# ALEKS Math Placement Assessment Exam

UT Dallas uses the ALEKS Assessment to optimize the placement of all students in their first math course. The ALEKS Assessment is offered by the ALEKS corporation, an educational knowledge and assessment research company. The assessment is an open format that does not use multiple choice questions; students may find the experience substantially different from many standardized examinations.

The ALEKS Assessment module at UT Dallas costs $40 per student. The module consists of three parts:

- Initial assessment.
- Four retests prior to the deadline.
- Six weeks of review and instruction.

**Click here to access the UT Dallas ALEKS system (UTD NetID and password login)**

## Initial ALEKS Assessment

Students will take the initial assessment at the beginning of their ALEKS usage. This assessment will provide a valid score that may be used for placement at UT Dallas.

Additionally, students may derive a great deal of benefit from the knowledge profile that the initial assessment generates. If a student did not receive the minimum score for the desired UT Dallas mathematics course, the student may use the knowledge profile to identify areas of needed review.

Even if the student did receive the desired minimum score, that student may find it helpful to review materials that the assessment identified as a knowledge weakness. Remember, courses at UT Dallas are challenging and the pace is demanding. Professors expect students to have a thorough knowledge of prerequisite material.

## Retesting with the ALEKS Assessment

Retesting with the ALEKS Assessment is included in the $40 total cost. Each student may take the ALEKS Assessment Exam up to five times. After the second attempt, a student must complete some of the self-paced ALEKS tutorials, included in the ALEKS package prior to a third assessment.

Remember, students must obtain a final score at least two weeks prior to attending freshman orientation.

**PLEASE NOTE:** The ALEKS Assessment Module rather than the ALEKS Learning Module should be used for placement purposes. The ALEKS Learning Module will periodically reassess students to determine how much the student has learned. These periodic Learning Module reassessments are not comprehensive of all material and cannot be used for placement purposes. Your advisor will not have access to these scores.

## Continuing ALEKS Review and Instruction

Students have access to six weeks of online review and instruction provided by the ALEKS learning module. The six weeks begin when students first initiate the instruction portion of the module. Students are encouraged to work on areas identified for review and then take another assessment to obtain a desired placement score.

**PLEASE NOTE:** The ALEKS Assessment Module rather than the ALEKS Learning Module should be used for placement purposes. The ALEKS Learning Module will periodically reassess students to determine how much the student has learned. These periodic Learning Module reassessments are not comprehensive of all material and cannot be used for placement purposes. Your advisor will not have access to these scores.

**PLEASE NOTE:** For incoming freshmen, UT Dallas will consider ONLY the ALEKS Assessment and grades in previously completed math courses taken at UT Dallas for math course placement.

## Paying for the ALEKS Assessment

Students will pay UT Dallas directly for the cost of the ALEKS Assessment. The $40 fee will be payable at the Bursar’s Office in the Student Services Building when you arrive on campus in the fall. Please note that the five assessments (including the initial assessment) and the self-paced tutorial are included in the $40 fee.

## ALEKS Math Placement Score

- Your ALEKS score will be incorporated into your UT Dallas student profile and used for placement purposes. Your academic advisor will have access to your ALEKS score.
- You can view your score by logging into your ALEKS account.

Students will be placed into math courses if they have achieved a minimum score listed below:

UT Dallas Math Course | Minimum ALEKS Score |
---|---|

Math 1314 - College Algebra | Minimum ALEKS Score of 35% Required for Placement |

Math 1316 - Trigonometry | Minimum ALEKS Score of 35% Required for Placement |

Math 1325 - Applied Calculus I | Minimum ALEKS Score of 55% Required for Placement |

Math 2312 - Precalculus | Minimum ALEKS Score of 55% Required for Placement |

Math 2413 - Differential Calculus | Minimum ALEKS Score of 70% Required for Placement |

Math 2417 - Calculus I | Minimum ALEKS Score of 75% Required for Placement |

## Taking the ALEKS Assessment Exam

For ALEKS to be effective, you must do the exam on your own, without notes, books, or help from others. ALEKS isn't a traditional exam; it's a tool to help you find the course where you'll have the best chance to succeed. In the ALEKS assessment, any outside assistance might place you in the wrong class, lower your GPA and delay your coursework by a semester. Calculus at UT Dallas is challenging and serves as an essential foundation for many other courses; don't take a class for which you are unprepared.

