ALEKS FAQs

What are the general directions for testing?
Do I have to take the NAU ALEKS Mathematics Placement Test?
Where do I go to take the test?
How do I find my ALEKS placement score?
Is there a time limit?
Is there a fee?
What is my score, and what does it mean?
What if I don’t place into the mathematics or statistics class that I want/need?
What if I retest and do worse?
Are resources available to help me attempt to increase my ALEKS placement score?
Can I earn credit for a math class by taking the NAU ALEKS Mathematics Placement Test?
What kind of computer/software do I need?
What should I do if I am having technical problems?

What are the general directions for testing?

After logging in to the test, you will be given the opportunity to select either “1.  Take Placement Test” or “2.  Learning Module.”

Select “Learning Module” if you would like to use ALEKS’ interactive learning environment to practice your skills and techniques. There is a $30 charge for 6 weeks’ access to the ALEKS Learning Module; this will be paid directly to ALEKS/McGraw-Hill.

Select “Take Placement Test” if you are ready to take the NAU ALEKS Mathematics Placement Test.

First, you will go through a tutorial that teaches you how to enter your answers, how to use the built-in calculator, and how to use the graphing features. If, at any point during the test, you need some additional information about using the ALEKS system, click on the “Help” button at the top of the screen.

Make sure you have paper and a pencil/pen to work out the problems. ALEKS will provide a built-in calculator when needed, and this is the only calculator you should use. When testing, you should solve all of the problems without assistance from textbooks, websites, or other people.

The test is adaptive, meaning the answers you give help determine which questions you will be asked. Because of this, once you answer a question, you cannot go back and change your answer.

Only click on “I don’t know” when you truly do not know how to solve a problem.  Remember, you will not be able to go back and answer those questions later.

You will be asked approximately 20-35 questions. There are no multiple-choice questions.

You should set aside at least two hours to take the test. Most students finish the test in approximately an hour, but all students are different.

You will have 48 hours to complete the test.  You will not earn placement based on a partially competed test.  You must complete the test in order for your score to be calculated.

While it would be preferable for you to complete the entire test in one sitting, if you must leave your computer, just close the ALEKS window. When you log in again later, you will be able to resume the test from where you left off.  But remember that you only have 48 hours to complete the test, including any time you spend logged out of the test. 

If you are working from a computer that is accessible by others, close any and all browser windows before leaving the computer unattended.  Otherwise, your ALEKS information remains accessible, even if you have "logged out" of ALEKS.

Do I have to take the NAU ALEKS Mathematics Placement Test? 

Students admitted to NAU for Fall 2010 or later must take the NAU ALEKS Mathematics Placement Test, unless they have: 

  • earned credit for a college-level mathematics or statistics course via CLEP exam, AP exam, IB exam, or
  • earned credit for a college-level mathematics or statistics course (equivalent to MAT101X or higher) via dual enrollment or via transfer from another college or university.

Students enrolled at NAU prior to Fall 2010 must take the NAU ALEKS Mathematics Placement Test unless they have: 

  • previously existing mathematics placement based on ACT, SAT or ACCUPLACER exams.  (This math placement information is available through LOUIE in Test Results, under PLACE/MATH.) See the Mathematics Placement Table for specific math placement information. However, beginning in Fall 2013, ACT, SAT and ACCUPLACER exams will no longer be accepted for determining mathematics placement. All students without credit for a college-level mathematics or statistics course as of Fall 2013 must take the NAU ALEKS Mathematics Placement Test to establish their mathematics placement.
  • earned credit for a college-level mathematics or statistics course via CLEP exam, AP exam, IB exam, or
  • earned credit for a college-level mathematics or statistics course (equivalent to MAT101X or higher) via dual enrollment or via transfer from another college or university.

Students enrolled at NAU prior to Fall 2010 may choose to take the NAU ALEKS Mathematics Placement test to challenge their existing mathematics placement.

Where do I go to take the test? 

For your first attempt on the ALEKS test, you will be able to test from any computer with an internet connection.

