Math Placement Test (ALEKS)
Houston Christian University requires an ALEKS mathematics placement assessment to determine readiness for various lower-level math courses. The ALEKS Placement Assessment covers material from basic math through precalculus and will take approximately 90 minutes to complete. After the assessment, a targeted Prep and Learning Module is available for you to review and learn material, and to improve placement and eventual course outcomes.
HCU gives students the option of taking the ALEKS at home on the first attempt. First determine if you need to take the ALEKS Placement Assessment using our ALEKS flowchart. Then register for the ALEKS exam through the HCU Testing Center.
Majors Requiring ALEKS
- Business (any track)
- Kinesiology: Allied Health
- Science (any track)
- Engineering (any track)
- Education (Math 7-12, Science 7-12 tracks)
- Psychology (online students only)
All Other Majors
Other majors may enroll in MATH 1305 Math for Critical Thinking if they meet the minimum requirements for SAT Math (530 points or higher) or ACT Math (22 points or higher). Students who do not meet these requirements must either take the ALEKS Placement Assessment or take the course MATH 1302.
For online students in all other majors, students will take PHIL 1305, an 8-week course to fulfill their Liberal Arts Core Curriculum (LACC) requirements.
HCU Students: ALEKS Math Placement
Houston Christian University requires an ALEKS mathematics placement assessment to determine readiness for various lower-level math courses. The ALEKS Placement Assessment 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 learn material, and to improve placement and eventual course outcomes.
- All test takers can take the ALEKS from Home via their HuskyNet under the Student tab (There is no Registration fee for this exam). Beginning summer of 2023 All attempts of the ALEKS can be taken from home unless other wise required by a specific college.
- The ALEKS Math Placement for HCU students costs $11.50 if taking the exam at the testing office. (Registration Fee)
- The ALEKS Math Placement for Non-HCU students costs $43.50 (Registration Fee)
- The ALEKS Math placement (For HCU students) exam/Learning modules are accessible for 6 months from the date of the first attempt or from when ALEKS is first log into. Once they expire you will need to purchase a Aleks E-Commerce account ($25.00+tax), to be able to start the process over again.
- For online cohorts in need of an E-Commerce account please contact the HCU Math Department, or your Online advisor.
- The Aleks Scores are Valid for 1 year from the date of the first attempt.
You must finish no less than 8 hours of learning modules to unlock your second test. (5 Hours for the third through fifth) If you do not, there is no way to open the test. You will know if the next test is unlocked if the lock icon on the “Start Exam” no longer appears over the link. To access your learning modules simply follow the steps to get into the ALEKS exam, and the option to begin the learning modules should be under the locked out test start option. If your access has expired then you will need to purchase an E-Commerce account on the day of the exam in the testing center.
All 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 and ultimately lead to better grades.
The use of the ALEKS Placement Assessment and the associated Prep and Learning Module helps students prepare for and succeed in the math courses required for their major.
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 will have a much better sense of your strengths and weaknesses in math. You will 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 are forced to take a class that is too difficult for your current level of mathematical knowledge. Therefore, while you are taking the assessment, do not consult any other source for help (friends, family, internet searches, etc.). 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. (See Academic Policies, Procedures. and Resources.)
Non-HCU Students: ALEKS Math Placement
Examinees that are not Houston Christian University (HCU) students who need to take the ALEKS Math Placement exam for another university or institution can use the information below to help them register.
- The student is responsible for notifying their respective university or institution that you will be taking the exam at Houston Christian University, so they can notify us as to how they want us to administer it.
- If you are a Oklahoma State University student, we have all of the necessary information, but the student will still need to notify OKS as to your plans.
- These examinees need to be familiar with the polices and procedures of their respective universities or institution.
- Each of these examinees will have a proctoring fee to pay.
- To Register for a Non-HCU ALEKS math placement exam use the individually proctored exam option when registering. Select the (1-3 Hour) option ($43.50) and indicate a date and time range in which you could take the exam. With this information we can then set the Appointment.
NOTE: The student will need to get the approval of their institution/university. Have their institution/university contact HCU at (email@example.com) with the proctoring information. The student testing is responsible for bring all necessary Items (I.D.s login’s, etc.) on the day of testing for which they have access.
Frequently Asked Questions About ALEKS
Who should take the ALEKS Placement Assessment?
The ALEKS Placement Assessment should be taken by all
- Students who are science, mathematics, business, or nursing majors, OR
- Students who enter without declaring a major, OR
- Students who have Math SAT scores<530 or ACT scores <22 OR
- All entering transfer students with no prior college-level coursework in mathematics
- Students, who have completed a lower-level math course with a grade lower than a C. These students will take ALEKS and re-mediate before repeating the course.
We strongly encourage all transfer students to take the exam if they need additional mathematics coursework. If the score on the assessment indicates a lack of preparedness for the course, the student should seriously consider taking any missing prerequisite courses or working in an ALEKS Learning Module (see below).
Additionally, we encourage students to take the exam if they plan to enroll in a math course and have not taken a math course during the preceding year.
Students with Math SAT scores of at least 530 (or ACT 22) may enroll in Math 1305 classes without taking the ALEKS Placement Assessment. However, Math 1305 is not a prerequisite for College Algebra (Math 1313) and should not be taken by science, mathematics, business or nursing majors.
