ALEKS Math Placement Assessment FAQs

AU Students Admitted Summer/Fall 2023 or Later



 

 

ALEKS Math Placement Assessment FAQs:

 

Auburn University requires an ALEKS Placement, Preparation and Learning (ALEKS PPL) Assessment to determine readiness for mathematics courses. ALEKS PPL is a web-based program that uses artificial intelligence to map a student’s strengths and weaknesses. The Placement Assessment is up to 30 questions and generally takes 60-90 minutes to complete. After the Placement Assessment, an individualized Prep and Learning Module is available for students to refresh their knowledge on forgotten topics. Students then have the opportunity to reassess and improve their placement.

ALEKS consists of three parts:

  • An Initial Placement Assessment
  • The Prep and Learning Module, an individualized, self-paced online review
  • Access to 2 additional Placement Assessments

Auburn encourages each student to spend time in the Prep and Learning Module, even if the desired score is achieved, because time spent in ALEKS will ultimately lead to better preparation and improved grades.

The Placement Assessment results will be used to determine the most appropriate courses for each student as they move forward with college coursework. After taking a Placement Assessment, students should meet with their advisor to review their results and enroll in the best classes based on their scores.

This is a “Placement Assessment,” not a test. The difference is that a Placement Assessment is designed to determine what a student knows and what a student needs to work on. At the end of the ALEKS PPL Assessment, a student will have a much better sense of his/her strengths and weaknesses in math. Students then have a chance to brush up on topics that may have been forgotten or haven’t been practiced for some time.

Be honest. It is important that the Placement Assessment is taken seriously, and each student gives it an honest effort so that the Placement Assessment truly reflects their current level of knowledge and math preparedness. There is no benefit to cheating on the Placement Assessment – the only result will be that a student enrolls in a class that is too difficult, or not challenging enough, potentially costing time and money. Therefore, while taking the Placement Assessment, students should not consult any outside sources for help (friends/family, internet searches, textbooks, notes etc...). The purpose of the Placement Assessment is to give an accurate measure of a student’s current mathematical knowledge state so that he/she will be successful in mathematics courses. Auburn University Student Academic Honesty Code

The proportion of students falling below grade level in K-12 math courses has increased. This trend is attributed to unfinished learning that resulted from the continuous disruptions caused by COVID. The ALEKS Math Placement Assessment provides our incoming students the resources to address any remaining learning gaps. The adaptive learning modules embedded in ALEKS identify content areas where students lack mastery and focus instruction and review in those areas until mastery is achieved. ALEKS allows new college freshmen to not only master material to be successful in entry level math courses but to also learn more advanced material to place into a higher math course initially. A national study of ALEKS math placement found that 50% of students that spent six or more hours working in the modules achieved scores placing them in a higher math when taking the assessment again (McGraw-Hill, 2019). Auburn University is committed to addressing needs for learning recovery in math post the COVID pandemic to ensure that our students succeed.



Preparation



First-year and transfer students who have been accepted to Auburn University, have an Auburn login, and have submitted the enrollment deposit can take the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment to determine their placement for their first mathematics course at Auburn.

You are required to take the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment if you plan to take your first college math course at Auburn University and do not have AP/IB, dual enrollment, or college transfer credit for math.

Be honest. It is important that the Placement Assessment is taken seriously, and you give it an honest effort so that the Placement Assessment truly reflects your current level of knowledge and math preparedness. There is no benefit to cheating on the Placement Assessment – the only result will be that you enroll in a class that is too difficult, or not challenging enough, potentially costing time and money. Therefore, while taking the Placement Assessment, you should not consult any outside sources for help (friends/family, internet searches, textbooks, notes etc...). The purpose of the Placement Assessment is to give an accurate measure of your current mathematical knowledge state so that you will be successful in mathematics courses. Auburn University Student Academic Honesty Code

The Placement Assessment is used to determine the mathematics course in which you will have the greatest success. Upon completion of the Placement Assessments, your scores are sent to your academic advisor. Your advisor will review your scores and help make appropriate recommendations for course registration.

The ALEKS Math Placement Assessment is available now through AU Access. You must complete the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment well before your Camp War Eagle or SOS orientation. You should plan to take it at the earliest time possible and when you can focus your efforts on performing your best. At orientation, you will meet with an academic advisor and plan your fall schedule. It is important that the assessment is taken at least two weeks prior to your orientation session.

If a student has not taken the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment prior to participating in orientation, the student will not be eligible to register for math following orientation*, unless the student has college credit through AP/IB, dual enrollment, or transfer credit.

  • Students taking ALEKS after orientation have no guarantee of a seat when trying to register for a course.

