Taking a Placement Assessment FAQ

In response to COVID-19, VCU has temporarily waived proctored ALEKS PPL assessments. You are able to complete an un-proctored assessment to receive a Math Placement Score. The Respondus Lockdown Browser is required. You may disregard any references to proctored assessment until the situtation returns to normal.

What is the format of the questions on ALEKS? ALEKS is NOT a multiple-choice Placement Assessment. It is open-response and requires you to work out solutions with a paper and pencil, then enter them into ALEKS. You will be provided with scratch paper when you take a Proctored Math Placement Assessment at the Campus Learning Center. The scratch paper will be collected when you complete the Math Placement Assessment.

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.

May I use any other resources during a Math Placement Assessment? No, you may only use a pen or pencil, paper, and the resources provided within ALEKS. You should not receive assistance from friends, family, other websites, textbooks, or any other resource not provided by ALEKS. Using other resources will lead to improper placement and potentially course failure. Using other resources while taking a proctored Math Placement Assessment is a violation of the VCU Honor Code.

Can I review a question after I’ve answered it? No, because ALEKS is adaptive, once you submit an answer, you cannot change it. Be sure to carefully check your answer before submitting your response.

What if I see questions I don’t know? It is likely that you will be asked questions on material you have not yet learned. On such questions it is appropriate to answer, I don’t know. On any question that you have familiarity with, however, it is important to do your best. I don’t know is interpreted by ALEKS to mean that you do not know how to solve the topic, and this will be reflected in the Math Placement Assessment results. There is no penalty for incorrectly answering a question on the Math Placement Assessment, it only helps ALEKS understand what you know and don’t know.

Are Math Placement Assessments timed? Yes, You will have 2 hours to complete a Math Placement Assessment once it has begun. You must complete the Math Placement Assessment in one setting under proctored conditions.

How soon may I take the next Math Placement Assessments? There is a 24 hour “cooling off” period between assessments. Beginning with the second assessment, you will also need to spend time in the Prep and Learning Module before you may take the next assessment.

What happens if I do not complete a Math Placement Assessment in the allotted time? The Math Placement Assessment ends and you will be given a placement result.