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ALEKS PPL: Placement, Preparation & Learning

USU uses the ALEKS PPL tool for student placement and provide students with resources to help them succeed in meeting their Math requirements.

What is ALEKS PPL?

ALEKS PPL is an adaptive learning and assessment platform used by millions of students around the world. ALEKS PPL uses adaptive, open-response questioning to rapidly and accurately assess each student on a wide range of course material in 30 questions or fewer.

How does ALEKS work?

ALEKS begins with an initial assessment, which can be taken unproctored as a practice exam, or proctored as an official attempt to place into a math course at USU. Your initial assessment will provide a score that will tell you what USU math and stats courses you would place into. Your initial assessment will also identify concepts that you know and do not know. Students will then have a chance to work on identified weaknesses through a targeted Prep and Learning Module before trying additional attempts at placement assessments.
  • If you choose to take the initial assessment as an unproctored practice exam, then you can take the assessment at home or anywhere else you have access to the internet. It is important to know that you cannot use an unproctored practice exam score to place into a USU math course. There is no advantage to getting a high score that is obtained by getting help from someone else, looking up information on the internet or other resources, using your own calculator for problems where ALEKS does not already provide a calculator, or using any other non-ALEKS resource in order to increase your score. The ALEKS learning modules will only be helpful if the information from your initial assessment truly reflects your current math skills and understanding.
  • If possible and convenient, it is recommended that you take your first assessment as a proctored assessment rather than as a practice assessment. If your initial assessment is proctored, then your score from that initial placement can be used to place you into a USU math course.

How many times can I take the placement exam?

Each student has four placement attempts, if the first attempt is an unproctored practice attempt, and five placement attempts if the first attempt is proctored. Each assessment contains 30 questions and requires approximately 90 minutes to complete. Scores from each attempt are uploaded into Banner within 24 business hours to allow registration into Math and Stats courses. Each student’s highest official score (a score from a proctored assessment) will be used for placement.

When should I take the placement exam?

Students need to take ALEKS PPL prior to the start of the semester in which they plan to take a math course. Scores can be used for registration into math courses for up to one year from the day in which they were earned.

What score do I need to get on the placement exam?

Representatives from the Department of Math and Developmental Math consulted with ALEKS representatives to establish cut scores for USU courses. These scores are consistent with those used by similar institutions teaching similar courses and have been vetted by millions of students using ALEKS PPL for placement.
Minimum ALEKS Test Score USU Courses You Will Be Authorized to Register For
0 MATH 0950
14 MATH 0995
STAT 1045
30 STAT 1040
46 MATH 1050
MATH 1051
52 MATH 1060
55 MATH 2010
MATH 2020
STAT 2000
STAT 2300
61 MATH 1100
76 MATH 1210

How do I access ALEKS?

Students can access ALEKS through a link in their USU Banner account. You will have to sign-in to your account and click on the Math Placement Exam (ALEKS) link.

Directions to Banner

What happens after I sign-up for ALEKS?

A student is given access to a total of five assessments that must be completed within one year, as well as six (6) months of access to the individualized learning modules.

Where can I take a proctored placement exam?

Students in Logan can take a proctored placement assessment at the Logan testing center located on the south side of the Merrill-Cazier Library.  Students who do not live close to Logan can take the exams at any regional campus USU testing center or with any USU-approved proctor. For more information on taking a proctored exam at USU, finding a proctor near your home, or requesting approval for a proctor, please call 1-855-834-2370.