Student taking placement exam

ALEKS Math Placement

Take the ALEKS Test Quick Start Guide Schedule in Person

Accessing ALEKS

Please use the instructions below to access your account:

  • Proceed to the ALEKS Test and enter your Commonwealth University username and password.
  • Click on your “class” (Freshman and Transfer Placement Testing). If it's your first time logging in, then you will be prompted to take a short survey.
  • Click GET STARTED in the sidebar on the left.
  • Complete the survey. After the survey, you'll receive a demo of the Tools Tutorial.
  • Click GET STARTED in the sidebar on the left. Complete the Tools Tutorial.
  • When ready to take the placement test, click on GET STARTED on the left.

ALEKS Overview

Commonwealth University requires a mathematics ability assessment to determine readiness for various courses. Students in particular majors are required to use the ALEKS Placement, Preparation, and Learning system. Other students may choose to use this system to better prepare for classes. The ALEKS placement system covers material from Basic Math through Pre-Calculus and will take approximately 90 minutes to complete. After the assessment, a targeted Prep and Learning Module is available for you to review and better understand this material. The Learning Modules will help you improve your placement and eventual course outcomes.

All students are strongly encouraged to spend several hours using the ALEKS Preparation 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 and course material comprehension. Below are a few helpful recommendations to keep in mind as you take the ALEKS:

  • First of all, RELAX. 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'll have a much better sense of your strengths and weaknesses in math. You'll 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're forced to take a class that's too difficult for your current level of mathematical knowledge.
  • Therefore, while you're taking the assessment, do not consult any other source for help (friends, family, internet, etc.). The purpose of the placement assessment is to give an accurate measure of your current mathematical skills so you'll be successful in your mathematics courses. Please review Commonwealth University’s academic integrity policy.
  • If you have any questions about Math Placement please contact the chair of your department or the Math Department Office by email at or by phone at 570-389-4500. To get help with ALEKS visit their help and support website.

Students with Disabilities

Students who require accommodations (i.e. readers, scribes) and have documentation, must contact University Disability Services at 570-389-4491 (office hours: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday to Friday; summer hours: 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Monday to Friday) or via email at to complete the ALEKS placement assessment. All students have 24 hours to complete the ALEKS assessment, so an extended time accommodation is not being offered for this placement assessment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Students that are required to take ALEKS based on the math and science (e.g., chemistry and physics) courses required in their major would be notified in their individualized math placement email letter. In general, students in majors that require the following Math Courses are required to take ALEKS.

  • Math 140 Pre-Calculus
  • Math 150 Essentials of Calculus (Biology and Business majors)
  • Math 160 Calculus 1 (Chemistry, Math, Computer Science, or Physics majors)
  • Stat 141 Introduction to Statistics (Biology, Computer Science, and other majors)

Any student who feels our assessment of their mathematical abilities is incorrect or students who want to secure a higher placement to avoid taking extra math classes. For example, all Students who wish to take any of the courses listed below who have not met the high school prerequisites (High School GPA 3.4 or SAT Math 510, or ACT Math 19):

  • Math 101 Math Thinking
  • Math 110 Concepts of Arithmetic
  • Math 113 Concepts of Geometry and Statistics
  • Math 118 College Algebra
  • Math 120 Math for Health Sciences
  • Stat 141 Introduction to Statistics

The use of ALEKS is included in your student fees. Please take full advantage of this opportunity.

You should start utilizing ALEKS as soon as possible.

Your score will not affect your acceptance in your major or at CU. Taking ALEKS helps you assess your knowledge and math preparedness, which enables you to place into specific courses and prepare you for college-level math.

Your college schedule is partly determined by your assessment results. You should finish within four weeks of being notified of our placement procedures. For most, this means sometime in May.

Yes, you may take up to 5 placement assessments. However, to make each attempt worthwhile, it is important you spend time working in your ALEKS Prep and Learning Module in between placement assessments so that you can improve your skills.

No, you can take ALEKS at home using Respondus online proctoring and a lockdown browser. You will also need a webcam. Instructions for taking ALEKS at home are provided in the Quick Start guide above.

You must wait 72 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 you may have forgotten or to learn new material.

Yes, for 5 hours between all placement assessments.

Yes, you have 4 hours to complete an online placement assessment once it’s begun. On campus, you’ll be given three hours to complete the placement assessment.

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.

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

If you are taking ALEKS online and do not complete the assessment in the allotted 2 hour time limit, you will need to restart the assessment. If the incomplete assessment is proctored and timed, you’ll be given a placement result, but it may underestimate your true ability. 

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.

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

Cut Score (%)Range (%)Course Placement
≤ 45%0-45Foundational Math course with co-requisite recitation (support). For example, a student needing MATH 101 can either take Math Thinking Recitation (MATH 101A) that includes the co-requisite support within the course or they can take MATH 101 and MATH 101B (recitation) simultaneously. The co-requisite portion, inclusive in the course (A course) or as a separate recitation (B course) provides additional support to aid in the student’s understanding of the concepts presented in the Foundational Math class.
≥ 46%46-60Regular Foundational Math courses without any corequisite requirements. Math Thinking, Concepts of Arithmetic, Concepts of Geometry, College Algebra, Math for the Health Sciences, Introduction to Statistics, and Finite Math are all Foundational Math courses.  The exact course you take will depend on your major.
≥ 61%61-75Precalculus or Essentials of Calculus
≥ 76%76-100Calculus 1

A corequisite math course is a math course a student takes in addition to their Foundational Math class. The corequisite class will meet one to two days a week and provides additional support to aid in the student’s understanding of the concepts presented in the linked Foundational Math class.

Your placement result is valid for your stay with Commonwealth University.

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

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

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

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

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.

No, you may only use one Prep and Learning Module. If you are unsure which module to select, use the module recommended by ALEKS.

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

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

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.

The Chair of your department.

Math Department Office via email at or via phone at 570-389-4500.