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Math Placement Assessment

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Mathematics Placement Assessment

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

The university requires that 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 gauging what course level you should take to be successful. After taking the assessment, university advisors will guide you to a math course that best fits you.

  • 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, you need to take the assessment again, you will be required to pay the $15 fee for an additional year of access.

  • Accommodations

Please note that 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 you feel you need 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, you will receive an email from your Coordinator. Testing Services will also be notified of your accommodation.

If you DO require extended time, it is important to contact Testing Services before attempting to sign in to your ALEKS account.

  • What to expect while taking the assessment

Each assessment session is open for 3 hours. If you do not finish your assessment in that time, your session will expire, and you will need to re-start your exam.

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

  • How long will the test take?

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)
  • Policy

The assessment is currently unproctored, but this may change at any time. Please check with if you have questions.

  • Submitting ALEKS scores

ALEKS math placement exams taken at Illinois State University are automatically added to your record.

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

  • Sent directly from the institution where the exam was taken
  • Additional Attempts

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

Take ALEKS Assessment

Academic Integrity

We want you to succeed, so make sure to take this assessment without any prohibited items (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