All 2nd and 3rd ALEKS attempts are required to be proctored. We will offer proctored tests in the Lumberjack Mathematics Center Testing Room. Please view the ALEKS Testing Dates and Times page for updated testing information.

The LMC Testing Room is located in Health and Learning Center (building 25) on the 4th floor, room 4104.

Please remember your NAU ID and a credit card to pay the $10 fee.

Click here for more information about the LMC Testing Center, including location, hours and test scheduling procedures.

How do I find my ALEKS placement score?

Your NAU ALEKS Mathematics Placement Test score will be added to your NAU records within approximately 24 hours after you complete the test. You can find your ALEKS placement score through your LOUIE account. Once logged in, follow the steps below to find your ALEKS placement score.

STEP 1: Look up your Test Results

STEP 2: Your ALEKS placement score is the MATHC score

Is there a time limit? 

You will have 48 hours to complete the test.  You will not earn placement based on a partially competed test.  You must complete the test in order for your score to be calculated.

You are allowed to log in and out of the test during the 48-hour time limit window.  However, please understand that the time you spend logged out does count toward the 48-hour limit.

If you begin a test, but do not complete it within 48 hours, you will not receive a score for that test.  In order to earn placement, you will have to take an additional test (at your own expense).  Remember that you are only allowed to take the test 3 times (including partially completed tests).

Is there a fee? 

NAU will cover the cost of a student’s first test. Students will be charged $10 for each additional attempt. The fee will be paid directly to ALEKS/McGraw-Hill.

What is my score, and what does it mean? 

At the end of the test, you will see your score (for example, 126 out of 209) and a pie chart showing the topics you have mastered and those you haven't yet mastered. Move your mouse over the pie chart to see specific topics. You can click on specific topics to see a sample question about that topic.

Your placement is determined by the percentage of topics you have mastered. You can use your score to calculate your percentage. (For example, 126 out of 209, 126/209=60%.) Or you can view this percentage at the very bottom of your ALEKS report.

Your NAU ALEKS Mathematics Placement Test score will be added to your NAU records within approximately 24 hours after you complete the test. You can view your score in LOUIE under Test Results.  Your score will be listed next to ALEKS C.  (The other scores listed represent your sub-scores on various portions of the test.  These sub-scores are not used for placement.)

Once your score is available on your NAU records, you will be able to enroll in the mathematics and statistics courses for which you are eligible.

Refer to the Mathematics Placement Table to view a list of courses and their required NAU ALEKS Mathematics Placement Test scores.

What if I don’t place into the mathematics or statistics class that I want/need? 

If you want to try to improve your math placement, you can take the NAU ALEKS Mathematics Placement Test again up to a maximum of three times. Before taking the test again, you should complete a thorough study/review process on your own, with a tutor, or using the ALEKS Learning Module.

Even after reviewing and retesting, you might not be able to improve your placement. Some students need to complete a refresher course before moving on. A refresher course isn't a setback! Instead, it helps you establish a firm mathematical foundation on which to build in future courses.

What if I retest and do worse? 

Your highest NAU ALEKS Mathematics Placement Test score will be used for your placement.

Are resources available to help me attempt to increase my ALEKS placement score?

Yes. Learning modules are available directly through ALEKS/McGraw-Hill that will provide an interactive learning environment in which you can practice prerequisite skills and techniques. Access to the learning modules costs $30 (payable directly to ALEKS/McGraw-Hill) and is available for 6 weeks after payment. To find more information about purchasing access to the learning modules please visit the ALEKS Learning Module website.

Can I earn credit for a math class by taking the NAU ALEKS Mathematics Placement Test? 

You CANNOT earn credit for a mathematics or statistics course based on your placement test score.

What kind of computer/software do I need?

You need a computer with a reliable Internet connection, and you will need to download the ALEKS plugin.

For additional technical specifications, see ALEKS System Requirements.

What should I do if I am having technical problems? 

If your computer crashes or freezes while you are taking the test, you can log into the test again, and resume testing.

If you are having other computer-related difficulties, you can consult the ALEKS Troubleshooting and ALEKS Customer Support.