Improve your score

You will not be permitted to take a course that is above your readiness level (even if you are only one point away). If you want to place into a higher-level course, you may use ALEKS learning modules to improve your skills and retake the assessment. You must qualify for a course before scheduling it. All access to ALEKS placement ends at the conclusion of your first drop-add period.

You may retake the assessment up to two more times after using the learning modules. The vast majority of students improve their scores on each subsequent assessment, and 90% of students move up by at least one course. The third placement assessment is the final assessment available to you.

You must wait 24 hours between assessments, and spend at least 10 hours using the learning modules before taking your second assessment, and an additional 10 hours using the learning modules before taking the assessment for your third and final time. Students who spend at least 15 hours in a learning module show the most improvement in their scores.

To begin a learning module, log on to LionPATH and follow the ALEKS Assessment link to return to the ALEKS assessment. Click the Start button in the Improve your knowledge in a Prep and Learning Module box to begin or return to a learning module. Learning modules include "periodic assessments" which check progress on topics. These look like placement assessments, but are not.

Scores are reflected in LionPATH the day after taking the assessment.

Need help deciding?

Your score is used to help you start in the course where you have the best chance to succeed. Students who are not successful in their first math course are highly unlikely to persist in engineering and science majors. If you need calculus, starting where you place is the best path to success.

It is always in your best interest to improve your math skills, so you are encouraged to use the learning modules regardless of your score. If you need to consult with an adviser about your decision, email aleksadvising@psu.edu.

New first-year students will work with an academic adviser to identify appropriate math courses at New Student Orientation. Questions about course selection will be addressed then.

Transfer students and continuing students should contact their assigned adviser with questions.