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Mathematics and Statistics Placement in ALEKS

ALEKS is a web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system.  It uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine exactly what you know, don't know, and are ready to learn.  This means that the ALEKS assessment is unique for every student and will expose your particular strengths and weaknesses.  After completing the ALEKS assessment, you will get a detailed pie chart (see below) of your current mathematical knowledge, and will have the opportunity to refresh on mathematical topics in a Learning Module to help you prepare for your courses.  

(Example MyPie in ALEKS)

Follow the steps below to complete the Placement Test in ALEKS and enroll in a Mathematics or Statistics course at PSU.  Be sure to read all directions completely.  Frequently Asked Questions can be found here.

1.  Take the Placement Test.

3.  Use the Learning Module.

5.  Register for classes.

2.  Interpret your score.

4.  Retake the Placement Test (if necessary).

6.  Additional resources and contact information.

Step 1: Take the placement test.

ALEKS can be accessed at any time using a campus computer (lab hours will vary) or personal computer (with internet access and the most recent version of Java).  If using a personal computer, check that you meet the system requirements.  The assessment consists of 25 to 30 questions, and average completion time is about 90 minutes.   You will have 48 hours to complete the assessment; if not completed at this time, that assessment will become unavailable, and ALEKS will provide a new assessment.  ALEKS automatically saves all progress, so the assessment does not have to be completed in one sitting, and can be reaccessed anytime within the 48 hour period by simply logging back in.  

ALEKS does not use multiple choice, but instead uses input tools in which you type or graph your answer.  Before beginning the assessment, ALEKS will walk you through a quick tutorial on how to use the system, including: inputting your answers, using the graphing tool, and using the calculator provided.

We understand that it may have been a while since taking mathematics, so you may need to refresh on some topics before enrolling in a Mathematics or Statistics course at PSU.  After taking the initial assessment, you will have the opportunity to use a Learning Module within ALEKS to refresh on mathematical topics unique to your results.  This will not only help you to place into your preferred Mathematics or Statistics course, but will also make you more likely to succeed in that course.

It's important that you use only the resources provided by ALEKS.  You should not use any textbooks, websites, friends, or family, nor a personal calculator (ALEKS will provide a calculator, as needed).  Non-permitted use of these resources may gain you entry into a course for which you are not prepared; leading to failure, wasting time/money, and causing a delay in degree completion.  Refer to PSU's Student Code of Conduct.

Click below and log in using your PSU computer account (i.e. Odin account).  If using a personal computer, ALEKS will first install a plug-in.  If you're having any technical difficulties, contact ALEKS Support.



Step 2: Interpret your score.

After you’ve completed an assessment, you will see a detailed pie chart of your topic mastery, called MyPie, and your score.  Below are the courses you are eligible to enroll in based on your score.  For your records, print your results and write in the course(s) you're eligible to take based on the table below.  Use this document during your orientation, advising sessions, and/or registration.


   Course Placement

76 - 100

   MTH 251: Calculus I

   ECE 103: Engineering Programming

   ECE 171: Digital Circuits

   PH 201: General Physics

61 - 75

   MTH 112: Introductory College Mathematics II

   CH 221: General Chemistry

   ECE 102: Engineering Computation

46 - 60

   MTH 105: Excursions in Mathematics

   MTH 111: Introductory College Mathematics I

   MTH 211: Foundations of Elementary Mathematics I

   STAT 105: Elementary Data Analysis

   STAT 241: Application of Statistics for Business

   STAT 243: Introduction to Probability and Statistics I

      (Click here for STAT 243 registration instructions)

30 - 45

   MTH 095: Intermediate Algebra

0 - 29

   None (Click here for further instruction)

Note: You will not be permitted to enroll in any courses above your score range, but may enroll in courses below your score range.


Step 3: Use a Learning Module.

Using a Learning Module in ALEKS:

  • Allows you to refresh on the mathematical topics unique to your MyPie results.  ALEKS tells you which mathematical topics you know, and which ones you're ready to learn.
  • Will help you further prepare for your Mathematics and Statistics courses, increasing your likelihood of success.
  • Will help you place into your preferred Mathematics or Statistics course, saving both time and money.
  • Is a required step before retaking the placement test, as to optimize your reattempt opportunity.
  • Has been shown to significantly improve both student success and course performance.

Meeting the cutoff score for your preferred course is a great start, but does not guarantee success.  Using a Learning Module will increase your preparation for the course, making you more likely to succeed and ensuring long-term mathematical success.  Additionally, a Learning Module can (and must) be used before retaking the placement test to help maximize your score increase and likelihood of placing into your preferred course.  At least 3 hours must be spent in a Learning Module before retaking the placement test, but the more time spent, the higher the likelihood of course placement and course success. 

Once you begin a Learning Module, you will have access for 6 months.  As you answer questions, you'll see your MyPie fill up, and ALEKS may reassess you from time to time to ensure you have retained the topic information, but this does not count as one of your reassessments.  Click here for tips on using a Learning Module.


Step 4: Retake the placement test (if necessary).

The reassessment will become available 48 hours after your previous assessment, so you can have time to study.  To help you study, you must spend at least 3 hours in a Learning Module before retaking the placement test.  The placement test can be retaken up to four times, and 3 hours must be spent in the Learning Module between each reassessment.   After you've retaken the placement test, go back to Step 2.



Step 5: Enroll in a Mathematics or Statistics course.

After about an hour, your test score will be loaded into the student information system.  Once your registration window opens, based on the Registration Schedule, you can enroll in the course(s) you were placed into.  All placement results expire after one year, so you should register for your course within a year of taking the placement test.



Step 6: Additional resources and contact information.

a.   There is tutoring available through:

b.   For advice or more information, contact:

c.   For technical support, contact ALEKS Support.