NOTICE: ALEKS IS NOW AVAILABLE PROCTORED AND BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. CHECK WWW.MATH.MIAMI.EDU/ALEKS TO SIGN UP.
 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is ALEKS?
2. Why should I take the assessment?
3. Who must take the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment?
4. How long will the assessment take, and what materials will I need?
5. How many questions are on the assessment?
6. Once I answer a question, can I go back and change my answer?
7. Can I get help on the assessment?
8. Should I prepare for the assessment?
9. Is there a fee for taking this assessment?
10. How many times can I take the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment?
11. How long are my ALEKS assessment scores valid?
12. How do I take the assessment?
13. When do I get the results and what do they mean?
14. How do I know which course I should take?
15. How do the ALEKS Prep and Learning Modules work?
16. I only missed the cut-off by a few points. Can I be bumped up to the next level?
17. I took an ALEKS assessment through another college or university. Will the University of Miami accept my score?
18. Can I get credit for a MTH class based on my ALEKS score?
19. Will my score on ALEKS show on my official records or UM transcripts?


1. What is ALEKS?

The ALEKS system uses artificial intelligence to provide each student with an adaptive assessment that can focus on the student's individual level of knowledge. The ALEKS Math Placement Assessment covers a broad range of pre-calculus material.


2. Why should I take the assessment?

The ALEKS Math Placement Assessment will evaluate your mathematical knowledge and skills level in order to determine the likelihood of your success in a mathematics course.


3. Who must take the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment?

Any incoming freshman who, on the basis of their math SAT or math ACT score, does not place into either MTH113 (for BA programs) or MTH161 (for BS programs) must take the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment.

All incoming freshmen in the College of Engineering must take the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment.

All incoming freshmen in the School of Business must take the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment. Students in the School of Business should refer to the Business registration website for questions regarding placement in MAS courses.

Any incoming transfer student, who does not have college credit in any math course, will be required to take the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment in order to determine the appropriate math course.

International students who are not required to submit SAT or ACT scores for admissions, will be placed by default into MTH099 and will also be required to take the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment in order to determine the appropriate math course.


4. How long will the assessment take, and what material will I need?

The length of the assessment will vary by student since the test is adaptive. In general, the assessment will take approximately 90 minutes to complete. There will be a maximum of 30 questions. During the proctored sessions, you will be allowed 2 hours to complete the assessment.

You will need only pencil and paper to work on problems. ALEKS has a built-in calculator available when needed, so you do not need a calculator.


5. How many questions are on the assessment?

There will be a maximum of 30 open-ended questions. None of the questions are multiple-choice. The exact number of questions will vary due to the adaptive mechanism of the assessment. Students who are unable to answer many of the first questions may end up with a shorter assessment. If you come across material that you have not learned, you may answer, "I don't know." Do your best to answer each question.


6. Once I answer a question, can I go back and change my answer?

Unfortunately, once you submit an answer, you cannot change it. You should keep this in mind while testing.


7. Can I get help on the assessment?

No. Be honest. You are expected to take the assessment on your own without any outside assistance. The use of books, notes, electronic devices, aids, websites, or the assistance of another individual while taking the assessment is not allowed and will be considered a violation of the University of Miami's Honor Code and punishable by the provisions set forth by that code.


8. Should I prepare for the assessment?

There is no preparation required, but you may wish to review the material from your previous math course. If you do not reach the score you desire on the ALEKS assessment, you may retake the assessment after completing at least 5 hours of a recommended ALEKS Prep and Learning Module.


9. Is there a fee for taking this assessment?

There is no fee to you as a student. The University of Miami provides students with access to the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment for up to 1 year. Keep in mind, however, that the ALEKS Prep and Learning Module will expire within 6 months from your first access.


10. How many times can I take the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment?

You will be given the chance to take the proctored ALEKS Math Placement Assessment up to three times within your subscription period. There is a 24 hour waiting period before you will be able to repeat the assessment. In order to repeat the assessment, you will need to spend a minimum of 5 hours on a recommended ALEKS Prep and Learning Module to review the topics necessary.

