The ALEKS Mathematic Placement Assessment will be available
online starting April 1, 2015.
(ALEKS) is a Web-based assessment and learning system. Mount Saint
Mary College requires an ALEKS mathematics placement assessment to
determine readiness for various courses. The ALEKS Placement
Assessment covers material from Basic Math through Precalculus and
will take approximately 90 minutes to complete. After the
assessment, a targeted Prep 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 Prep and Learning Module. Even if you have achieved
placement in your desired course, time spent in ALEKS will better
prepare you for your upcoming course and ultimately lead to better
First of all, RELAX. This is an “assessment,” NOT A TEST. The
difference is that an assessment is designed to determine what you
know. At the end of the ALEKS Placement Assessment, you will have a
much better sense of your strengths and weaknesses in math. You
will then have a chance to work on those weaknesses. There is
really no penalty for incorrectly answering a question on the
assessment. The most important thing is that you take the
assessment seriously and give it an honest effort so that the
assessment truly reflects your level of knowledge and math
Be honest about your skill level. There is no benefit to
cheating on the placement assessment – your only reward will be
that you are forced to take a class that is too difficult for your
current level of mathematical knowledge. Therefore, while you are
taking the assessment, do not consult any other source for help
(friends, family, internet searches, etc.). The purpose of the
placement assessment is to give an accurate measure of your current
mathematical skills so that you will be successful in your
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do I begin using ALEKS?
- Review this FAQ page.
- Go to www.aleks.com
to create an account and take the placement assessment.
Who has to take the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment?
As outlined on the Required Tests page, the student’s
choice of major, combined with score earned on the Math SAT or Math
ACT examination, determines if the math placement test is required
by the college. All nursing majors are required to take the
Mount Saint Mary College does not accept placement test scores
from other institutions as a substitute for our own testing.
Students are responsible for making sure official transcripts
verifying completion of college coursework are forwarded to the
Mount's Registrar's Office.
Is there a fee for using ALEKS?
No, it is paid for by the institution.
Can I retake the ALEKS Placement Assessment?
Yes, you may take the test a total of three times before the
testing deadline. 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. Unlike the SAT or ACT, 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.
Must I work in my ALEKS Prep and Learning Module between
Yes, you are required to work in the placement modules a minimum
of three hours between assessments.
Are placement assessments timed?
Yes, you have 24 hours to complete a placement assessment once
it has begun.
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.
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
What happens if I do not complete a placement assessment in the
If the placement assessment is unproctored, you will have to
restart the assessment.
May I use any other resources during a placement
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 course failure.
How does ALEKS interpret the answer “I don’t know”?
Students may be asked questions on material that is unfamiliar.
On such questions, the student should answer, “I don’t know." But
for any question that is even slightly familiar to the student, it
is important to attempt to answer. “I don’t know” is interpreted by
ALEKS to mean that the student has no knowledge of the topic, and
this will be reflected in the assessment results. If the student’s
best effort is not given, then ALEKS will underestimate their
How do I interpret my results?
See the Interpreting Test Results
Can I practice using ALEKS before I begin placement?
ALEKS will begin with a brief tutorial before your placement
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.
Is there an additional fee for my Prep and Learning
Access to a Prep and Learning Module is included along with up
to three placement assessments.
What are ALEKS Progress Assessments?
While working in a Prep and Learning Module, you will
periodically complete progress assessments to solidify your gains
Does progress in an ALEKS Prep and Learning Module count toward
No, you must complete a new placement assessment to change your
placement result. Click on the placement tab on the upper right of
the page from within ALEKS. Only your placement assessment results
will be used for course placement.
Can I change to a different Prep and Learning Module
No, you may only use the Prep and Learning Module recommended by
What if I do not place into the course I wanted?
You can use a Prep and Learning Module to review and learn, and
you may take another placement assessment to improve your placement
I did not place into the class I wanted. Can I take it
No, you must achieve the minimum placement result to take each
What if I placed into the class I wanted?
Congratulations! Continue to use your Prep and Learning Module
to improve your chances for success. Take advantage of the targeted
review and learning features in ALEKS to get a better grade in your
Where can I get help with ALEKS?
Contact Customer Support – Higher Education
Hours (Eastern Time):
Sunday, 4 pm to 1 am
Monday - Thursday, 7 am to 1 am
Friday, 7 am to 9 pm
Phone: (714) 619-7090
Fax: (714) 245-7190
Email: Contact ALEKS
Questions about the ALEKS plug-in? Go to http://www.aleks.com/faqs/technical#what_is_plugin
Mount Saint Mary Academic Honesty Policy
Academic dishonesty subverts the mission of the college and must
be discouraged by application of a uniform college policy.
Dishonesty is defined as cheating, plagiarism, and falsification,
explained in the Undergraduate Catalog and in the Student