 

Yes. You will be monitored and recorded via webcam with Lockdown Browser and Respondus Monitor Proctoring. You will need internet access, a webcam, and a microphone. You can check your computer setup here: https://www.aleks.com/support/lockdown_system_requirements

Make sure you are in a private, secure space to take the assessment without disruption.

The use of ALEKS is included in your student fees.

Yes. Go to aub.ie/oldmathplacement and find the semester in which you first started at Auburn. These are the requirements for your math placement. Contact Heather Hamilton (heather.hamilton@auburn.edu) in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics if you receive a pre-requisite error when registering for a math or statistics class.

Even if you place into a math class based on your ACT Math or SAT Math score, Auburn highly encourages each student to take the ALEKS Math Placement as a way of knowing if you are ready for the math course your scores have placed you in. Your ALEKS score will not affect your placement unless it places you into a higher-level math class.

We do not accept ALEKS scores from other institutions. The scores for our ALEKS Assessment are based on our classes and the knowledge needed in an Auburn University math class.

There are no required plug-ins or applets required with your use of ALEKS. As long as you have access to the internet and are using an updated browser, you should not experience difficulties in taking your Placement Assessment. For a list of preferred browsers, please review the ALEKS system requirements on their support site: http://www.aleks.com/support/system_requirements

ALEKS is an online, adaptive system that covers a broad spectrum of mathematics topics. The length of the Placement Assessment will vary, but can be up to 30 questions. You will see some, but not all, of the math you have learned in high school. It is a Placement Assessment, not a preview of math courses at Auburn University. It is designed to identify if you are prepared for a particular course. After you take your first Placement Assessment, you will have the opportunity to review and master additional topics to reassess and improve your placement.

Topics covered:

  • Real numbers (including fractions, integers, and percentages)
  • Equations and inequalities (including linear equations, linear inequalities, systems of linear equations, and quadratic equations),
  • Linear and quadratic functions (including graphs and functions, linear functions, and parabolas), exponents and polynomials (including integer exponents, polynomial arithmetic, factoring, and polynomial equations), rational expressions (including rational equations and rational functions
  • Radical expressions (including higher roots and rational exponents)
  • Exponentials and logarithms (including function compositions and inverse functions, properties of logarithms, and logarithmic equations)
  • Geometry and trigonometry (including perimeter, area, and volume, coordinate geometry, trigonometric functions, and identities and equations).

No. You will take the Assessment first and it will give you your baseline score. This is the knowledge you currently have in mathematics. Once you have completed at least one assessment, you can use the modules to help increase your score on subsequent assessments.

ALEKS will begin with a brief tutorial to make sure you are comfortable with the math palette tools before your Placement Assessment begins. The tutorial shows you how to enter different types of answers, how to use the ALEKS calculator, and how to graph. If you aren’t sure how to input an answer, or need help while you are taking the ALEKS Placement Assessment, select the Help button below the answer pallet tools. Going to the tutorial during your Placement Assessment will NOT impact your Placement Assessment results.

Please contact Barclay Bentley (bentlbj@auburn.edu) in the Office of Accessibility for questions regarding special accommodations.



Taking the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment



ALEKS is not a multiple-choice Placement Assessment. It is open-response and requires you to work out solutions with a paper and pencil, then enter them into ALEKS. Be sure to have scratch paper with you.

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 only use a pen or pencil, paper, and the resources provided within ALEKS. You should not receive assistance from friends, family, other websites, textbooks, or any other resource not provided by ALEKS. Using outside resources will lead to improper placement and potentially course failure. It is a violation of the Auburn University Student Academic Honesty Code.

The length of the Placement Assessment will vary, but can be up to 30 questions.

Because ALEKS is adaptive, once you submit an answer, you cannot change it. Be sure to carefully check your answer before submitting your response.

It is likely that you will be asked questions on material you have not yet learned. On such questions it is appropriate to answer, I don't know. On any question that you have familiarity with, however, it is important to do your best. I don't know is interpreted by ALEKS to mean that you do not know how to solve the topic, and this will be reflected in the Placement Assessment results. There is no penalty for incorrectly answering a question on the Placement Assessment, it only helps ALEKS understand what you know and don’t know.

Yes. You have 2 hours and 30 minutes to complete a Placement Assessment once it has begun.

Placement Assessments generally take 60-90 minutes to complete, but the amount of time will vary by student. You have a maximum of 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Yes. Once a student starts the assessment, they are required to answer all the questions and finish the assessment.

You will be given a placement result, but it will not be a true reflection of your abilities. It will also count as one of your 3 available assessments.