You will have access to your ALEKS Prep and Learning Module for 6 months from the first time you access it. If you do not complete the required 5 hours in the Prep and Learning Module within the 6 month subscription, you will not be able to repeat the assessment.


11. How long are my ALEKS assessment scores valid for?

Scores on the ALEKS assessment are valid for a period of 18 months. In particular, you need to be sure that your ALEKS scores are valid for the semester you plan to enroll in a math course.


12. How do I take the assessment?

You can access the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment from any computer with internet access. To register and access the assessment, you will go to CaneLink to sign in.


13. When do I get the results and what do they mean?

As soon as you complete the assessment, you will receive your ALEKS score along with a pie chart showing your performance in different areas. Above the pie chart, you will see a link to COURSE MASTERY. Here you will see a list of topics that you scored well on. Below the pie chart, you will see information about topics that you still need to work on and how you can improve your score.

Your ALEKS score shows your level of preparedness for a math course. The cut-off scores have been set in order to determine the appropriate course in which you would be most likely to succeed.

Please allow two days for your placement scores to be visible in CaneLink. Once you can see your ALEKS score in CaneLink, you may enroll in the course for which you have obtained the appropriate ALEKS score or otherwise meet the prerequisite.


14. How do I know which course I should take?

Your math requirement will depend on your major and degree program. Please use the Math Placement Guide and the list of Freshman Level Mathematics Courses to determine the course you are eligible for.

When you make your course selection, you will be allowed to enroll in a course for which you meet the prerequisite by way of the appropriate ALEKS score, a prerequisite course, an appropriate math SAT or ACT score, or an appropriate AP Calculus score.

If you have any questions, please contact your Academic Advisor or Dr. Leticia Oropesa.


15. How do the ALEKS Prep and Learning Modules work?

After you complete the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment, you will see a pie chart that tells you the topics that you have mastered and those in which you are deficient. In order to take the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment a second time, and for subsequent repeats, you will need to spend a minimum of 5 hours on a recommended ALEKS Prep and Learning Module before you take the assessment again.

The ALEKS Prep and Learning Module will be available to you for a 6 month subscription free of charge. You do not have to access the Prep and Learning Modules immediately after taking the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment for the first time. You will be able to access the ALEKS Prep and Learning Modules for 1 year, but once you access the recommended Prep and Learning Module for the first time, you will have only 6 months to access it from that date. If you do not complete the required 5 hours in the recommended Prep and Learning Module within the 6 month subscription, you will not be able to repeat the assessment.

There will be different modules available depending on the course you would like to take and your current ALEKS score. It is important that you are careful in your selection of the Learning Module as you will not be able to change it after you have begun the module. Based on your ALEKS score, you will be recommended a specific module.

There is no fee for the Prep and Learning Modules. You must spend a minimum of 5 hours on the recommended Prep and Learning Module in order to retake the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment.

Your progress in the Prep and Learning Module does not affect your ALEKS score. You must repeat the assessment in order to change your ALEKS score and improve your math placement.


16. I only missed the cut-off by a few points. Can I be bumped up to the next level?

The prerequisites for each course are clearly set forth by the Department of Mathematics. Fortunately, you may spend time in the ALEKS Prep and Learning Modules to review certain topics. It is very likely that your work on the recommended ALEKS Prep and Learning Module will allow you to increase your ALEKS score once you repeat the assessment.


17. I took an ALEKS assessment through another college or university. Will the University of Miami accept my score?

No. UM does not accept ALEKS scores from other colleges or universities.


18. Can I get credit for a MTH class based on my ALEKS score?

No. The ALEKS score will determine your appropriate placement, but credit will not be granted in any course.


19. Will my score on ALEKS show on my official records or UM transcripts?

No. Your ALEKS score is used for math placement purposes only and will not be reflected on your transcript. The Department will keep records of your exam, but it will not affect your permanent record in any way.