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Test Center Information: ALEKS FAQ

ALEKS information

Guide to CWC ALEKS PPL Math Placement

Central Wyoming College 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 material, and to improve placement and eventual course outcomes.

All students are strongly encouraged to spend several hours using the ALEKS Prep and Learning Module. Even if you have achieved placement in your desired course, time spent in ALEKS will better prepare you for your upcoming course and ultimately lead to better grades.

First of all, RELAX.  This is an “assessment,” NOT A TEST. The difference is that an assessment is designed to determine what you know. 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. 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.  


Is there a fee for using ALEKS?

You will pay $15.00 for ALEKS Placement Assessment and learning modules for six months, with 12 months to take five assessment tests. There may be an extra fee if you need to use ALEKS after the initial one-year subscription has expired. 

Can I retake the ALEKS Placement Assessment?

Yes, you may take up to 5 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?

You can choose whether your ALEKS placement assessment is proctored or not, but ONLY proctored assessment results will be posted to your student record to be used for class placement. As you begin your ALEKS program, you should plan for an appointment for the first or second assessment with an authorized CWC test center. 

Can I retake the ALEKS Placement Assessment immediately?

You must wait 48 hours before attempting each retake.  There is generally 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 without spending time in the Prep and Learning Module to refresh material that you may have forgotten or to learn new material.

Must I work in my ALEKS Prep and Learning Module between placement assessments?

You are not required to work with ALEKS PPL between the first and second placement assessments, although it is highly recommended.  Between any subsequent assessments, you must work for at least 3 hours in your Prep and Learning Module.

Are placement assessments timed?

Yes. An un-proctored assessment must be completed within 48 hours once it has begun, or the assessment will have to be retaken. You are allowed a maximum of 3 hours to complete Proctored assessments.

How long will a placement assessment take to complete?

Placement assessments require approximately 90 minutes to complete, but the amount of time will vary by student. There will be a maximum of 30 questions.

May I use a calculator while using ALEKS?

ALEKS will provide an on-screen calculator if you need one to complete a particular problem. Otherwise, you may not use a calculator.

What happens if I do not complete a placement assessment in the allotted time?

If the placement assessment is not proctored, you will have to restart the assessment. If the incomplete assessment is proctored and timed, you will be given a placement result at the end of the allotted time, but it may underestimate your true ability.

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 friends, family, other websites, textbooks, or any other resource not provided by ALEKS. 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 the latest proctored assessment taken at a CWC campus. Placement is determined by your score and the requirements your course of study as discussed with your advisor.

What if I placed into the class I wanted?

Congratulations! Continue to use your Prep and Learning Module to improve your chances for success. The placement result above is the minimum preparation required for your course! Take advantage of the targeted review and learning features in ALEKS to get a better grade in your class. 

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.

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.

How long is my placement result valid?

Your placement result is valid for 24 months. After that you will need to repeat the test.

Can I change to a different Prep and Learning Module later?

No, you may only use one Prep and Learning Module. If you are unsure which module to select, Check with your advisor, your instructor, or use the module recommended by ALEKS.

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. If you intend to wait before starting to work on it, don’t push the button until you are ready to start.

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

Access to a Prep and Learning Module for 6 months is included, along with up to 5 placement assessments to be taken within 12 months of your first assessment. If, after that, you wish to continue with the same Prep and Learning Module, or take a higher Module, you will be required to pay an additional fee.

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. These are not the same as the placement assessments and are not proctored.

Does progress in an ALEKS Prep and Learning Module count toward placement?

No, you must complete a new, proctored placement assessment on a CWC campus to change your placement result. Click on the placement tab on the upper right of the page from within ALEKS if you want to take a placement assessment. Only your results for a proctored placement assessment taken on a CWC campus will be used for course placement.

How do I begin using ALEKS?

Log into

Where can I get help with ALEKS?

Contact your Central Wyoming College Test Center:

Riverton: 307-855-2298

Lander:   307-332-3394

Jackson: 307-733-7425

Dubois:   307-455-2625


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