ALEKS – Math Assessment for Placement

Home 9 Academics 9 Registrar’s Office 9 Competency and Placement Testing 9 ALEKS – Math Assessment for Placement

Mid-Atlantic Christian University requires an ALEKS mathematics placement assessment to determine readiness for various courses. The ALEKS® Placement Assessment covers material from Foundations for College Mathematics through Precalculus and will take approximately 90 minutes to complete. After the assessment, a targeted Prep and Learning Module is available for you to review and learn material, and to improve placement and eventual course outcomes.

All students are strongly encouraged to spend several hours using the ALEKS Prep and Learning Module. Even if you have achieved placement in your desired course, time spent in ALEKS will better prepare you for your upcoming course and ultimately lead to better grades.

2024-2025 Information Sheet

2024-2025 How to Register

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ALEKS Placement Assessment?

This is an “assessment,” NOT A TEST. The difference is that an assessment is designed to determine what you know. At the end of the ALEKS Placement Assessment, you will have a much better sense of your strengths and weaknesses in math. You will then have a chance to work on those weaknesses. There is really no penalty for incorrectly answering a question on the assessment.  The most important thing is that you take the assessment seriously and give it an honest effort so that the assessment truly reflects your level of knowledge and math preparedness.

Be honest about your skill level.

There is no benefit to cheating on the placement assessment – your only reward will be that you are forced to take a class that is too difficult for your current level of mathematical knowledge. Therefore, while you are taking the assessment, do not consult any other source for help (friends, family, internet searches, etc.). The purpose of the placement assessment is to give an accurate measure of your current mathematical skills so that you will be successful in your mathematics courses.

Who has to take the ALEKS Placement Assessment?

All students who wish to take any of the math courses at MACU who do not have placement scores from other accepted sources (e.g., SAT/ACT scores).

Is there a fee for using ALEKS?

You will pay for ALEKS with a credit card before you begin.

Can I retake the ALEKS Placement Assessment?

Yes, you may take up to 2 placement assessments. However, to make each attempt worthwhile, it is important that you spend time working in your ALEKS Prep and Learning Module in between placement assessments so that you can improve your skills.

Must I work in my ALEKS Prep and Learning Module between placement assessments?

Yes, for 5 hours between the 1st and 2nd placement assessments.

Are placement assessments timed?

Yes, you have 2 hours to complete a placement assessment once it has begun.

How long will a placement assessment take to complete?

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.

May I use a calculator while using ALEKS?

ALEKS will provide an on-screen calculator if you need one to complete a particular problem. Otherwise, you may not use a calculator.

What happens if I do not complete a placement assessment in the allotted time?

If the placement assessment is unproctored, you will have to restart the assessment. If the incomplete assessment is proctored and timed, you will be given a placement result, but it may underestimate your true ability.

May I use any other resources during a placement assessment?

You may only use a pen or pencil, paper, and the resources provided by ALEKS. You may not receive assistance from friends, family, other websites, textbooks, or any other resource not provided by ALEKS. Using outside resources may lead to improper placement and ultimately course failure.

What is my placement result?

Your placement result is your percentage mastery on the final assessment. Course placement is determined as follows:

Cut Score


Placement Credit Awarded

Register for this Course Next


0 – 45


Math 012 (Basic Math)


46 – 60

Math 012 (Basic Math)

Math 161 (College Algebra)


61 – 75

Math 161 (College Algebra)

Math 151 (Math for the Liberal Arts) or Math 171 (Precalculus)


76 – 100

Math 161 (Algebra) and Math 171 (Precalculus)

Math 181 (Calculus)

How long is my placement result valid?

Your placement result is valid for 6 months.

Can I practice using ALEKS before I begin placement?

ALEKS will begin with a brief tutorial before your placement begins.

How long do I have access to my Prep and Learning Module?

You will have six months of access from the time that you start using your Prep and Learning module.

Is there an additional fee for my Prep and Learning Module?

Access to a Prep and Learning Module is included along with up to 2 placement assessments.

What are ALEKS Progress Assessments?

While working in a Prep and Learning Module, you will periodically complete progress assessments to solidify your gains in knowledge.

Does progress in an ALEKS Prep and Learning Module count toward placement?

No, you must complete a new placement assessment to change your placement result. Click on the placement tab on the upper right of the page from within ALEKS. Only your placement assessment results will be used for course placement.

What if I do not place into the course I wanted?

You can use a Prep and Learning Module to review and learn, and you may take another placement assessment to improve your placement result.

I did not place into the course I wanted. Can I take it anyway?

No, you must achieve the minimum placement result to take each corresponding course.

What if I placed into the course I wanted?

Congratulations! Continue to use your Prep and Learning Module to improve your chances for success. The placement result above is the minimum preparation required for your course! Take advantage of the targeted review and learning features in ALEKS to get a better grade in your class.

How do I begin using ALEKS?

In addition to purchasing access to ALEKS (, contact the Academic Affairs (AA) office to sign up to take the final proctored test. You may contact Nancy Duffer for test day details ( or 252-334-2086).

Where can I get help with ALEKS?

ALEKS® is a registered trademark of ALEKS Corporation.
©2024 McGraw Hill. All rights reserved.