  • From the Auburn University main website (auburn.edu), click on "AU Access" at the top of the page
  • Log in using your Auburn email address and password. *Students will need to have registered for the Duo 2-Factor Authentication in order to access ALEKS. Instructions for registering for Duo can be found here.
  • Click on the "My Academics" tab on the left side of the screen.
  • Scroll down to the Registration and Advising section (left side of the screen).
  • Select "ALEKS Math Placement Assessment"


Placement Result



Your placement result (overall score) is a number between 0 and 100. It represents the percentage of topics ALEKS has identified you have mastered.

  • You will receive your score immediately upon completion of your Placement Assessment.
  • Your ALEKS score can be viewed by re-entering ALEKS using the same access link for which you took the Placement Assessment.
  • Your scores are automatically added to your student profile, which is accessible by your advisor. Your advisor will review your scores and help make appropriate recommendations for course registration.

*For demonstration purpose only – Auburn has a maximum of 3 Placement Assessments

The math course(s) for which you are eligible to enroll will depend upon your ALEKS score. See the Placement Score Chart and check the math requirements for your undergraduate major.
Course placement is determined as follows:

 

Course #

Course Name

ALEKS Score Range

MATH 1000

College Algebra

0-49

MATH 1100

Finite Math and Applications

50 or higher

MATH 1120

Pre-Calculus Algebra

50 or higher

MATH 1130

Pre-Calculus Trigonometry

64 or higher

MATH 1150

Pre-Calculus Algebra and Trigonometry

64 or higher

MATH 1680

Calculus with Business Applications I (Business-related majors)

68 or higher

MATH 1610

Calculus I

78 or higher

This is a perfect opportunity to take advantage of the Prep and Learning Modules offered within ALEKS. An individualized study plan will be created based on your performance on the Initial Placement Assessment. ALEKS will identify what you know and what you are ready to learn next so you can brush up on lost knowledge.

No, you must achieve the minimum placement result to take each corresponding class.

Congratulations! Continue to use your Prep and Learning Module to improve your chances for success. The placement result required is the minimum preparation for your course. Take advantage of the individualized review and learning features in ALEKS to get a better grade in your class.

We use the highest assessment score when placing you into a math course.

You can register for a course at or below where your ALEKS score places you. For example, your score placed you into MATH 1610 Calculus I but the highest math class your major requires is MATH 1120 Pre-Calculus Algebra. You can take MATH 1120 Pre-Calculus Algebra. See the curriculum (plan of study) for your major and/or talk to your academic advisor to find out what math your major requires.

Review undergraduate majors descriptions and course requirements.

Students can take the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment up to 3 times. However, to make each attempt worthwhile, it is important that you spend time working in your ALEKS Prep and Learning Module between Placement Assessments so that you can improve your skills.

After the first attempt, the following requirements must be met:

  • To take the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment a second time, you must:
    • Wait at least 48 hours since the first attempt; AND Spend a minimum of 5 hours working on ALEKS modules.
  • To take the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment a third time, you must:
    • Wait at least 48 hours since the second attempt; AND Spend a minimum of 8 hours working on ALEKS modules (this is in addition to the 5 hours from the previous attempt).

You must wait at least 48 hours between Placement Assessments. There is generally no benefit to re-taking the Placement Assessment immediately after completing a prior attempt. You cannot improve your results by simply re-taking the Placement Assessment without spending time in the Prep and Learning Module to refresh material that you may have forgotten.



Prep and Learning Modules



You will have 12 months of access to your Prep and Learning module. Access to the prep course will not begin until you select start on the top of your screen. DO NOT select into the Prep and Learning Module until you are ready to start working.

Access to a Prep and Learning Module is included along with the additional Placement Assessments.

You can retake the Placement Assessment up to 2 additional times to improve your score. (The highest score will be used for math placement). Students are required to work in the Prep and Learning Modules for a specific amount of time prior to each Placement Assessment to increase success.

  • 2nd attempt – required to complete 5 hours of work in the Prep and Learning Modules before attempting assessment.
  • 3rd attempt – required to complete 8 additional hours of work in the Prep and Learning Modules before attempting assessment.

While working in a Prep and Learning Module, you will periodically complete a Knowledge Check to make sure you have mastered the topics you gained in Learning Mode. If you do not show mastery during the Knowledge Check, the topics will be added back into your Learning Pie so you can review them again.

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.

No. You are automatically assigned to a Prep and Learning Module by ALEKS.



Technical Support



Simply close the browser, or log out and log back in. ALEKS will resume the Placement Assessment exactly where you left off, with no loss of your previous answers.