Harper College



ALEKS Math Assessment Overview

  • Web-based and untimed
  • Uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately zero in on your strengths and any weaknesses in math
  • Covers material to place you into the right course from Basic Math to Calculus  
  • Contains approximately 30 questions
  • Takes approximately 60 minutes to complete
  • Provides a "Prep and Learning Module" after your first preview assessment to help you improve your placement and/or your eventual course grades in math.


Taking the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment 

A few steps will need to be completed before you can take an ALEKS Assessment attempt in the Testing Center that counts for course placement.

  1. Connect to your ALEKS account. This can be done logging in to your MyHarper Portal. Once logged in, click the "REGISTRATON AND RECORDS" icon. After that, click the "ALEKS MATH PLACEMENT TEST"  icon. You will be prompted to login again, and just use the same username and password you used to get into the MyHarper Portal. 
  2. Take a brief ALEKS Preview assessment on your own (at home or anywhere else that has internet connectivity). The scores on this Preview Assessment will not count for placement. Therefore, it's very important you give your best, honest effort so that you can truly evaluate your current math skills. The results of the Preview attempt inform the Prep & Learning modules, so it's very important to give your best effort to make sure the study modules aren't too basic, nor too advanced for your current skills. As of April 18, 2018, the use of an external calculator (non-CAS models such as the TI-83+ or TI-84+) is allowed on both the Preview attempt and proctored attempts. All other resources such as websites, books, or consulting others etc., are not allowed at the Testing Center so you should not use them  on your Preview Assessment. 
  3. Take a  proctored ALEKS Assessment. A proctored ALEKS test attempt can be done "at home"/at a distance by using the online proctoring service, Honorlock or in-person in the Testing Center with an appointment. Because this assessment will be taken in a proctored environment provided by Honorlock, even at home, these scores will count for course placement. Before taking the assessment in the Testing Center, you are strongly encouraged to take some time and study within your personalized ALEKS Prep & Learning modules. These Prep & Learning modules identify math topics that you could improve upon. Spending time studying now in the pursuit of proper math course placement could potentially save you time (and tuition dollars) later on. 


Retesting & Accessing Prep and Learning Module

Utilizing the ALEKS "Prep and Learning Module" is critical to improving your ALEKS assessment score and course placement.  It is also necessary in order to retaking a proctored ALEKS attempt. Information within the modules has been personalized to your strengths and weaknesses so you can improve upon specific topics found on the ALEKS assessment. Once you've logged into ALEKS:

  1.  Find the section entitled "Improve Your Knowledge in a Prep and Learning Module" and click the "Start" button located within that section.
  2. Select the subject area in your "Prep and Learning Pie" that you would like to work on.
  3. Once you engage with the ALEKS "Prep and Learning" modules, you will have access to your ALEKS account opportunities for 12 months. 
  4. In order to access additional retest attempts, students are required to engage with the “Prep & Learning” module for a certain amount of time. Please note that once the student takes their initial ALEKS Preview Assessment, a 12 month window of access to the modules begins. After 12 months, access to the “Prep & Learning” review module will expire and in turn the opportunity to take assessments will expire as well. 
    • 1st Proctored Attempt – no required  Prep & Learning beforehand (but strongly encouraged)
    • 2nd Proctored Attempt – at least 3 required Prep & Learning hours beforehand
    • 3rd Proctored Attempt – at least 5 additional Prep & Learning hours required beforehand. 
    • 4th Proctored Attempt – at least 8 additional Prep & Learning hours required beforehand


Interpreting Your ALEKS Score

Below is a chart where you can view what course(s) you have placed into based on your ALEKS assessment score.

Score Pathway Course(s) Placement
76-100  College Math MTH200
61-100  College Math MTH124, 140, 134, 220 & 225
46-100 College Math MTH103 & 130
46-100 College Math MTH101 & 165
    College Math with Support 
(only for students needing calculus)
MTH103 + MTH083 co-req*
30-45 College Math with Support MTH101 + MTH081 co-req & MTH165 + MTH085 co-req   
14-29 Prep for College Math MTH065 & MGT150
0-13 Math Reboot MTH065 + FYS101 Math Reboot

Frequently Asked Questions

As Harper College remains committed to a remote learning environment in response the COVID-19 pandemic, ALEKS placement testing currently happening entirely at home. There are differences though between how the Preview attempt and the proctored attempt are administered:

The Preview attempt is considered a practice attempt that gives you exposure to how the ALEKS test operates as well as providing access to the personalized Prep & Learning modules that could help you study prior to taking the proctored attempt that counts for placement. You take the Preview at your own pace, at home, without being proctored, but the results of the Preview do not count for placement. 

Test attempts after the Preview need to be proctored, and that will occur with the assistance of the online proctoring tool, Honorlock. For more information on Honorlock, please refer to our Honorlock FAQ page. As long as you're testing with Honorlock, the attempts will count for placement because you're being proctored. 

New degree seeking students at Harper College and other students looking to take a Math course will be required to take an ALEKS Assessment.

Yes, Harper College permits the use of non-CAS model calculators. Acceptable models include basic calculators, TI-83+, TI-84+ or any similar version. 

There is no fee for first time account holders. Harper students have free access to the ALEKS placement assessment and six months of the "Prep and Learning Modules".  If you no longer have access to your ALEKS account please contact the Testing Center for a new account that costs $15.  

Yes, both the assessments and the Prep & Learning modules are available in Spanish. 

ALEKS is not a multiple-choice assessment so it's important you understand how to use the ALEKS interface. Before the assessment begins, complete the tutorial which shows you how to enter different types of answers, how to use the ALEKS calculator, and how to graph. If you need help while you are taking ALEKS, click on the "help" button at the top of the screen.

Placement assessments require approximately 60 minutes to complete, but the amount of time will vary by student.

No. You will have unlimited time to complete the assessment.

There will be a maximum of 30 questions. The exact number of questions will vary due to the adaptive format. It is possible you will be asked questions on material you have not yet learned. Select "I don't know" only if you have no idea how to work a problem. ALEKS is adaptive which means it bases the problems you see and your placement on how you respond. "I don't know" is interpreted by ALEKS to mean you do not know the topic at all, and this will be reflected in your assessment results. If you select "I don't know" repeatedly, the assessment will underestimate your ability.

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.

You cannot test twice within the same day and you must complete the designated amount of time in the "Prep and Learning Modules" before you can retest.  

If your 12 month window of access to your ALEKS account has expired, another account can be purchased for $15. In order to purchase a new account, you must first contact the Harper College Testing Center at testing@harpercollege.edu or 847.925.6541. The Testing Center will provide you with new account access information and directions on how to purchase.

You may only use a pen or pencil, paper, a non-CAS calculator (popular examples of these include a TI83+, TI84+ or other similar/more basic models) and the resources provided within the ALEKS software. You may not receive any assistance from friends, family, other websites, textbooks, or any other resource not provided by ALEKS. Using outside resources may lead to improper course placement, and ultimately course failure.

Yes, ALEKS will begin with a brief tutorial before your assessment experience.

Any person with a disability who would like to request an accommodation for the ALEKS assessment should visit the Harper College Access and Disability Services Office (Building I, Room I103) or call their office at (Voice) 847.925.6266 or (Videophone for Deaf and Hard of Hearing callers) 224.836.5048.

General Customer Service: http://support.aleks.com/assess_placement

ALEKS Tech Support: www.aleks.com/faqs/technical or call  (714)619-7090

Harper College Testing Center: (847)925-6541


Last Updated: 12/14/23