ALEKS Math Placement Tests


Houston Baptist 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.
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 and Resources.aspx#.)

Frequently Asked Questions:

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<450 or ACT scores <20 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, will take ALEKS and remediate before repeating the course.

We highly 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 400 ( ACT 18) may enroll in Math 1302 or Math 1305 classes which begin before June 1, 2016 without taking the ALEKS Placement Assessment.   Also, students with Math SAT scores of at least 550 (ACT  25) may enroll in Math 1313 classes which begin before June 1, 2016 without taking the ALEKS Placement Assessment.  However, if desired, these students may attempt to qualify for higher level courses by taking the ALEKS placement assessment.

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?
No, students will not pay a fee to take the ALEKS assessment and use the remediation modules.

Are ALEKS Placement Assessments proctored?
Yes.   If you are in the HBU Service Area, you may schedule an appointment at to take the exam on campus in the Math Computer Lab (Nursing 201).  If you are taking the exam outside of the HBU Service Area, please email the HBU Testing Center at for further instructions.

Can I retake the ALEKS Placement Assessment?
Yes. If you do not earn the required score for your desired class on your first attempt, you will have four additional attempts that will be proctored on campus in the Math Computer Lab (Nursing 201) or in an HBU-approved testing center.   However, 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 the remaining placement assessments so that you can improve your skills.

Can I retake the ALEKS Placement Assessment immediately?
You must wait at least 48 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 retaking 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 48 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 between the remaining placement assessment attempts.  When you are ready to retake the assessment, you may make another appointment to retake the exam.

Are placement assessments timed?
Yes, you have up to three 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?
Since the incomplete assessment is proctored and timed, 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.  This will negatively affect your GPA computations and your possibility of success at the university.
Additionally, receiving assistance on the ALEKS placement test is a violation of HBU's Academic Integrity Policy and is punishable under the provisions of that Policy; see integrity.

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 and will say : "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 tiem 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.

What is my placement results?
Your placement result is your percentage mastery on the latest assessment. Course placement is determined as follows:


Placement Score (%) Course Placement
0-29 Math 1301 Introductory Algebra
30-45 Math 1302  Intermediate Algebra, OR
Math 1305  Math for Critical Thinking
46-60 MATH 1313 College Algebra
61-68 MATH 1324 Trigonometry
69-75 MATH 1423 PreCalculus
76-100 MATH 1451 Calculus I

If you earn the score for the course you want, your record in ALEKS will document this
result.  Two business days after qualifying for a particular course, you should be able to logon to Huskynet and sign up for the course if there is still room in the class. If you need to make a schedule change quickly at the beginning of the semester you should email your adviser with a copy of the score and request help in changing your schedule.  If you do not have an academic adviser and need a change of schedule, please email the Chair of the Department of Mathematics and Physics at and the Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics at  Please note that schedule changes must be made prior to the beginning of the semester or during the first week of classes for the fall and spring semesters and before the end of second day of class for the summer sessions.   If you need help registering or have other questions, please contact your adviser immediately.

If you do not earn your required score, you may choose the appropriate learning module that will prepare you for the course you wish to take.  (You only get one choice of learning module.)  If you qualified for your desired course, you may also select a learning module to help you review for the course.   The following table gives the recommended learning module based on your ALEKS Placement score.  We recommend following this, but if you wish, you may choose a different learning module.

Placement Score (%) Recommended Prep and Learning Module
0-45 Prep for College Algebra
46-60 Prep for PreCalculus
61-75 Prep for Calculus

How long is my placement result valid?
ALEKS scores are valid for 6 months prior to the first day of your mathematics course. You must retake the exam if the first day of class occurs more than 6 months after your exam.

May I qualify for a class during the first week of classes?
It is best if you qualify and remediate for classes in the weeks and months prior to the beginning of classes.  However, it is possible to qualify during the first week of classes.    In order to enroll in a course during the fall and spring semesters, you must have qualified using ALEKS Placement Assessment by noon on the fourth day of classes.  In order to enroll in a course during the summer sessions, you must have qualified using ALEKS Placement Assessment and registered before the end of the second day of classes. If necessary, get help to make these schedule changes before the deadline, by emailing your adviser or the Chair of the Department of Mathematics and Physics at and the Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics at

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 6 months of access from the time that you start using your Prep and Learning Module.

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.

Can I change to a different Prep and Learning Module later?
No, you may only use one Prep and Learning Module. If you are unsure which module to select, use the module recommended by ALEKS

What if I do not place inot 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.

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 remediate 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. 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 HBU Testing Center at 

Where can I get help with the ALEKS?

How do I begin using ALEKS?
You will receive instructions on beginning your ALEKS assessment from your proctor.

ALEKS Math Placement Test Schedule

Date Time for ALEKS Location
Friday, Dec. 11, 2015
1- 4:00 PM N201
Monday, Jan. 11, 2016
1- 4:00 PM N201
Friday, Jan. 15, 2016
10:00 AM -1:00 PM N201
Tues, Jan. .19, 2016 1:30 - 4:30 PM N201
Friday, Jan. 22, 2016 2-5:00 PM N201

Note:   Additional information and sign-up for exams at    Please arrive at 2 PM to allow plenty of time for the exam and bring a photo ID.  

  • Closed Test Dates: Test dates are taken offline when all seats are filled or when the registration deadline (one day before the test) is past. See standby information below for further information
  • There is no fee for taking a math placement test.
  • Make sure you know your HuskyNet User ID Number (H#).  It is required for registration.  (I don't know my HuskyNet User ID Number)
  • Register online now!
  • Cell phones must be turned completely OFF and left in designated area for prohibited items.
  • No cell phones, food or drink are allowed during the test session.
  • Rescheduling or Canceling - To reschedule or cancel a test, send an email to
  • Standby Testing - Those wishing to test on a date that is "offline" may be considered for testing on a "standby" basis at the discretion of the test administrator.