To better ensure student success, Kennesaw State University has adopted a math PPL (placement, preparation & learning) assessment, known as ALEKS. Because students are admitted with a wide variety of strengths and backgrounds in mathematics, it is reasonable to expect that there will be various levels of readiness among students.
ALEKS is an easy way to assess math proficiency and skill level before you enroll in a course.
ALEKS Placement, Preparation and Learning (ALEKS PPL) is the premier adaptive learning and assessment platform used by millions of students around the world. ALEKS PPL uses adaptive, open-response questioning to rapidly and accurately assess each student on a wide range of course material in 30 questions or less. Students are correctly placed and given the opportunity to improve their placement with targeted learning with up to 6-months of access to the Prep and Learning Module. A seamless transition from assessment to learning empowers students and builds learning momentum.
Essentially, your ALEKS final assessment score will indicate the math course you are eligible to take. Be sure to read all directions completely.
The assessment covers material from basic math through precalculus and will take approximately 90 minutes to complete. 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 initial assessment, you will have a much better sense of your strengths and weaknesses in math.
Be honest. It is important to take the placement assessment seriously and to give it an honest effort so it truly reflects your current level of mathematical knowledge and 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.
Therefore, you should not consult any outside sources for help (friends/family, internet searches, textbooks, notes etc...). There is really no penalty for incorrectly answering a question on the assessment.
The Assessment is a 6 STEP process:
- STEP 1: Register in the ALEKS placement system. Receive the instructions document from your major's advisor. Look up your major-specific advisor here.
- STEP 2: Complete the initial unproctored Placement Assessment.
- STEP 3: Choose the Prep and Learning Module to work in.
- STEP 4: Work in the Prep and Learning Modules for a minimum of 5 hours over at least a 48-hour period.
- STEP 5: Contact Ken Keating from your KSU student email for proctored testing instructions.
- STEP 6: Complete a proctored assessment. All students must have a webcam and the Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor software to take a proctored test online.
Who must take ALEKS?
- All incoming first-year students are encouraged to complete the ALEKS placement assessment, if they would like to start in a higher level math course (up to MATH 1190 Calculus I).
- All incoming transfer students with no prior college-level coursework in math are encouraged to take the ALEKS assessment.
If the score on the assessment indicates a lack of preparedness for the desired course, the student may take another ALEKS assessment. However, it is highly recommended that students use the free Prep and Learning Module to build their math knowledge before taking the proctored assessment.
When do I take ALEKS?
Entering freshmen should try to complete the proctored ALEKS assessment at least two days before attending new student orientation, to allow their advisors to plan for their courses. But, if you are unable to complete your unproctored assessment, learning modules, and proctored attempt in a timely manner before your orientation, please still attend your orientation session as scheduled. You will be able to continue in ALEKS after your orientation day.
Continuing students who need to enroll in a math course must complete the ALEKS assessment prior to being advised.
How much does it cost?
It is currently free for students to complete math placement testing (up to three attempts at a proctored assessment).
Where do I take the ALEKS Assessment?
All assessments can be taken online. The first is an unproctored practice test. The second, third, and fourth exams are proctored using your webcam and the Respondus monitoring system.
What Math can you start in based off of your high school information?
- MATH 1111 College Algebra: Anyone can start here, but you might be able to start higher!
- MATH 1113 Precalculus: You can start here if you have a SAT MATH score of 570 or above (ACT MATH 23 or above) AND a high school GPA of 2.8 or above
- MATH 1160 Elementary Applied Calculus: You can start here if you have a SAT MATH score of 620 or above (ACT MATH 26 or above) AND a high school GPA of 3.2 or above
- MATH 1190 Calculus I: You can start here if you have a SAT MATH score of 620 or above (ACT MATH 26 or above) AND a high school GPA of 3.2 or above
Please ensure that you register for the appropriate math class for your major. This is not the only way that you can get into a specific Math course. You might have a college credit from dual enrollment or AP scores. Please consult your major’s advisor on enrolling in the next appropriate math course for your major, if you already have a math credit.
Are Placement Assessments timed?
The initial unproctored assessment has a time limit of 48 hours. Proctored assessments have a time limit of 3 hours.
What topics are covered?
ALEKS PPL is an online, adaptive system that covers a broad spectrum of mathematics topics. 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 Kennesaw State University (KSU). It is designed to identify if you are prepared for a particular course.
- 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).
How long will it take to complete?
Be sure you are ready to take your assessment prior to logging on. Set aside at least a 3-hour block of time in which to complete the assessment. The length of the assessment varies by student, but there will be a maximum of 30 questions.
What happens if I do not complete a placement assessment in the allotted time?
If you do not complete the placement assessment within the allotted time, your exam will be submitted and will be given a score that is approximately the same as if you had chosen "I don't know" for the remaining questions.
How many questions will there be?
Students complete a maximum of 30 questions. Questions are predominantly short-answer.
Is there a practice test?
The initial unproctored test is essentially a practice test. While working in the Prep and Learning Modules, you may also be asked to complete a Knowledge Check. These can also be considered a sort of practice test. However, they are based more heavily on your recent activity rather than a comprehensive check of your knowledge.
Once I answer a question, can I go back and change my answer?
No. Once you submit an answer, you cannot change it.
How long is my ALEKS assessment score valid?
Your placement result is valid for 6 months. Math is a discipline that requires practice. After 6 months, students who have not taken a college-level math course need to retake the ALEKS assessment so that they can be sure to take the math course that is best for their skills and knowledge.
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 other resources during a placement assessment?
No. You may only use a pen/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 is my score calculated?
Your placement result (overall score) is a number between 0 and 100. It represents the percentage of topics ALEKS has identified you have mastered.
ALEKS chooses each question on the basis of a student's answers to all the previous questions. Each student, and therefore each set of assessment questions, is unique. It is impossible to predict the questions that will be asked. By the time a student has completed the assessment, ALEKS has developed a precise picture of his or her knowledge of the course, and has identified which topics in the course the student has and has not mastered.Learn More
How can I find my ALEKS score after taking the assessment?
You will receive your score immediately upon completion of your Placement Assessment. Your ALEKS score can be viewed by re-entering ALEKS and using the three-bar menu in the upper left to open the Reports menu.
Will my ALEKS assessment score be posted to my academic transcript?
No, your ALEKS score will not appear on your academic transcript.
If I take the ALEKS assessment more than once, which score will be used for placement in a math course?
The highest ALEKS score will be used for math placement.
What if I do not place into the course I wanted?
After 48 hours, you can take another ALEKS assessment. However, it is recommended that you use the Prep and Learning Module to review and learn, and then 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 can I do if I am not satisfied with my score?
If you did not achieve your desired score on your first or second proctored assessment, you are eligible to try again after working in the Prep and Learning Modules for at least 5 hours during the minimum 48-hour cooling off period.
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 class.
What if my computer crashes while taking the assessment?
If you have computer problems, you should be able to log back into the ALEKS assessment and resume testing. When you log on again, ALEKS will bring you to the point at which you left off.
Do I need to install any software or plug-ins?
There are no plug-ins or applets required to take the initial unproctored assessment or to work in the Prep and Learning Modules. Proctored assessments require a webcam and installation of the Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor software. For a list of preferred browsers, please review the ALEKS system requirements and the Respondus LockDown browser requirements.