The ALEKS placement assessment is not binding. If you score at a level below where you have been currently placed by other methods, you may choose to take the lower course, but you are not required to do so. You may use the ALEKS Prep and Learning Module to help prepare for the course you enroll in.
Is there a fee for using ALEKS?
Yes. If you choose to take the ALEKS at the HCU testing Office then the seating fee is $11.50 and registering for it can be done at hbu.edu/testing, via the Aleks Math Placement link.
Are ALEKS Placement Assessments proctored?
You are allowed to take the first ALEKS exam at home. You may access the exam through the Placement link on your Student tab in Huskynet.
Unless other wise required you are able to take the (beginning Summer of 2023) you are able to take the ALEKS from home for all 5 attempts. You will need to come in to take the E-commerce once your account expires.
Can I retake the ALEKS Placement Assessment?
Yes. If you do not earn the required score on your first attempt, you will have four additional attempts. At the end of your first exam, ALEKS provides you with an online review module that is customized to help you strengthen your individualized weakness to prepare for a retake of the exam. To make each attempt worthwhile, it is important that you spend at least 8 hours working in your ALEKS Prep and Learning Module (PLM) before the second attempt and at least 5 hours between each of the remaining placement assessments so that you can improve your skills.
Can I retake the ALEKS Placement Assessment immediately?
You must wait at least 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 that you may have forgotten or to learn new material.
Must I work in my ALEKS Prep and Learning Modules between placement assessments?
Yes, you must wait 72 hours between attempts at the ALEKS assessment and must spend at least 8 hours working in the ALEKS Prep and Learning Module before the second attempt and at least 5 hours before each of the remaining attempts.
Are placement assessments timed?
Yes, you have up to two hours to complete a placement assessment once it has begun.
How long will a placement assessment take to complete?
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.
May I use a calculator while using ALEKS?
ALEKS will provide an on-screen calculator if you need one to complete a particular problem. Otherwise, you may not use a calculator.
What happens if I do not complete a placement assessment in the allotted time?
You will be given a placement result, but it may underestimate your true ability.
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 into a course for which you are not prepared and ultimately course failure.
Additionally, receiving assistance on the ALEKS placement test is a violation of HCU’s Academic Integrity Policy and is punishable under the provisions of that Policy; see Academic Policies, Procedures and Resources.
What should I expect on the exam?
- Before starting, be sure to have a pencil or pen and paper.
- Before the first question, ALEKS will check your computer software configuration and download the plug-ins necessary to take the exam. Next, there will be a very brief tutorial explaining how to key in your answers.
- The exam itself starts by posing questions, some fairly easy and some fairly difficult, to gauge your general ability and to give focus to subsequent questions. If you clearly don’t know the answer to a question, you should answer “I don’t know.” If the topic is one that you are familiar with, you should make an attempt at answering, because ALEKS interprets the “I don’t know” answer to mean that you are unfamiliar with the topic. The exam includes questions at many levels so, depending on your background, you may not be familiar with the content of every question.
- Exam results appear on the last page. You will see a pie chart at the top of the page displaying your performance in various categories. The “What you can do” section that follows itemizes those categories in which you performed well. The “What you are ready to learn next” section lists those areas that you will need to review before taking the exam again. Your ALEKS placement score appears above the pie chart: “xx % Mastery”.
Can I review a question or change an answer after I have submitted it?
Because ALEKS is adaptive, once you submit an answer, you cannot change it. Be sure you answer an item the way you intended before submitting your response.
I have forgotten my score. How do I find it?
Log in to the placement exam site again and click on “Retake Placement.” Your scores will appear under “Past Placements.” Keep in mind that your highest exam score determines placement.
How long is my placement result valid?
ALEKS scores are valid for placement into courses which begin within 1 year of the date of your exam.
May I qualify for a class during the first week of classes?
Yes, but you must qualify by the day prior to the last day to add classes. If you need to register for a class that is closed, you should e-mail your academic adviser to request help. If you do not have an adviser, email the Chair of the Department of Chemistry, Math, and Physics at firstname.lastname@example.org and the Dean of the College of Science and Engineering at email@example.com.
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?
You will have six months of access from the time that you start using your Prep
and Learning module. At which time you will be locked out of the learning modules and unable to unlock any further attempts (Requiring you to purchase an E-Commerce account for further attempts.)
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 towards 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 the ALEKS Prep and Learning Module to review and learn, and you may take another proctored placement assessment to improve your placement result. If you find that you are getting the same score over and over then it is likely there is something you need to learn and the class ALEKS is suggesting would help you learn it.
Given that Math is a foundational science if you are not clear on a particular area then all areas after that will likely not be correct.
I did not place into the class I wanted. Can I take it anyway?
No, you must achieve the minimum placement result to take each corresponding class. You may enroll in the course for which you did qualify. Or, you may continue to re-mediate and retest.
What if I placed into the class I wanted?
Congratulations! Continue to use your Prep and Learning Module to improve
your chances for success in the course. 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.
What if I need accommodations?
The assessment will ask up to 30 questions. Most students will complete the exam within 90 minutes but you have up to 3 hours complete the exam. If you need accommodations, please contact HCU Testing Center at firstname.lastname@example.org
Where can I get help with the ALEKS?
How do I begin using ALEKS?
You may sign-up and take the ALEKS assessment by clicking on the “Math Placement Information (ALEKS)” link under the “Student” tab in Huskynet.