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Preparing for ALEKS

Why must I take the ALEKS PPL Assessment?

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.


Who has to take ALEKS?

All new students have yet to fulfill their math requirement. This means that virtually all new students to Illinois State will be required to take the Placement Assessment. Students who have earned dual-credit, AP credit or transfer credit that fulfills their math requirement for their major are not required to take ALEKS PPL.

To confirm if your dual-credit, AP, or transfer credit will meet your major course requirement, please call University College Advisement at 309-438-7604.


When do I take the ALEKS?

It is recommended that students take the Placement Assessment far enough in advance of their orientation/registration date so that they can spend time in the Pre and Learning Module should they desire to improve their placement score.


Are ALEKS PPL Assessments proctored?

ALEKS PPL for Illinois State does not currently have to be taken in a proctored environment. We reserve the right to require a student to take a Placement Assessment in a proctored environment.

Be honest. It is important that the Placement Assessment is taken seriously and each student gives 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. Review the Illinois State code of Academic Integrity.


Is there a fee?

For students who pay an Enrollment Deposit Fee (or have the fee waived), the registration cost for first use of ALEKS is included in Enrollment Deposit fee.

Students who do not pay the Enrollment Deposit Fee will be required to pay for their access to ALEKS; the cost for ALEKS PPL is $15.


Do I need to install any software or plug-ins prior to taking the ALEKS?

No. There are no required plug-ins or applets required with your use of ALEKS PPL. 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.


What topics are covered?

ALEKS PPL 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 Illinois State 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.


Can I practice using the ALEKS input tools before I begin the Placement Assessment?

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.


Illinois State University

Office of the University Registrar
Normal, IL 61790-2202

Phone: (309) 438-2188

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