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Math Placement Assessment

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Mathematics Placement Assessment

Students are required to complete a math course to meet Illinois State University general education requirements or the Illinois Articulation Initiative General Education Core Curriculum.

The university requires all students take the online ALEKS Math placement assessment to determine their initial placement in a math class, unless they have earned an appropriate mathematics credit by way of:

  • transfer or dual credit from a community college or university,
  • CLEP credit in math,
  • Proficiency exams are offered in many 100 level math courses,
  • AP credit in a prerequisite mathematics class or a general education math course, or
  • a transitional math course completed in high school as part of The Postsecondary Workforce Readiness Act. Successful completion of a high school STEM or Quantitative Literacy/Statistics transitional math allows students to place directly into MAT 113 or MAT 130 within 18 months of completing the transitional math course. Students wishing to take a higher level of math at ISU should take the ALEKS assessment. The Technical transitional math course will not be used for placement purposes. Transitional math courses will not count as course equivalents and will not generate academic credit at ISU.

What is ALEKS

ALEKS is an online assessment that ensures students are placed in an appropriate math course. The assessment shouldn't be stressful or worrisome, it is simply a gauge of what course level a student should take to be successful. After taking the assessment, university advisors will guide each student to a math course that is most suitable for them.

  • Cost
Students Cost
New incoming freshmen No additional cost for first year after first exam submission.
New transfers $15
Continuing $15

Provides access to the ALEKS assessment for one year after first exam submission. If after one year, a student needs to take the assessment again, they will be required to pay the $15 fee for an additional year of access.

  • Accommodations

The ALEKS Math Placement Test is designed to be completed in 60-90 minutes, though all students are permitted up to three hours to complete it. If a student needs extended time beyond three hours, please complete a request for Academic Accommodations on the Student Access and Accommodation Services (SAAS) website. Documentation of disability will be required. Requests for extended time for ALEKS will be reviewed by a SAAS Coordinator within seven days. If approved, the student will receive an email from a SAAS Coordinator. Testing Services will also be notified of the accommodation.

If a student DOES require extended time, it is important to contact Testing Services before attempting to sign into the ALEKS account.

  • What to expect while taking the assessment

The assessment is currently not proctored, but this may change at any time. Please contact with questions.

  • How long will the test take?

Each assessment session is open for 3 hours. If a student does not finish the assessment in that time, the session will expire, and the student will need to re-start the exam.

A student usually takes about 60-90 minutes for up to 25 questions.

  • Policy

We reserve the right to invalidate the score and require a student to take the ALEKS assessment with a live proctor in Testing Services when one or more of these indicators arise:

  • Excessive amount of time for taking the exam unless there are appropriate accommodations
  • Significant jump in score from one attempt to the next
  • Assistance from other people
  • Using websites, textbooks, or personal calculator (ALEKS provides an on-screen calculator)
  • Submitting ALEKS scores

ALEKS math placement exams taken at Illinois State University are automatically uploaded from the ALEKS system into students records and are available to use for registration at 8:00 a.m. the day after the exam was completed. 

If a student took an ALEKS math placement exam at another institution within the last 18 months, they can request to have the score submitted to Illinois State University in two ways:

  • See directions on how to submit scores from ALEKS
  • Sent directly from the institution where the exam was taken

Sending ALEKS Exam scores to another institution
Students can choose to send their ISU ALEKS scores or request a copy of their score report if they no longer have access to their ALEKS account. There are two ways to send scores to another institution, including ALEKS's built in score forwarding feature. Some schools do not have this feature enabled and require that ISU send them manually. 
Students interested in manual forwarding of their ALEKS scores should email Emails regarding score forwarding should contain:

  • Student's full name
  • ISU UID number
  • Name of the institution receiving the scores
  • Email address for the person or office at the institution that will receive the scores.

*Most community colleges in Illinois will not accept scores from ISU since ISU does not proctor ALEKS.

  • Additional Attempts

Students can take the assessment up to five times. They will have to wait 48 hours and complete the required Prep and Learning Module before the next attempt.

ALEKS accounts are valid for one year and must be renewed once the account has expired.

Academic Integrity

To be successful, review all prohibited items prior to taking this assessment (refer to the prohibited items list below). In addition, receiving assistance from others while taking the assessment is not allowed and could result in:

  • enrollment in a class that is too difficult - costing time and money by having to retake courses,
  • retaking the ALEKS assessment, and/or
  • delay in graduation.

Please be aware of policies regarding ALEKS scores, including the right to invalidate a particular score. In addition, academic dishonesty is a violation of the Code of Student Conduct.

Allowed Items

  • Pencil or pen
  • Paper
  • Resources within ALEKS

Prohibited Items

  • Assistance from other people
  • Websites
  • Textbooks
  • Personal calculator (ALEKS provides an on-screen calculator)
  • Notes