- Plan ahead so that you have at least ninety minutes of uninterrupted time.
- Have a pencil and plenty of scratch paper.
- Have your favorite calculator. If you don't have a calculator, you can use the ALEKS online calculator.

**Click here to access the UT Dallas ALEKS system (UTD NetID and password login)**

## ALEKS Math Placement Exam FAQ

Q: What is the ALEKS Assessment?

Q: Who is required to take ALEKS?

Q: How do I take the ALEKS Assessment?

Q: What if I do not obtain the required minimum score for the course I wish to take?

Q: Is there a penalty for taking the ALEKS assessment more than once?

Q: In addition to ALEKS, do I need to take the SAT Subject Test in Math?

Q: What if I already have credit for calculus through AP, IB or CLEP exams?

Q: How do I get technical support for ALEKS?

Q: Q: Do I need to install any plug-ins prior to taking ALEKS?

Q: How do I view my score after I've taken the assessment?

Q: What if I still have more questions about ALEKS?

**Q: What is the ALEKS Assessment?**

**A:** The ALEKS Assessment is a math placement test that covers a broad spectrum of mathematics and is fully automated and adaptive to your knowledge and ability. 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 a way appropriate to your individual skill level. By the end of the assessment, you should find the questions generally challenging but reasonable for your individual level of knowledge.

The exact number of questions (20-35) 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." However, on any question that you have familiarity with, it is important to do your best. "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.

**Q: Who is required to take ALEKS?**

**A:** All incoming freshman to UT Dallas are required to take the ALEKS Assessment. Although some students will enter with more than 30 hours of college credit, if this is the first Fall semester after a student’s high school graduation, the student is considered a freshman for the purposes of ALEKS mathematics placement.

If you do not achieve a score of 35% on the ALEKS Assessment, you should use the ALEKS tutorial to review some of the pre-Algebra content. MATH 1306 does not have an ALEKS minimum score and does not act as a prerequisite for any Calculus sequence. If you have any questions relating to your degree plan and math course sequence, you should consult your academic advisor. For a list of academic advisors, please follow this link: http://oue.utdallas.edu/undergraduate-advising/undergraduate-advisors/

**Q: What is the cost of ALEKS?**

**A:** The cost of ALEKS is $40 per student. This fee includes the initial test, four retests, and the ALEKS learning module. The ALEKS learning module provides an instructive environment for self-review to work towards obtaining the required minimum ALEKS score. You may engage in the learning module if you feel that your precalculus skills are weak and you would like to review that knowledge in an effective on-line learning environment, or you have taken the initial placement exam and did not reach the minimum ALEKS score for your course and want a learning module to assist in reaching the required minimum score.

Students will pay UT Dallas directly for the cost of the ALEKS Assessment. The $40 fee will be payable at the Bursar’s Office in the Student Services Building when you arrive on campus in the fall.

Each student will be required to sign up for ALEKS. Due to the individualized nature of the assessment and tutorial, it is not possible for students to share the cost and the five assessments.

**Q: How do I take the ALEKS Assessment?**

**A:**The ALEKS Assessment is an online assessment tool. Students do not have to take the ALEKS Assessment at a testing center, but rather may use a computer of their choice. A plugin will be required for the ALEKS Assessment to properly run on most computers.

The ALEKS Assessment is available beginning May 1, 2011 to UT Dallas students.

