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Frequently Asked Questions

About the ALEKS Assessment

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?
The University of Missouri-St. Louis provides you with initial access to the ALEKS assessment and the Prep and Learning module. There is no fee that you are required to pay. However, if your initial subscription runs out and you require access to the ALEKS assessment at a later date, you will be required to purchase access for a fee of $25. (Email if you need to purchase additional access.)
How many times can I take the ALEKS assessment?
You will be given the chance to take the ALEKS assessment up to five times within your subscription period.
How long are my ALEKS assessment scores valid?
Scores on the ALEKS assessment are generally valid for approximately 11 months. In particular, you need to be sure that your ALEKS scores are valid for the semester you plan to enroll in a math course:
Valid dates for ALEKS assessment scores:
  • for Spring 2015 courses: ALEKS assessment scores dated 2/15/14 or later
  • for Summer 2015 courses: ALEKS assessment scores dated 7/1/14 or later
  • for Fall 2015 courses: ALEKS assessment scores dated 8/15/14 or later
The ALEKS Assessment