is used to place students into the appropriate courses.↑Top 

Which students should use ALEKS Placement?

  • Place you into Calculus I, giving you a better start towards your degree.
  • Improve your performance in Calculus I or Pre-Calculus.
  • Improve your performance in other science classes (we know that students with strong Pre-Calculus skills perform better in first year chemistry classes).

Placement into Calculus I (MATH 1190)

MATH 1190 at KSU has a required prerequisite of Trigonometry (MATH 1112) or Pre-Calculus (MATH 1113). Traditional ways to forego this requirement include:

  • A high school GPA of 3.2 or higher AND an SAT math score of 620 or higher (ACT math of 26 or higher).
  • A score of 3 or higher on the AP Calculus AB or BC exam.

ALEKS Placement now gives you another option. If you score 76 or higher on the ALEKS assessment you will be allowed to take MATH 1190.

Placement into Elementary Applied Calculus (MATH 1160)

MATH 1160 at KSU has a required prerequisite of College Algebra (MATH 1111), Trigonometry (MATH 1112), Pre-Calculus (MATH 1113). Traditional ways to forego this requirement include:

  • A high school GPA of 3.2 or higher AND an SAT math score of 620 or higher (ACT math of 26 or higher).
  • A score of 3 or higher on the AP Calculus AB or BC exam.

ALEKS Placement now gives you another option. If you score 61 or higher on the ALEKS assessment you will be allowed to take MATH 1160.

Placement into Pre- Calculus (MATH 1113)

MATH 1113 at KSU has no curricular pathway for entry. Traditional ways to start in pre-calculus is to have A high school GPA of 3.0 or higher AND an SAT math score of 590 or higher (ACT math of 25 or higher).

ALEKS Placement now gives you another option. If you score 61 or higher on the ALEKS assessment you will be allowed to take MATH 1113. ↑Top

When do students take ALEKS Placement?

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

Sign up for a proctored assessment!

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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 assessment . If you end up making the cut score into Calculus, contact your advisor and discuss changing your schedule. ↑Top

Does my ALEKS Placement score expire?

At this point there is not an expiration for your ALEKS placement score but we do recommend that if you place into Calculus you should either take that course within 3 semesters of your placement or retake the ALEKS Placement Assessment the semester before you plan to take Calculus.↑Top

How long will it take?

The ALEKS Placement assessment usually 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, a minimum of 5 hours will be required in the Prep and Learning module before you can take a second placement assessment. Even if you have achieved placement in MATH 1190, time spent in ALEKS will better prepare you with a firm command of the basics.↑Top

Can I retake the ALEKS Placement Assessment?

Yes, you may take up to 3 placement assessments (1 is the initial assessment, so you have 2 more to go). Remember, to count for placement, one of them has to be in a proctored environment. 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. ↑Top

Can I retake the ALEKS Placement Assessment immediately?

You must wait 48 hours between placement assessments and there is a minimum time in the Learning modules required (5 hours between assessments 1 and 2, 3 hours between 2 and 3). 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. ↑Top

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

Yes, you must work with the Learning Modules for at least 5 hours between assessments 1 and 2 and for an additional 3 hours between assessments 2 and 3. The best improvements are seen when students work 6-8 hours in the Learning Modules. ↑Top

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 and only a proctored environment counts toward placement. Select the placement tab in the upper right corner of the ALEKS page to start a new Placement Assessment. ↑Top

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 Kennesaw State University community, you are expected to uphold the Kennesaw State University Honor Code and Academic Intregity Policy.

What you need

  • KSU net ID and password
  • A valid photo identification
  • A 10-digit code provided to you by a KSU advisor
  • A pencil and paper
  • 1-3 hours of time ↑Top

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. ↑Top

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. ↑Top

Are placement assessments timed?

Yes, we have placed an upper bound of 3 hours on the assessment. ↑Top

What does my placement score mean?

  • A score of 76 or higher means that you should be ready to take Calculus I (MATH 1190) and will allow you to enroll in this course.
  • A score of 61 or higher means that you should be ready to take Elementary Applied Calculus (MATH 1160) or Pre-Calculus (MATH 1113) depending on your intended major.
  • A score below 61 means that you need to start in College Algebra (MATH 1111). You should discuss options with your advisor. ↑Top

Where can I get help with ALEKS?

Contact your Advisor or the College of Science and Mathematics Advising Center for help with the process.

For technical support with the ALEKS system, please see https://support.aleks.com.

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