Baylor > Mathematics > Undergraduate > ALEKS Placement Exam
ALEKS Placement Exam

ALEKS placement exams are used by the Baylor Math Department for placement in MTH 1320 (Precalculus) and MTH 1321 (Calculus 1).  



I’ve started ALEKS

To get a full Fall schedule at Baylor, you still need to finish your ALEKS math exam. You must continue to work beyond the first ALEKS exam to achieve the required score to take pre-calculus or calculus. The exam may take hours or days, depending on your need for review. Take action now and read carefully the instructions below.

I’ve not started ALEKS

To get a full fall schedule at Baylor, you need to log in to ALEKS math ASAP. You are in a program that requires pre-calculus or calculus. Once you log in, continue to work beyond the first ALEKS exam to achieve the required score. The exam may take hours or days, depending on your need for review. Take action now and read carefully the instructions below.


See Chemistry ALEKS for more information from University Advisement 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.  

The following links are for students wishing to place into MTH 1320 or MTH 1321 for Summer 2018 or Fall 2018.

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. This fee will cover your first five assessments.

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?

ALEKS is 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. 

Click HERE to see if your major or pre-professional program requires Calculus 1 or Pre-calculus.

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

MTH 1320 is no longer the a prerequisite for MTH 1321.  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 in order to register for MTH 1320.  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?

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 since it may take hours, days, or even weeks for you to obtain a qualifying score.

Your first ALEKS attempt does NOT count, no matter how high or low you score. It is just for you to become comfortable with the interface. ALEKS scores only count towards qualifying for a BU math course on your SECOND ALEKS attempt.

Don't worry if you do not achieve your desired placement after your second 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 second 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 24 hours before attempting the placement exam again, and during that time you will have to work for 3 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 Precalculus 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 hour sitting.

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.).  You may use scratch paper. 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?

Click on the links towards the top of this page, between the horizontal lines.