ALEKS Math Placement Assessment

The Mathematics Placement Assessment will help you and your advisor determine the right Mathematics course for you.

Attention engineering students: Instructions for taking the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment are a little different for engineering students than for non-engineering students, so please click here to learn about ALEKS as it applies to engineering majors.

You can expect the assessment to take up to 90 minutes to complete. You should set aside that amount of time to take it in a single setting with no aids (no calculator; no book, or friends, or family, or internet searches) other than a pencil and scratch paper. 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. If you get outside help to improve your score, your only reward will be that you are placed into a math class for which you do not yet have the skills to succeed.

When you take the assessment, try to relax. Remember, it's NOT A TEST: the ONLY goal is 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.

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. ALEKS is a “smart” assessment that uses artificial intelligence to present you with learning modules targeted toward your mistakes, so doing the Prep and Learning Module after you take the assessment will help you sharpen your skills in areas where you may be rusty or have gaps in your knowledge. 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.

How do I begin using ALEKS?

Log on the portal
Search for ALEKS in the search box.

New students entering the university on main campus are part of the

Main Campus Math Placement 2024-2025, Fall-Spring-Summer 2024

How do I get my ALEKS placement score?

After you complete the assessment, you will be presented with a pie chart showing your areas of strength and weakness. Your overall assessment score appears at the top of the page. If you have taken the assessment more than once, scores on previous assessments are shown below the pie chart. In this case, your highest assessment score is used for placement purposes.

If you forget your assessment score, you can log into ALEKS again to review your scores. 

If you are having difficulty viewing your score, please contact the academic operations manager in the Mathematics Department. 

How to Retake the Placement Assessment After the Twelve Month Access Period Has Expired

If your ALEKS Access has expired after your initial 12-month window and you wish to retake the placement assessment, you can login to ALEKS and enter the class code to register in the cohort

Main Campus Math Placement 2024-2025, Fall-Spring-Summer 2024 

You will need to pay the $20 fee again, which will give you 3 placement attempts and 12-months of access to the ALEKS Learning Module.
1. Log on the portal to access ALEKS.
2. Once in ALEKS, click “New Class or “Add Class.”
3. Enter the course code
4. Follow the steps to pay and complete registration


Frequently Asked Questions

Who has to take the ALEKS Placement Assessment?

Everyone who wants to take the following courses:

Math 0120
Math 0125
Math 0200
Math 0220
Math 0400

has to take the ALEKS Placement Assessment before registering for these courses.

Are there any exceptions?

The following exceptions apply:

  1. You want to take one of the following courses:
    Math 0120
    Math 0125
    Math 0200
    Math 0400
    and meet at least one of the following conditions:
    • have gotten a C or better in Math 0031 at the University of Pittsburgh or in a transfer course equivalent to Math 0031
    • you have credit for Math 0120, or Math 0200, or a higher level math course, or their equivalents.
  2. You want to take Math 0220 and meet at least one of the following conditions:
    • have scored a 4 or 5 on the Math AB or Math BC Advanced Placement Exam
    • have gotten a C or better in Math 0200
    • have gotten a C or better in a transfer course equivalent to Math 0200
    • you have credit for Calculus 1, or a higher level math course and want to repeat Calculus 1.

What if I took the ALEKS Placement Assessment in CHS?

If you took ALEKS Placement Assessment in College in High School you can use its score. 

What topics are covered on the Placement Assessment?

The Placement Assessment covers only pre-calculus topics. Specifically

  • Whole numbers, fractions, and decimals
  • Percents, proportions, and geometry
  • Signed numbers, linear equations, and inequalities
  • Lines and systems of linear equations
  • Relations and functions
  • Integer exponents and factoring
  • Quadratic and polynomial functions
  • Rational expressions and functions
  • Radicals and rational exponents
  • Exponentials and logarithms
  • Trigonometry (students can earn 0 points here and still qualify for Math 0120)

Is there a fee for using ALEKS?

Yes.  There is a fee of $20 (subject to change) paid directly to ALEKS. 

Can I retake the ALEKS Placement Assessment?

Yes, you may take up to 3 placement assessments (an initial assessment plus up to two additional attempts) within twelve months of your first assessment. 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.

Can I retake the ALEKS Placement Assessment immediately?

You must wait 24 hours between placement assessments. There is generally no benefit to re-taking the assessment immediately after completing a prior attempt. Unlike the SAT or ACT, you cannot improve your results by simply re-taking the assessment without spending time in the Prep and Learning Module to refresh material that you may have forgotten or to learn new material.

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

Yes, after completing the assessment, you must spend a minimum of 5 hours in your Prep and Learning Module before repeating the assessment.

Are placement assessments timed?

Yes, you have 24 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.

What happens if I do not complete the placement assessment in the allotted 24 hours?

You will have to restart the assessment.

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.

May I use any other resources during a placement assessment?

You may only use a pen or pencil, paper, and the on-screen calculator 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 will be a percentage score. A minimum placement score is required to enroll in any entry level Mathematics course above College Algebra (Math 0031), as shown below.

Course Minimum Placement Score
Math 0120 - Business Calculus 61
Math 0200 - Precalculus 61
Math 0220 - Calculus 1 76
Math 0400 - Discrete Math 61

I just completed the ALEKS assessment, but I cannot enroll in the course I placed into. What should I do?

Be patient! ALEKS scores are loaded into the student information system overnight. You will be able to enroll in your course tomorrow.

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 and the placement assessment?

You will have twelve months of access from the time of your initial assessment.

Is there a way to repeat the placement assessment after my 12 months of access expires?

Yes. Follow the steps above for "How to Retake the ALEKS Placement Assessment."

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. You may take the placement assessment up to three times (an initial assessment plus up to two additional attempts). If you still do not achieve the required placement score for the course you want, you will have to take the prerequisite class and earn a minimum grade of C in that class. Prerequisites are as follows.

Course Prerequisite
Math 0120 - Business Calculus Math 0031
Math 0200 - Precalculus Math 0031
Math 0220 - Calculus 1 Math 0200
Math 0400 - Discrete Mathematics Math 0031


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

No. To take any of the entry level courses listed above, you must either achieve the required minimum placement score, or take the prerequisite course.

Can I satisfy a prerequisite for an entry level mathematics course with transfer credit?

Yes. If you have transfer credit for a prerequisite course, you will not need to take the placement assessment.

What if I placed into the class 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.

Where can I get help with ALEKS?

You may contact ALEKS support by phone at (800) 258-2374, or by submitting a ticket at: