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ALEKS Math Placement Guidance

Lycoming College requires an ALEKS math 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 grades.

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 preparedness.

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. Not to mention, cheating would fall under academic dishonesty in the Student Handbook. 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 mathematics courses.

Who has to take the ALEKS Placement Assessment?

All incoming first-year students.

Is there a fee for using ALEKS?

No. For all incoming students, use of ALEKS is included in your student fees. This includes up to four attempts to be completed between the time you confirm through April 1st of the spring semester of your first year. If a student wishes to use ALEKS after the April 1st deadline, the student will be charged $25 for another round of four attempts.

Can I retake the ALEKS Placement Assessment?

Yes, you may take up to four 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?

No, you must wait 48 hours between placement assessments. There is generally no benefit to retaking the assessment immediately after completing a prior attempt. 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 placement assessments?

No, you do not have to work in the ALEKS Prep and Learning Module between your first
assessment and your second assessment. However, should you choose to complete a third or
fourth assessment, you will first need to spend at least three hours in the ALEKS Prep and Learning Module.

Are placement assessments timed?

No, you are free to complete the assessment at your own pace.

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 calculator.

May I use any other resources during a placement assessment?

You may use only 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.

What is my placement result?

Your placement result is your percentage mastery on the best assessment. Course placement is determined as follows:

Math Level ALEKS Score OR SAT/ACT Score Course(s) Eligible to Take
Math Level 1 0-30 --- MATH 1001
(plus 1 additional Math distribution course)
Math Level 2 31-60 --- MATH 106, 109, 112, 115, 123
Math Level 3 61-75 or SAT Math: 500+
SAT Math Redesigned: 530+
ACT Math: 21+
MATH 106, 109, 112, 115, 123, 1272, CPTR 1252
Math Level 4 76-100 --- MATH 106, 109, 112, 115, 123, 128, CPTR 1252

1Students who are required to take MATH 100 must complete it by the end of their sophomore year. Only students pursuing quantitative majors should be strongly encouraged to take MATH 100 in their first semester.

2Neither CPTR 125 nor MATH 127 satisfies the mathematics distribution requirement.

How long is my placement result valid?

Your placement result is valid for the entirety of your collegiate career at Lycoming College.

Can I practice using ALEKS before I begin placement?

ALEKS will begin with a brief tutorial before your placement begins.

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 Module?

No, access to a Prep and Learning Module is included along with up to four 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 in knowledge.

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. 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.

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 result.

I did not place into the class I wanted. Can I take it anyway?

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

What if I placed into the class I wanted?

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

Where can I get help with ALEKS?

How do I begin using ALEKS?

If you haven’t attended Orientation yet, please follow these steps.

  1. Login to WebAdvisor
  2. Choose New & Incoming Students
  3. Orientation
  4. Math Placement Exam

If you have attended Orientation, please follow these steps.

  1. Login to WebAdvisor
  2. Choose Current Students
  3. Academic Profile
  4. Math Placement Exam