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ALEKS Placement Exam

ALEKS placement exams are used by the Baylor Math Department for placement in MTH 1320 (Precalculus) and MTH 1321 (Calculus 1).  Click HERE to see if your major or pre-professional program requires Calculus 1 or Pre-calculus.

See Chemistry Aleks for more information from the Advising Department regarding the ALEKS family of placement exams.

The purpose of the assessment is so that you and your advisor know which math courses are best for you to take.  

What is ALEKS?

ALEKS is an online, artificially intelligent, assessment and learning system. ALEKS uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine exactly what a student knows and doesn't know. The ALEKS Placement Assessment covers material from Basic Math through Precalculus.  

After the assessment, the Prep and Learning Module targeting your specific math skills is available for you to review and learn material, and to improve your placement.  After working through the Prep and Learning Modules targeted to you, you will be given another chance at improving your score on ALEKS.  You can work through the Prep and Learning Modules and re-take ALEKS a total of four more times over the next six months after the initial assessment.

Who must take ALEKS?

Beginning summer 2017, ALEKS will be required of all students wishing to enroll in MTH 1320 (Precalculus) or MTH 1321 (Calculus 1).  Even students who have taken one of these courses before as AP, dual credit, transfer credit, or even at Baylor, must still take ALEKS before they can register for MTH 1320 or MTH 1321.  In order to register for MTH 1320, you must achieve a score of 61 or higher on ALEKS, and in order to register for MTH 1321 you must score an 80 or higher on ALEKS. 

What if I have already successfully completed MTH 1320 at Baylor and now I want to take MTH 1321?

Beginning summer 2017, MTH 1320 will no longer be a prerequisite for MTH 1321.  So even students who have had MTH 1320 at Baylor or are transferring in credit for Precalculus will need to take the ALEKS and score an 80 or higher.  This is different than what we have done in the past, but our goal is to help students succeed by ensuring they enroll in the math course that is the perfect fit for their preparation.

So why should I take MTH 1320 if it won't guarantee that I will be allowed in MTH 1321?

The simple answer is if your ALEKS score is between 61 and 79, then you should consider enrolling in MTH 1320.  If your score is 60 or below, then you should work to better prepare your math skills for Pre-Calculus and retake the assessment in order to raise your score to a 61 or higher.

Some students scoring between a 61 and 79, who have had solid training in trigonometry, theory of functions and basic algebra, might be able to work through enough material on ALEKS to raise their score to 80 or higher and then be allowed in MTH 1321.  If though you know your trigonometry, theory of functions and basic algebra skills are a little shaky, then MTH 1320 will help fill in the gaps, and increase the chance that your next score on ALEKS is an 80 or above.

What if I’m not good at math?

Be honest about your skill level and do your best.  There is no benefit to cheating on the placement assessment – your only reward will be that you take a class that is too difficult for your current level of mathematics 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 math skills so that you will be successful in your math courses. Even though this is an online exam, Baylor's honor code still applies.

When do I take ALEKS and What if I don't score high enough?

You’ll have to take it before you can register for Precalculus or Calculus 1.  You should take ALEKS as soon as possible.  

Don't worry if you do not achieve your desired placement after your first attempt at ALEKS.  You will be allowed four additional attempts at the placement exam with access to a Prep & Learning Module to help better prepare you.  Your first attempt at the placement exam will determine if you are placed in the "Prep for Pre-Calculus" study module or the "Prep for Calculus" study module. You will have to wait 48 hours before attempting the placement exam again, and during that time you will have to work for 5 hours on your assigned Prep & Learning Module.  Some students will need several attempts and many hours in their study module to place in the course they desire, so it is a really good idea to start working on the ALEKS as soon as possible.

This might seem like a lot of work, but dedication and hard work in the months before enrolling in Pre-Calculus or Calculus 1 will greatly increase your chance at success in those courses. 

How long will the assessment take?

In each assessment you will be asked up to 30 questions. You should plan to complete each assessment in one 2-3 hour sitting. If you do not complete the assessment in one sitting, you will have 48 hours to complete it before the assessment is reset.

May I use a calculator or other resources 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, or any other resource (friends, family, internet searches, etc.).  Remember, ALEKS is a placement exam.  It is very good at placing students in the math course that is right for them.  You really don't want to be placed in a course that is too hard or too easy for you.

How do I take the assessment?

The following links are for students wishing to place in to MTH 1320 or MTH 1321 for Fall 2017.

Click HERE if you are not visually impaired.

Click HERE if you are visually impaired and need a screen reader.

A $25 fee will be added to your student account after you complete your first assessment.

Note:  If you are a current Baylor student or transfer student seeking to register for MTH 1320 or MTH 1321 for Fall 2017 you can still use the old method of math placement.  Click HERE.

Students registering for MTH 1320 or MTH 1321 for Spring 2018 and thereafter will be required to place in to MTH 1320 or MTH 1321 using ALEKS.