ECC requires an ALEKS Placement, Preparation, and Learning (ALEKS PPL) assessment to determine readiness for mathematics courses for students who score below the math score minimum on the ACT, SAT, PSAT, HiSET, or GED.
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 Placement Assessment is between 20-30 questions and generally takes between 45-90 minutes to complete.
ALEKS chooses each question on the basis of answers to all the previous questions. Once questions are answered and submitted, students cannot return to a previous question.
ALEKS consists of three parts:
- An initial placement assessment:
- Each student; and therefore each set of assessment questions, is unique. It is impossible to predict the questions that will be asked. The questions begin with Trigonometry questions and then progress to College Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, or Algebra depending if questions are missed in the above levels.
- The prep and learning module; an individualized, self-paced online review.
- Access to 4 additional placement assessments within a one year period.
ECC encourages each student to spend time in the prep and learning module; even if the desired score is achieved, because time spent in ALEKS will ultimately lead to better preparation and improved grades.
Taking the ALEKS PPL Assessment
Before you take the Placement Assessment, ALEKS will present a short tutorial on how to enter answers, how to use the graphing utilities, and how to use the built-in calculator that will be offered when appropriate. Take your time with this tutorial and be sure you understand how to use these features.
ALEKS is not a multiple-choice Placement Assessment. It is open-response and requires you to work out solutions with a paper and pencil, then enter them into ALEKS. Testing staff will provide scratch paper and pencils.
- Once you submit an answer, you cannot change it. Be sure to carefully check your answer before submitting your response.
- It is likely that you will be asked questions on material you have not yet learned. On any question that you have familiarity with, however, it is important to do your best to answer the question. Answering a question with ‘I Don’t Know’ is interpreted by ALEKS to mean that you do not know how to solve the topic and will be reflected in the results.
- The test is not timed and you are free to complete the Placement Assessment at your own pace.
- If you need to exit the Placement Assessment for any reason testing staff will be able to log back in and pick up where you left off.
ALEKS PPL Assessment Score
Your placement assessment score is a number between 0 and 100. It represents the percentage of topics ALEKS has identified you have mastered. Course placement is determined by your ALEKS score and your program of study.
- An academic advisor will meet with you during new student orientation before registering to ensure you choose the correct math course to fulfill your major.
- Returning and transfer students should make an appointment with an academic advisor to review the placement assessment score and discuss course options.
The courses you are eligible to enroll in based on your score:
- Your ALEKS score can be viewed by re-entering ALEKS using the same access link for which you took the Placement Assessment.
- Your scores are added to your student profile on the accessECC portal.
- View math placement chart
Your placement scores are available on the Test Summary page of the Plan, Register, and Pay tool located on the accessECC portal. Visit accessECC account information to learn how to set up your accessECC Portal login.
ALEKS PPL Assessment FAQs
Frequently asked questions and answers regarding the ALEKS placement, preparation, and learning (ALEKS PPL) assessment.
Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces is a Web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system. ALEKS uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine what a student knows and doesn't know in a course. ALEKS then instructs students on the topics they are most ready to learn. As a student works through the prep modules, ALEKS periodically reassesses the student to ensure that topics learned are retained. ALEKS prep modules are complete in their topic coverage, and ALEKS avoids multiple-choice questions. A student who demonstrates a high mastery of an ALEKS prep module will succeed in the actual course they are taking.
The placement assessment is used to determine the mathematics course in which you will have the greatest success. Upon completion of the placement assessment, your score is entered into the student system. An academic advisor will review your score and help make appropriate recommendations for course registration during new student orientation.
- Students who have indicated they are pursuing a degree or certificate that contains courses requiring math.
- All students who wish to take MTH 102, 104, 110, or MTH 112 and do not have the minimum mathematics sub-score ACT 23 or SAT 540 or SAT3 570 or HiSET 15 or GED 165 must take the ALEKS placement assessment.
- Students who have the minimum scores listed above who wish to try and place into MTH 114, 120, 125, 126, or MTH 190 should also take the ALEKS placement assessment.
Students must take the ALEKS placement assessment before being scheduled for New Student Orientation.
- No appointment is required, and there is no time limit.
- No fee is charged.
- Results are issued to students upon completion of the test.
To determine final placement, the student is encouraged to meet with an ECC academic advisor to review test scores and high school and/or college transcripts. If a student does not have high school and/or college transcripts on file, only the ECC Math Placement Test scores will be used to determine the final placement.
