About ALEKS Math Assessment

What is ALEKS?

ALEKS is a powerful artificial-intelligence based assessment tool that zeros in on the strengths and weaknesses of a student’s mathematical knowledge, reports its findings to the student, and then provides the student with a learning environment for improving this knowledge to an appropriate level for course placement.

The ALEKS Math Assessment ensures students' readiness for particular math, statistics, and chemistry courses at Penn State. Since these courses are demanding, it is important for students to begin in the course most likely to lead to success. Students will not be permitted to take a course unless they have demonstrated readiness. After completing the initial assessment, students who wish to improve their skills may use the included learning modules.

Once classes begin, ALEKS is no longer available. The highest score is used for placement and pre-requisite checking.

Who must take ALEKS?

All entering first-year students, regardless of AP, IB, dual enrollment, and CLEP credits are required to take the assessment.

New transfer students and some continuing students may be directed to take the ALEKS assessment by their academic adviser.

Dual enrollment students who are seeking to schedule calculus-sequence MATH or Chemistry courses may be directed to take the ALEKS assessment by their adviser.

Students may not take certain courses in mathematics, statistics, or chemistry without demonstrating readiness.

When do students take ALEKS?

Students need to demonstrate readiness for their scheduled courses via ALEKS assessment prior to the start of classes. Students beginning classes in Spring semester may begin the assessment November 1. Students beginning classes in Summer and Fall semesters may begin the assessment March 1.

How long will the assessment take?

The assessment will ask up to 30 questions. You should plan to complete the assessment in one 2-3 hour sitting. If you do not complete the assessment in one sitting, you will have 48 hours to complete it before the assessment is reset.