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How to take the Math Placement Assessment

How to take the Math Placement Assessment

All incoming START students are required to take the ALEKS Placement Assessment, however when determining your math course registration, your highest placement from the ALEKS Assessment, AP/IB scores, and previous college math courses will be used. Taking the ALEKS Placement Assessment does not penalize students in anyway. The ALEKS Placement Assessment can only improve your math placement.

For example, if you have successfully completed Precalculus I: Functions (College Algebra), MTH 111Z, at another institution and score a 50 on the ALEKS Assessment, you will be able to register for MTH 112Z or MTH 241 based on your completion of MTH 111Z. However, if this same student scored a 78 on ALEKS, they would be able to register for MTH 251 directly and not have to take MTH 112Z. The math course(s) you will need to complete for you degree depends on your major, and it is important to discuss with your advisor during your START advising appointment what math courses are needed.

  • Read all the directions on this page.
  • You must have your ONID username and password.
  • Make sure your computer meets all the ALEKS system requirements.
  • Be sure to log into ALEKS using only the link below on this page (otherwise your score will not be reported to OSU).
  • ALEKS can be accessed at any time using a personal computer with Internet access or from a computer at any of the campus student computing facilities (lab hours will vary).
  • ALEKS is a web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system. It uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine exactly what you know, don't know, and are ready to learn. Being an adaptive assessment means your answers determine which questions you will be asked. Because of this, you cannot go back and change your answers to previous questions.
  • Once you start the assessment, you will have 48 hours to complete it and you can log in and out of the assessment during that 48-hour period. If you do not complete the assessment within the 48-hour time limit, you will have to re-take it. You are only allowed a total of 5 attempts on the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment, including partially completed assessments.
  • There is no time limit and the amount of time needed will vary by student, though most can finish in about 90 minutes.
  • Make sure you have paper and pencil/pen to work out the assessment problems. ALEKS has a built-in calculator when needed, and this is the only calculator you are permitted to use. When competing the assessment, you must solve all of the problems without assistance from websites, books, or other people.
  • Be honest about your skill level. There is no benefit to cheating on the Math Placement Assessment--your only reward will be that you are forced to take a class that is too difficult for your current level of mathematical knowledge, leading to wasted time and money, and delayed degree completion. The purpose of the placement assessment is to give an accurate measure of your current mathematical skill so that you will be successful in your mathematics courses.
  • You will be asked approximately 25 to 30 questions. There are no multiple-choice questions. Before taking the Math Placement Assessment, ALEKS will present a short tutorial so you’ll know how to input your answers and use the graphing tool and built-in calculator. While taking the Math Placement Assessment, if you need additional information about using the ALEKS system, click on the “Help” button at the top of the screen.
  • To access the Math Placement Assessment enter your ONID username (such as smithj) and password (please do not use your 9-digit student ID number).
  • When creating your ALEKS account, please enter your name without any hyphens (-) or other punctuation, and leave off any suffixes (such as jr.)
  • After completing the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment, you will see a detailed pie chart showing both the topics you have mastered and those you have yet to master, and your score as a percentage. Your placement into a Mathematics course is based on the percentage of topics you have mastered.
  • For your records, print your results and write in the course(s) you're eligible to take (refer to the Mathematics Placement Table). Use this document during your orientation, advising sessions, and/or registration.
  • Your OSU ALEKS Math Placement Assessment score will be automatically added to your OSU records within approximately 24 hours after you complete the assessment.
  • If you are satisfied with your math placement, no further action is required. If you want to try to improve your math placement, you can take the OSU ALEKS Math Placement Assessment again. You are allowed to take the assessment a maximum of five times total, including your initial attempt. Your highest score will be used for placement.
  • Before re-assessing, you must complete at least 3 hours of study/review using an ALEKS Learning Module.
  • Your Learning Module will be available for 1 year after your initial Math Placement Assessment. Additional access to ALEKS can be purchased, if needed, by contacting:

Go to the Math Placement Home by clicking on the hyperlink or the link at the bottom of the page. The log in link for the ALEKS Assessment is about halfway down the page in the blue box. You will log into ALEKS with your OSU Onid ID and password.