Students will take the ALEKS test in the testing center located in Building B, Room B115. Allow at least two hours to take the ALEKS math placement test. Arrive no later than 2 hours before closing.
The testing center hours are:
- Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Your government-issued photo id, driver’s license, school id, or passport.
- ECC ID number.
- Pencils and scratch paper.
- ALEKS provides an on-screen calculator for specific questions.
- No other calculator is allowed. You can solve most questions without a calculator.
When you arrive:
Ask to take the Math Placement Test. The Testing Staff will ask for your photo ID and ECC student ID number. You will be asked to lock away any personal items (cell phones, smartwatches, watches, bookbags, coats, purses, and other electronic devices) in a nearby locker for which you will be given a key.
There is no fee associated with using the ALEKS placement assessment.
You will see some, but not all, of the math, you have learned in high school. It is a Placement Assessment, not a preview of math courses at ECC. It is designed to identify if you are prepared for a particular course. After you take your first Placement Assessment, you will have the opportunity to review and master additional topics to reassess and improve your placement.
- Real numbers (including fractions, integers, and percentages)
- Equations and inequalities (including linear equations, linear inequalities, systems of linear equations, and quadratic equations),
- Linear and quadratic functions (including graphs and functions, linear functions, and parabolas), exponents and polynomials (including integer exponents, polynomial arithmetic, factoring, and polynomial equations), rational expressions (including rational equations and rational functions
- Radical expressions (including higher roots and rational exponents)
- Exponentials and logarithms (including function compositions and inverse functions, properties of logarithms, and logarithmic equations)
- Geometry and trigonometry (including perimeter, area, volume, coordinate geometry, trigonometric functions, and identities and equations).
Math course requirements are different for each program and certificate. Talk with an academic advisor to determine the math course required for your program.
ECC accepts ALEKS placement scores as long as the assessment was proctored. If the assessment was not completed in a proctored setting, the student must retake the ALEKS placement in a proctored setting for ECC to accept the scores.
Close the browser, or log out and log back in. ALEKS will resume the ALEKS PPL Assessment exactly where you left off without losing your previous answers. Testing staff will need to enter the password to resume the test.
Yes. You may take up to 5 Placement Assessments within one year. To make each attempt worthwhile, you must work on your ALEKS Prep and Learning Module between Placement Assessments to improve your skills.
Students wishing to retake the placement assessment may do so after a 24-hour cool-down period between attempts and after completing the required Prep and Learning. Students must complete a minimum of hours in the Prep and Learning Module between assessments.
ECC accepts ALEKS placement scores as long as the assessment is proctored. If you did not complete the assessment in a proctored setting, the student must retake the ALEKS placement in a proctored setting for ECC to accept the scores.
ALEKS Prep and Learning Module FAQs
Frequently asked questions and answers regarding the ALEKS prep and learning module.
You will have 12 months of access to your Prep and Learning module. Access to the prep course will not begin until you select start on the top of your screen. Do not select into the Prep and Learning Module until you are ready to start working.
No. Access to a Prep and Learning Module is included along with the additional ALEKS PPL Assessment.
Yes. You can retake the ALEKS PPL Assessment. up to four additional times to improve your score. The highest score will be used for math placement. You must wait 24 hours between attempts and complete the required time in the Prep and Learning module. Students are required to work in the Prep and Learning Modules for a specific amount of time prior to each Placement Assessment to increase success.
- 3 hours using the Prep and Learning Module before second attempt.
- 3 more hours (6 total) using the Prep and Learning Module before third attempt.
- 5 more hours (11 total) using the Prep and Learning Module before fourth attempt.
- 8 more hours (19 total) using the Prep and Learning Module before 5th attempt.
While working in a Prep and Learning Module, you will periodically complete a Knowledge Check to ensure you have mastered the topics you gained in Learning Mode. If you do not show mastery during the Knowledge Check, the topics will be added back into your Learning Pie so you can review them again.
No. You must complete a new ALEKS PPL Assessment to change your placement result. Select the placement tab in the upper right corner of the ALEKS page to start a new ALEKS PPL Assessment. Only testing staff can start a new placement assessment in a proctored setting by entering the password.
No. You may only use one Prep and Learning Module. If you are unsure which module to select, use the module recommended by ALEKS or consult with your advisor.