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ALEKS Assessment

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

The assessment typically takes 60 - 90 minutes to complete. After the assessment, a targeted Prep and Learning Module is available for you to review and re-learn material, and to improve placement and eventual course outcomes.

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/s and ultimately lead to better grades.

Please be aware of the following guidelines:

  1. No outside assistance is permitted. Each student has a unique knowledge state that consists of the math topics he/she knows, does not know, and is ready to learn. The ALEKS placement assessment determines the unique knowledge state of each student. The system can then properly place students into a course based on their math abilities. Outside assistance includes getting help from others and from other materials. Other individuals are not to be in the room while you are taking the test.
  2. The webcam and lockdown browser are how students are proctored so the webcam lens must not be covered up or otherwise obscured. It should show the student's face at all times.
  3. No outside calculators are permitted. A calculator icon will appear on the screen when it is allowed to be used. Blank paper and a pen/pencil are allowed for students to work out problems, however.
  4. No use of cell phones or other electronic devices are permitted.

Be honest about your skill level. There is absolutely no benefit to cheating on the placement assessment – your only reward will be that you are placed into a math class for which you do not yet have the skills to succeed. Therefore, while you are taking the assessment, do not consult any other source for help (friends, family, internet searches, etc). Cheating on the assessment is a violation of Loyola’s Academic Honor Code and could lead to academic sanctions. Cheating on the assessment is heavily discouraged. 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.

Getting Started

  • Avoid wearing baseball caps or hats that extend beyond the forehead.
  • If using a notebook computer, place it on a firm surface like a desk or table, not your lap.
  • If the webcam is built into the screen, avoid making screen adjustments after the exam starts. A common mistake is to push the screen back, resulting in only the top portion of the face being recorded.
  • Don't lie down on a couch or bed while taking an exam. There is a greater chance you'll move out of the video frame or change your relative position to the webcam.
  • Don't take an exam in a dark room. If the details of your face don't show clearly during the webcam check, the automated video analysis is more likely to flag you as missing.
  • Avoid backlighting situations, such as sitting with your back to a window. The general rule is to have light in front of your face, not behind your head.
  • Select a distraction free environment for the exam. Televisions and other people in the room can draw your attention away from the screen. Other people that come into view of the webcam may also trigger flags by the automated system.
  • ​ If you have previously received accommodations due to having a disability, or feel like you should receive accommodations, please contact our Office for Accessible Education (504 865 2990) so that they can provide you accommodations for this assessment.

  1. ALEKS will begin with a brief tutorial to make sure you are comfortable with the math palette tools before your Placement Assessment begins. The tutorial shows you how to enter different types of answers, how to use the ALEKS calculator, and how to graph. If you aren't sure how to input an answer, or need help while you are taking the ALEKS Placement Assessment, select the Help button below the answer pallet tools. Going to the tutorial during your Placement Assessment will NOT impact your Placement Assessment results.
  2. The ALEKS placement assessment uses Lockdown Browser. After you finish the tutorial, ALEKS will ask you to download Lockdown Browser. Even if you have previously downloaded Lockdown Browser for a course or assignment, you will still need to download this version as it is unique to ALEKS Placement Assessment. If you have any issues, please refer to our FAQs below.
  3. This placement assessment also uses Respondus Monitor. This system requires a working webcam. Again, if you have any questions in regards to this please see our FAQs.
  4. When you are ready to take the exam, you may do so by accessing ALEKS through your Admissions Status Portal. You will have three hours to take this test. Good luck! 
  5. ALEKS will ask you for a proctor password. The password is: LOYOLA1


**NOTE: If you took the ALEKS Placement Assessment in High School, you will still need to take the ALEKS assessment for Loyola placement. When / If you are asked, "Have you used ALEKS before?" please select “No, I have never used ALEKS before,” and make a new account. Failing to do so can create problems in our system.

FAQS: Frequently Asked Questions


What do I need to take the Assessment?

