ALEKS Math Placement Assessment

Note: Please login to the Penguin Portal to begin the ALEKS Placement Test at YSU

What is ALEKS?

ALEKS is a Web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system. ALEKS uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine exactly what a student knows and doesn't know in a course. ALEKS then instructs the student on the topics she is most ready to learn. As a student works through a course, ALEKS periodically reassesses the student to ensure that topics learned are also retained.

Youngstown State University requires an ALEKS mathematics placement assessment to determine readiness for various courses. The ALEKS Placement Assessment covers material from Basic Math through Pre-calculus 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 the material, and to improve placement and eventual course outcomes.

First of all, RELAX.  This is an “assessment,” NOT A TEST. The difference is that an assessment is designed to determine what you know and what you still need to learn. 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 through the Prep and Learning module included with the ALEKS program. 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. Please see the YSU code of conduct for more information about academic honesty: The Student Code of Conduct

Who has to take the ALEKS Placement Assessment?

All students who do not have current ACT/SAT scores.  All students whose ACT Math scores are less than 27 or SAT Math scores are less than 740.

Is there a fee for using ALEKS?

There is a $20.00 access fee for the use of ALEKS.  This fee will be applied to your YSU bill.

Can I retake the ALEKS Placement Assessment?

Yes, you may take up to three placement assessments. However, to make each attempt worthwhile, it is important that you spend time working in your ALEKS Prep and Learning Module in between placement assessments so that you can improve your skills.

Are ALEKS Placement Assessments proctored?

Students must take their ALEKS Assessments in a proctored environment.  You may click on "Schedule a Test" to take a test at the YSU Testing Center. If you live more than an hour away from YSU, please email for assistance.  

Can I retake the ALEKS Placement Assessment immediately?

You must wait a minimum of 48 hours between placement assessments. There is 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 re-taking the assessment.  You must spend time in the Prep and Learning Module to refresh material that you may have forgotten or to learn new material.

Am I required to work in my ALEKS Prep and Learning Module between placement assessments?

Yes, all students are required to study for a minimum of ten hours in the ALEKS Prep and Learning Module between the first and second assessment.    If you require a third assessment, there will be another ten hour minimum of preparation required in the Prep and Learning Module between the second assessment and third assessment.

Are placement assessments timed?

Yes, you have 2 hours to complete a placement assessment once it has begun.

May I use a calculator while using ALEKS?

ALEKS will provide an on-screen calculator as warranted. Otherwise, you may not use a personal calculator.

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 other websites, textbooks, or any other resource not provided by your exam proctor.  You are prohibited from using cell phones, tablets or other electronic devices during a placement assessment. Using outside resources may lead to improper placement and ultimately course failure.

What is my placement result?

Your placement result is your percentage mastery on your best assessment.

Course placement is determined as follows:

Placement Results

            Math Level

ALEKS PPL Cutscore

Math Course

Placement Notes

               Math Level 10


MATH 2623C Corequisite Support for Quantitative Reasoning 

MATH 2651C Corequisite Support for Mathematics for Early Childhood Teachers  

STAT 2625C Corequisite Support for Statistical Literacy and Crit Reasoning

CLASS, CCAC, and most HHS and BCOE majors.  Developmental Placement –  These courses are intended to provide corequisite support for students requiring remediation in mathematics while they are concurrently enrolled in Math 2623, Math 2651 or STAT 2625.  These credits do not count toward degree programs. Students in these majors should continue in the ALEKS PPL Prep and Learning Module. 


Math 1505

Intermediate Algebra with Applications  


Math, Science or Business majors. 

This course is intended to prepare students for their college-level mathematics requirement. Developmental Placement - These credits do not count toward degree programs.  Students in these majors should continue in the ALEKS PPL Prep and Learning Module. 

               Math Level 20


Math 1510C

College Algebra Corequisite



Math, Science or Business majors only. This course provides corequisite support for students requiring remediation in mathematics while they are concurrently enrolled in MATH 1510 (College Algebra). Emphasis will be placed on prerequisite skills needed for college algebra as well as just in time review through the use of appropriate technology.These credits do not count toward Math, Science or Business degree programs. Students in these majors should continue in the ALEKS PPL Prep and Learning Module.

Math 2623 Survey

of Math (GER);

Math 2625 Statistical Literacy and Critical Reasoning (GER);

Math 2651/2652 Mathematics for Early Childhood Teachers (GER)

CLASS, CCAC, and most HHS and BCOE majors.  This is a placement into the General Education Requirement (GER) math courses indicated by your major.  No test is necessary. Consult with an academic advisor for more information.


              Math Level 35



Math 1564/2665 – Foundations for Middle School Mathematics (GER)

BCOE middle childhood math and special education majors only:  General Education Requirement (GER) Math courses indicated by your major.

Math 1510

College Algebra (GER)

Math 1511

Trigonometry (GER)


STEM, STEM Education majors, and HHS Forensic Science and Exercise Science majorsmay take the college algebra or trigonometry courses indicated.

               Math Level 45


Math 1513

Pre-Calculus (GER)

Math 1552

Business Math (GER)

STEM, STEM Education majors, Business and HHS Forensic Science majors may take the pre-calculus course.

               Math Level 70


Math 1570

Applied Calculus (GER)

Math 1571

Calculus 1 (GER)

All majors:  No Math test required. 

Consult with an academic advisor for more information.


How long is my placement result valid?

Your placement result is valid for 12 months.

 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 six months of access from the time that you start using your Prep and Learning module.  Do not start your Prep and Learning Module until you are ready to spend some time working on the practice problems in the module. Please note: if you let your module access expire you will not be able to test again without purchasing a new subscription.

 Is there an additional fee for my Prep and Learning Module?

No, there is no additional fee.  Access to a Prep and Learning Module is included along with 3 placement assessments.

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 toward 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.  Please use the module recommended by ALEKS.

What if I do not place into the course I wanted?

You can use a Prep and Learning Module to review and learn, and you may take another placement assessment to improve your placement result after completing and additional five hours minimum in the Prep and Learning Module.

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.

What if I placed into the class I wanted?

Congratulations! Continue to use your Prep and Learning Module to further prepare you for your course.  Take advantage of the targeted review and learning features in ALEKS to get a better grade in your class.

 Where can I get help with ALEKS?

ALEKS customer support, please phone or email:
Phone: (714) 619-7090 
Email Form:

How do I begin using ALEKS?

Please logon to the YSU Portal to begin the Aleks Math Placement Test.