**Click here to access the UT Dallas ALEKS system (UTD NetID and password login)**

**Q: What if I do not obtain the required minimum score for the course I wish to take?**

**A:** While you may take the assessment a total of five times, you must obtain a final score prior to the 5th day before the start of classes in order for the assessment to count as your placement score. You will not be allowed to register for any math class for which you have not achieved the appropriate ALEKS score.

If you do not achieve the minimum score required for a math course, you may enroll in the appropriate prerequisite course dependent upon your ALEKS score.

MATH 1314 is a prerequisite for MATH 1325.

MATH 1314 and MATH 1316 are prerequisite for MATH 2312.

MATH 2312 is a prerequisite for either MATH 2413 or MATH 2417.

Students are encouraged to take advantage of the included ALEKS tutorial. If you have covered material in high school and think that you are prepared for the next level of mathematics at UT Dallas, the tutorial may reinforce the material you have learned and assist you in obtaining a higher ALEKS placement score.

**Q: Is there a penalty for taking the ALEKS assessment more than once?**

**A:** No. The cost of additional assessments is included in the initial $40 fee. For pedagogical reasons, each student may take the ALEKS Assessment Exam up to five times. UT Dallas looks at the highest ALEKS assessment score for placement purposes. UT Dallas does not consider an average score or the number of attempts when registering students for classes.

After the first two attempts, students will be required to complete some of the self paced tutorials included in the ALEKS package. The cost for these tutorials is included in the $40 fee.

**Q: In addition to ALEKS, do I need to take the SAT Subject Test in Math?**

**A:** No. The SAT Subject Test in Math is no longer required nor will it be used for math placement for incoming freshmen.

**Q: What if I already have credit for calculus through AP, IB or CLEP exams?**

**A:** AP, IB and CLEP scores may be used for credit (and placement in some circumstances), but you must have completed the ALEKS test prior to registration in any mathematics class. UT Dallas uses the ALEKS Assessment to optimize the placement of all students in their first math course at UT Dallas. This assessment is for your benefit as it will allow you to see if there are any areas you might want to consider reviewing before the fall semester begins.

If you have questions relating to course credit and your degree plan, you should consult your academic advisor. For a list of academic advisors, please follow this link: http://oue.utdallas.edu/undergraduate-advising/undergraduate-advisors/

**Q: Is ALEKS timed?**

**A:** ALEKS gives you the time you need in order to complete the assessment (25-35 questions). Although there is no time limit, ALEKS may track the average time of all student responses to a question for future testing purposes.

**Q: How do I get technical support for ALEKS?**

**A:** For ALEKS customer support:

- Phone: (714) 245-7191 ext. 201
- Email: http://support.aleks.com

**Q: Do I need to install any plug-ins prior to taking ALEKS?**

**A:** Yes. You will be instructed to download the plug-in when you log in to take the exam.

If you have any trouble downloading the ALEKS plug-in, please contact ALEKS customer support at: (714) 245-7191 ext. 201 or Email: http://support.aleks.com

**Q: How do I view my score after I've taken the assessment?**

**A:** Your scores are available through the ALEKS web interface.

**Q: If I have college credit for studies I completed during my high school years, am I exempt from the ALEKS requirement?**

**A:** No. Many students begin their career at UT Dallas with college credit. Some students will enter with credit from AP or IB coursework and test scores. Other students may have enrolled in a local college and received dual credit for several courses. Several students will have completed a two-year, collegiate high school program such as TAMS or Richland Collegiate High School. This transfer credit does not provide an exemption from the ALEKS requirement and these students will be required to take ALEKS prior to registering for a mathematics course at UT Dallas.

**Q: What if I still have more questions about ALEKS?**

**A:** Click here to email UT Dallas. Please include your intended major and any details relevant to your request.

#### Note

*Web page adapted from University of Illinois Math Placement through ALEKS website and The University of Texas at Austin College of Natural Sciences Math Placement through ALEKS website. Permission to adapt the websites was granted by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Department of Mathematics and The University of Texas at Austin College of Natural Sciences.*

Updated: May 26, 2011