FAQs and Troubleshooting

Calculated Success

Having Problems?

If you have trouble taking the assessment, please contact ALEKS customer support:

Phone: 714-619-7090
E-mail: http://support.aleks.com
Website: http://www.aleks.com/faqs/technical

Refer to ALEKS Technical Support at www.aleks.com/faqs/technical/ if you have problems with the plug-in.

FAQs

Where do I go to access the WSU ALEKS Assessment?

The assessment is online. Take the Assessment

When should I take the ALEKS Assessment?

New freshmen and transfer students should complete their assessments before coming to New Student Orientation or any visits with your advisor. The sooner you take it, the more opportunity there will be for you to review and re-test if you are not satisfied with your placement..

Is ALEKS available in Spanish?

Yes, it is. Once you are in ALEKS, many topics are available in both English and Spanish. Simply click next to “English” in the main menu and pull down to “Español.”

What if my computer crashes while taking the assessment?

If you have computer problems, you should be able to log back into the ALEKS Assessment and resume testing. When you log on again, ALEKS will bring you to the point at which you left off.

What type of computer do I need to use?

The ALEKS Assessment requires a browser that is Java-enabled, and you must install the ALEKS plug-in described below. The assessment may be taken on a PC (Windows) or Mac (OS10 or higher), using any of the following browsers: Explorer 6.0 or higher, Firefox 1.5 or higher, or Safari. Additional information is online at www.aleks.com/support/system_requirements

How many questions are on the assessment?

Generally, students are asked 20 to 30 questions. None of the questions are multiple-choice. Students who are unable to answer many of the first questions may end up with a shorter assessment.

Once I answer a question, can I go back and change my answer?

No. Once you submit an answer, you cannot change it. It is important that you take your time to answer each question to the best of your ability.

How is my score calculated?

There are a number of topics on the ALEKS Assessment. In a relatively short period of time (about 90 minutes to two hours for most students), ALEKS assesses the percentage of the student’s current knowledge of topics from Prep for Calculus (how many of the total topics has the student already mastered) by asking a small number of questions (usually 20-30). ALEKS chooses each question on the basis of a student’s answers to all the previous questions. Each student, and therefore each set of assessment questions, is unique.

It is impossible to predict the questions that will be asked. By the time a student has completed the assessment, ALEKS has developed a precise picture of his or her knowledge of the course, and has identified which topics in the course the student has and has not mastered. An overview of how ALEKS works is available online at www.aleks.com/about_aleks/overview.

Do I need to install any plug-ins prior to taking the ALEKS Assessment?

Yes.

  • Close all documents and programs on your computer except your browser.
  • Go to the main ALEKS web page at www.aleks.com.
  • Press the DOWNLOADS link at the upper right. Follow the instructions to install the necessary software on your computer.
  • After installation of the ALEKS plug-in, restart (reboot) your computer.

ALEKS is cross-platform accessible. If there is difficulty installing the plug-in see: www.aleks.com/faqs/technical. For troubles related to Next Generation Java, see www.aleks.com/faqs/technical#Java_Next_Generation.

Is there a fee for taking this test?

Yes, there is a $45 WSU Placement Package fee that includes: initial ALEKS Placement Assessment, 6 week review module, and unlimited re-tests. The package is valid for one year from the date of your initial assessment.

How many times may I take the ALEKS assessment?

You may retake the placement assessment up to four times. 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. In fact, you are required to spend 3 hours in the Prep and Learning module before the first re-assessment and an additional 5 hours in the Prep and Learning Module before the second re-assessment.

All re-assessments for WSU Tri-Cities students are proctored on the WSU Tri-Cities campus. Registration is required.

How long are my ALEKS Assessment scores valid?

Scores are valid for 12 months.

I took an ALEKS Assessment through another institution. Can I use this score at WSU?

No. WSU has a customized assessment specific to WSU mathematics courses, which is different from assessments offered through other institutions.
I just want to repeat my last math course. Do I need to take the ALEKS Assessment?

If your last math course was at WSU (and you withdrew, did not pass with a high enough grade, or wish to receive a grade replacement), you generally should still be able to register for that course; however, if too much time has elapsed and the ALEKS Assessment score that got you into that course has expired, you may have to first take the ALEKS Assessment (even if you already took it in the past).

How can I find out what score I need on the ALEKS Assessment?

Review the information on the WSU Math Placement Chart (link to Math Placement Chart pdf) to see what score you need.

What if I have College Math credits, like AP, IB, or Running Start credits?

Freshmen: All freshman students are encouraged to take the placement test and can talk to their academic advisor at orientation. Transfer credits will still count, but students need to know whether or not they seem to be prepared for WSU Math. The purpose of our placement process is to determine, based on your mathematical background and current mathematical ability, which math courses are appropriate for you. Past experience shows that the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment may be the clearest indicator. If you have math transfer credits and place below the level you need for a particular math course, please see an advisor in your department. Remember, placement is about being successful, not skipping courses. If the placement test places you below the level that you want, you need to review or possibly need to take a lower level course, in order to be more successful in your WSU Math course.

Transfers: All students who wish to enroll in a WSU Math course at or below the Calculus I level are encouraged to take the WSU ALEKS Math Placement Test. In particular, if your math credits were completed more than 18 months ago, we recommend that you take the placement assessment.

What if I retest and do worse?

If a previous WSU ALEKS Math Placement test score resulted in a higher WSU math placement, the system will keep the higher score, unless the score has expired. Test scores are valid for one year.

Where does my score appear?

Your score is automatically added to your WSU student profile which is accessible by your advisor. When you complete the assessment you will have a report identifying topics you know at this time, what you are ready to learn next, and, at the very bottom, the percentage you earned. We strongly recommend that you print this report and keep a copy of it. It is only available right after you finish the assessment. Once you log off, it is no longer available. This report not only contains your score, but also information that will help you review before re-testing if you are not happy with your score. Your advisor will also be interested in seeing this report.

What can I do if my score does not place me where I would like to start?

You have one of three choices:

    You may review the topics you have forgotten in an attempt to improve your score by using the 6-week Learning Module part of your package. The learning module has to be accessed via the same way you accessed the placement assessment, namely through ALEKS Assessment.
    You many retake the ALEKS placement assessment up to four times. However, re-assessments must be proctored on the WSU Tri-Cities campus.
    Reconsider your plans and start your math at WSU in a course for which you are prepared as assessed by the ALEKS Math Placement assessment.

Tri-Cities Program Administrator

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Jana Kay LunstadAcademic Affairs CoordinatorWest 263C509-372-7125