ALEKS Math Placement Test
Most math courses at Sauk Valley Community College have a prerequisite that may be met using prior course work or a qualifying math score on a college entrance examination. SVCC uses the ALEKS math placement test for all students who are not able to meet the prerequisite of a course by other means. ALEKS is a web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system that uses adaptive questioning to determine the extent of your mathematical knowledge. All ALEKS questions are in free response format, not multiple choice, and everyone’s results will be different.
After the first practice attempt in ALEKS, you will get a detailed pie chart (like the one below) of your current mathematical knowledge.
There is really no penalty for incorrectly answering a question. Instead, the ALEKS Placement Test is designed to determine what you know. At the end of the test, you will have a much better sense of your strengths and weaknesses. You will also have the opportunity to review and brush up your skills in a Prep & Learning Module. These Prep & Learning Modules will be available for six months from the time you start them. Completing the modules helps you prepare for your second (proctored) ALEKS attempt, and for your subsequent math courses. This video provides a very good introduction to ALEKS. This pdf will provide a step by step for registration, practice, and proctored exams.
Steps for using ALEKS
Step 1: Your first attempt at the ALEKS Placement Test.
Test 1, your first attempt at the ALEKS Placement Test, is unproctored. You may use an SVCC computer in an open computer lab or a personal computer. The result of Test 1 will not be counted in your student record, but it is used to help determine topics in your Prep & Learning Module and can therefore affect your eventual placement. All ALEKS Placement Tests consist of 25 to 30 questions, and average completion time is about 2 hours. Before beginning the test, ALEKS will walk you through a quick tutorial on how to use the system, including how to enter your answers, use the graphing tool, and use the on-screen calculator. Also, because your answers help ALEKS determine what to ask you next, you cannot review an answer once it has been submitted.
It is important that you use only the resources provided by ALEKS. You should not use any textbooks, websites, friends, family, or a personal calculator. ALEKS will provide an on-screen calculator as needed, but it will not appear on every problem. Non-permitted use of these resources may gain you entry into a course for which you are not prepared. Please note, you must have your SVCC student ID to create your account. Follow this link to take your practice exam anytime, anywhere.
Step 2: Interpret your score.
When you have finished Test 1, you will receive a placement result and pie chart similar to that above. The pie chart represents the number of topics that you have mastered in each subject group. The score does not represent the percentage of questions answered correctly but the percentage of the total topics that you have mastered. You can use the score chart below to see where you might place when you complete a proctored test in an approved testing center. Here is a list of Math course descriptions.
You will not be permitted to enroll in any courses above your score range, but may enroll in courses below your score range.
ALEKS Score Range
ACT Math Scores
& 4 years of college preparatory high school mathematics or Math 3 with grades of "C" or higher (including trigonometry)
AND Geometry *
AND Geometry *
AND Geometry *
*High School geometry with a C or better in both semesters or MAT 076 with a grade of C or better, or appropriate geometry placement score.
Step 3: Use The Prep and Learning Module.
After taking Test 1, you will have the opportunity to use the Prep & Learning Modules for six months, to review those mathematical topics you are ready to review and learn. This will help you place into your preferred mathematics course when you take Test 2. ALEKS will recommend a Prep & Learning Module for you. We suggest that you choose either the module recommended or perhaps one level up if you feel confident in this choice. Be careful when making this choice because you can only make it once. The ALEKS Prep & Learning Module keeps track of your progress as you work through the problems. This process in ALEKS has been designed to improve your performance on the placement test and in your future math classes. You access the Prep & Learning Module the same way you did Test 1.
Step 4: Take Test 2.
Test 2 is your first proctored test. To schedule this test, stop by the Testing Center in 1G04, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (815) 835-6530. Bring your student ID and password with you to your testing appointment. When you are finished with the test, print your results. You will receive a score report form from the front desk explaining what your score means.
*When scheduling give yourself plenty of time to check in and complete your exam (Minimum of 2 hours prior to the close of day). All exams will be stopped and collected ten minutes prior to the close of day.
Step 5: Retake the placement test (if you want).
If you are not satisfied with your placement score from Test 2, you may take the ALEKS Placement Test again. At least 3 hours must be spent in the Prep & Learning Module before taking Test 3, but the more time spent, the higher the likelihood of your desired course placement. Test 3 will become available the day after you have taken Test 2, so that you can have time to study. Only one proctored attempt per year is free. If you want to retake ALEKS for a score within the first year, pay the $15 fee in the SVCC Business Office and inform Testing Center staff that this is a retest when you schedule the test.
Step 6: Enroll in a mathematics course.
Within 24 hours of taking an ALEKS Placement Test, your score will be loaded into the student information system. Once your registration window opens, you can enroll in the courses that match your placement score as listed in the chart above. Choose the course that best suits your educational goals, keeping in mind that you are responsible for all of the prerequisite knowledge for that course. If you have never taken the prerequisite course, you might conclude that you need to take it even though your placement score allows you to take the higher level course.
All placement results expire after two years, so you should register for your course within a year of taking the placement test. (Of course, with math, the sooner, the better!) Also, the Prep & Learning Module is available for 6 months from the time that you start using it. Once enrolled in a math course, you may continue to use the Prep and Learning Module to strengthen your math skills.
Acceptable Forms of ID
- Government issued photo ID
- State issued photo ID
- Student ID
Additional study material can be found at the websites listed below.
If you have trouble creating your account and taking your practice exam please refer to the ALEKS PLACEMENT Account Guide
If you would like additional help please contact the Learning Commons in room 3L1 or by telephone at (815)835-6293
When preparing to take your exams at the SVCC Testing Center, please be aware of our hours. When scheduling, give yourself plenty of time to check in and complete your exam (Minimum of 2 hours prior to the close of day). All exams will be stopped and collected ten minutes prior to the close of day.
*The ALEKS Exam can only be retaken one time in a calendar year from your first attempt.