  • a mac or pc with webcam capabilities, as ALEKS uses webcam proctoring software to ensure academic integrity. You will be prompted to download this software when logging in for the first time.
  • a pencil and paper. 

**No outside calculators are allowed. ALEKS will provide an onscreen calculator for your use.


How do Loyola Students Access the Assessment?

New students can access the assessment by following the ALEKS Math Assessment link in the Admissions Status Portal

Continuing students, please email Sara Clark at


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. 

**You can also view your scores by accessing your “academic progress report” through your LORA student portal (see screen cap). Once you run your AUDIT, you will find your ALEKS score in the “Courses and Test Scores” tab. If you need help locating your score, contact your advisor for help. Please note that it may take up to 48hrs for your score to update on your audit.


How do I improve my score?

After the first assessment, students may use ALEKS learning modules to improve their skills. According to ALEKS national statistics, students who spend 10-15 hours in a learning module reviewing math topics show the greatest gains. Students who use the learning modules may see a 5-7 point increase from their first assessment.

To begin a learning module, students should log on to the Admissions Status Portal and follow the ALEKS Math Assessment link to return to the ALEKS Assessment. Students then click the Start button in the Improve your knowledge in a Prep and Learning Module box to begin or return to a learning module.

ALEKS directs students to the module that will allow them to make the most immediate gains in skills. Once a learning module is started, the student may continue to access the module for up to six months. The student may retake the assessment after spending a minimum of five hours in the learning module. The student has three additional attempts at the assessment, each with the minimum required time spent on learning modules beforehand.

ALEKS monitors student progress and sets deadlines for continuing access to learning modules and retests. Students are expected to complete their ALEKS assessment prior to the last day to add a course in each respective semester. Failing to do so can lead to scheduling and sequencing issues in specific majors. Relevant dates can be found on the Academic Calendar.


Who has to take the ALEKS Placement Assessment?

**Students without other placement instruments interested in pursuing the following Majors NEED to take ALEKS:

  • All Biology Majors regardless of concentration
  • Business Analytics Majors
  • All Chemistry Majors regardless of concentration
  • All Computer Science Majors regardless of concentration
  • Environment Majors with a concentration in Biology or Teacher Education
  • All Neuroscience Majors regardless of concentration
  • Pre-Nursing students **Pre-Nursing students must have credit for College Algebra (if dual-enrollment or transfer, the course must be graded C or higher and official transcripts must be submitted -- for AP, IB, or CLEP, official score reports must be submitted); or be exempted from this course due to voluntarily submitted ACT/SAT scores; or place out of this course with an appropriate score on ALEKS.
  • Mathematics Majors regardless of concentration
  • All Physics Majors regardless of concentration
  • Psychology Majors with a concentration in Pre-health
  • Public Health Majors pursuing the BS
  • Exploratory Studies students intending to pursue any of the above

**Students Interested in the following Majors DO NOT NEED to take ALEKS: 

  • Art and Design Majors
  • Most Business Majors, except the Business Analytics concentration. This includes Accounting, Economics, Finance, International Business, Management, and Marketing.
  • Digital Filmmaking Majors
  • Students pursuing the BA in Economics
  • Environment Majors with concentrations in either Humanities or Social Science
  • Humanities Majors - Classical Studies, English, History, all Languages, Philosophy, and Religious Studies
  • Mass Communication Majors – Journalism, Advertising/PR, Visual Communications
  • Music, Music Performance, Music Education, Music Therapy Majors, and Music Industry Majors (Entertainment, Music Industry, Popular & Commercial Music, Urban & Electronic Music)
  • Psychology Majors except Psychology with concentration in Pre-health
  • Public Health Majors pursuing the BA
  • Social Science Majors - Criminology & Justice, Political Science, and Sociology
  • Theatre Arts and Dance Majors
  • Exploratory Studies students intending to pursue any of the above
  • All University Honors Students regardless of Major including Science Majors


If you are in a major that does not require ALEKS but you would like to earn an exemption for Mathematics, you may take the ALEKS exam to place out of Math. Exemptions require an ALEKS score of 76 or higher.

