Math Placement


What is the ALEKS assessment?

The ALEKS Exam covers a broad spectrum of pre-calculus material. The ALEKS system is fully automated and the ALEKS assessment is adaptive. The first questions asked will be drawn from across the curriculum, and may be too easy or too hard. As the assessment proceeds, your answers will be used to give the system an idea of your knowledge, and it will gradually focus the questioning in an individually appropriate way. By the end of the assessment you should find the questions generally challenging but reasonable for your individual level of knowledge.

The assessment has a maximum of 30 questions. The exact number of questions will vary due to the adaptive mechanism just described. It is likely that you will be asked questions on material you have not yet learned. On such questions it is appropriate to answer, "I don't know." On the other hand, you should do your best to answer any question concerning topics you are familiar with. "I don't know" is interpreted by ALEKS to mean that you do not know the topic, and this will be reflected in the assessment results. If you do not do your best on the assessment, ALEKS will underestimate your knowledge.

How long will the assessment take, and what materials will I need?

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.

You will need only pencil and paper to work on problems. ALEKS has a built-in calculator available when needed, so you do not need a calculator.

How many questions are on the assessment?

There will be a maximum of 30 questions. None of the questions are multiple-choice. Students who are unable to answer many of the first questions may end up with a shorter exam.

Once I answer a question, can I go back and change my answer?

Unfortunately, once you submit an answer, you cannot change it. You should keep this in mind while testing.

Is there a fee for taking this assessment?

Yes. A fee of $22.50 is charged to your student account before you given access to ALEKS.

How many times can I take ALEKS?

You will be given the chance to take the ALEKS assessment up to five times within your subscription period.  Your highest score will be taken into consideration for prerequisite checking.

How long are my ALEKS assessment scores valid?

Each ALEKS assessment score is valid for 7 months.

May I take ALEKS if I am not yet 18 years of age?

Yes, but please discuss the ALEKS assessment via phone, email, or in person with your parent or guardian ahead of time so that he/she may provide permission to take the exam.

What if I have AP credit in math or prior coursework in math from another institution?

Then you may not need to take the ALEKS assessment. Check with your Academic Advisor by logging in to Blackboard and clicking through the "Connect" tab if you are uncertain whether your prior coursework/past credit will be sufficient for placement in UMKC math courses. If you have transfer credit, you must provide an official transcript with recorded prerequisite math coursework to the University Registrar or advisor.

How soon can I enroll in math courses after taking the ALEKS assessment?

Approximately 2-3 business days after completing ALEKS, you should be able to enroll in math courses on Pathway.

Can my ALEKS score be used to grant course credit for math courses?

No. ALEKS is an assessment that will determine math placement only. Credit will not be granted for high scores.

Is there a deadline to take ALEKS?

ALEKS can be taken at any time. However, if planning to enroll in courses for a particular semester in which you are currently not completing the prerequisite course, you should plan to take ALEKS before your assigned registration date. Delaying is possible, but will impact your options for enrollment. Also, keep in mind that your scores are only valid for 7 months, so if you do not enroll in a math class within that time, you may need to take it again.

If you experience problems when taking the ALEKS, please contact ALEKS customer support.

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