Taking a Placement Assessment FAQ

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 proctored Math Placement Assessment once it has begun. You must complete the Math Placement Assessment in one setting under proctored conditions.

You have 24 hours to complete the unproctored Initial Math Placement Assessment once it has begun. If you need to exit the Initial Math Placement Assessment for any reason, you will be able to log back in and pick up where you left off if done within 24 hours of starting the Initial Math Placement Assessment. If you have not completed the Initial Math Placement Assessment within 24 hours, you will have to restart the Initial Math Placement Assessment.

How soon may I take the next Math Placement Assessments? There is a 24 hour “cooling off” period between assessments. After 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? If the Math Placement Assessment is not proctored, you will have to restart the Placement Assessment. If the incomplete Math Placement Assessment is proctored you will be given a placement result, but it will not be a true reflection of your abilities.