If your major does not require ALEKS but you would like to pursue a pre-health track while pursuing your major, you may, upon request, take ALEKS to get placed into the appropriate Math course for a pre-health track. Please email Sara Clark,, for assistance.

Are there any exceptions?

Students with appropriate examination (ACTM/SATM) or transfer credit (college Math credits or AP/IB credits) are not required to take the assessment, but may do so to improve placement if in a major that requires Calculus or to earn an exemption in a major that does not require Calculus.


**NOTE: Honors students are not required to take ALEKS and are placed into the first Math course required by their major.


Examination Credit

Exam & Score Credit
Advanced Placement Exams (AP)  Please consult AP Examination Credit Chart
College Level Examination Program (CLEP)  Please consult CLEP Examination Credit Chart

International Baccalaureate (IB)

Please consult IB Examination Credit Chart


Additionally, students with a score of 3 in AP Calculus or Statistics are exempted from Math A122/A115.


What is my placement result?

Your placement result will be a whole number from 0 - 100. A minimum placement score is required to enroll in any entry level Mathematics course above College Algebra (Math A110), as shown below.


Science/Math Majors that require Math A245 or A257

ALEKS Score Placement
0-45 Math A110 Concepts in College Algebra
46-75 Math A118 Precalculus
76 - 100 Math A245 Calculus for Life Sciences (for majors requiring Math A245 or students wanting to take Math A245)
76-100 Math A257 Calculus I


Non-Science/Non-Math Majors

ALEKS Score Placement
76-100 Exemption from Math T122 or A115


Miscellaneous Courses

ALEKS Score Placement
46-100 Cosc A211 Intro to Programming I
61-100 Math A200 Intro to Linear Algebra
61-100 Math A260 Statistical Inference for Scientists
76-100 Buan B205 Business Analytics


Additional Math placement information can be found in the Bulletin.


What if I took the ALEKS Placement Assessment in CHS?

If you took the ALEKS Placement Assessment in High School, you will still need to take the ALEKS assessment for Loyola placement. When / If you are asked, "Have you taken ALEKS before?" please select “No, I have never used ALEKS before,” and make a new account. Failing to do so can create problems in our system.


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 


Is there a fee for using ALEKS?

No. Loyola covers the cost of ALEKS for its students for up to four attempts.


Can I retake the ALEKS Placement Assessment?

Yes, you may take up to 4 placement assessments (an initial assessment plus up to three 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 48 hours between placement assessments and complete at least five hours of module learning before the assessment will become available again. There is generally no benefit to re-taking the assessment immediately after completing a prior attempt. Unlike the SATM or ACTM, 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 3 hours to complete the assessment once it has begun. If you have a disability and require accommodations, please contact The Office for Accessible Education.


How long will a placement assessment take to complete?

Placement assessments require approximately 60 - 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 3 hours?

You will have to restart the assessment.


What computer systems are supported by ALEKS?

ALEKS currently supports ALEKS PPL using Lockdown Browser on the following setups:

System Requirements Windows Macintosh iPad App
Operating System 10, 8, 7 OS X 10.10 or higher iOS 9+
Memory 75 MB 120 MB 106 MB


If you aren't using one of these, you'll need to find one to be able to take the test. You could check with friends or family members perhaps, or a local university or library to see if their computers are equipped with the requirements needed to take the math placement test, such as a webcam and ability to download Lockdown Browser.


May I use a calculator while using ALEKS?

No, 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 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. Additionally, cheating on the assessment may also lead to academic sanctions. Loyola’s full academic integrity policy can be found here.


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. It may take up to 48-72hrs to completely process, but in most cases, you will be able to enroll in your course the next day.


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.


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 four times (an initial assessment plus up to three 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. 


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

No. To take any Math course beyond MATH A110, 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? - email a question, ability to add an attachment - hours, email, phone, fax, live chat option

Sara Clark,