Placement Guidance Webpage Information

The University of Texas at San Antonio requires an ALEKS mathematics placement assessment to determine readiness for entry into Precalculus (MAT 1093) and (or) Calculus (MAT 1214) courses.

The ALEKS Placement Assessment covers material from Basic Math through Precalculus 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 first un-proctored 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.  From the time incoming students take the ALEKS they are bound by UTSA’s Honor Code available to read at: http://catalog.utsa.edu/informationbulletin/appendices/studentcodeofconduct/

If you are not sure if a behavior or act that you are considering engaging in is considered dishonest on the ALEKS assessment, please ask the staff in Testing Services at: testinfo@utsa.edu.

Who must take the ALEKS Placement Assessment?

All students majoring in Science or Engineering will take ALEKS.  All other majors take the UTSA math placement exam which is paper bound and available for registration through the Testing Services Registration link in ASAP under:  “Advanced Math Placement”.

Is there a fee for using ALEKS?

Use of ALEKS requires a $40 fee charged to your student account for your initial assessment, additional attempts beyond the un-proctored assessment and one proctored assessment may incur additional testing fees.

Can I retake the ALEKS Placement Assessment?

Yes, you may take 2 additional placement assessments after the initial proctored assessment, each at a $15 charge. 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?

ALEKS provides one un-proctored and three proctored attempts.  The un-proctored is taken at home but should exactly replicate the proctored environment in terms of time limit and level of calculator as well as no other aids.  The un-proctored assessment is for student study use only and is not used in course placement.  Students must take a proctored assessment in ALEKS for course placement purposes at UTSA Testing Services or at one of the approved ALEKS testing center sites on their partner website.

Can I retake the ALEKS Placement Assessment immediately?

You must wait 48 hours between proctored placement assessments. 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?

Yes, for 3 hours between the 1st and 2nd proctored placement assessments and for 5 between the 2nd and final 3rd proctored assessment.

Are the Proctored placement assessments timed?

Yes, you have 2 hours and 30 minutes to complete a placement assessment once it has begun.

How long should a Proctored 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 un-proctored, you will have to restart the assessment. If the incomplete assessment is proctored and timed, you will be given a placement result, 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 your best UTSA driven, ALEKS proctored assessment.  Course placement is determined as follows:

0-29% MAT 0203 Basic Mathematics
30-44% MAT 0213  Intermediate Algebra
45-49% 1023,1033,10431053 College Algebra Applications, Algebra with Calculus for Business, Intro. to Mathematics, Mathematics for Business
50-69% 1073 Algebra for Scientists and Engineers
70-74% 1093,1133 PreCalculus, Calculus for Business
75-79% 1193 Calculus for Business
80-100% 1214 Calculus I

 

How long is my placement result valid?

Your placement result is valid for one year from the time of your proctored assessment.

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.

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

Access to a Prep and Learning Module is included along with one proctored placement assessment.  If a student requires a 2nd or 3rd assessment there are additional fees.

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.

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

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

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,  Use the module recommended by ALEKS.

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 proctored ALEKS placement assessment with UTSA to improve your placement result as long as there are attempts remaining within the three allowed attempts.

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.

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.

Where can I get help with ALEKS?

http://www.aleks.com/faqs/technical

http://support.aleks.com/assess_placement

[Here, you can include an Overview Summary to help guide your students through ALEKS. The PDF document can be found in the Training section of ALEKS PPL; it is available for download after clicking on the “Training” link in the top navigation within the Administrator Module.]

How do I begin using ALEKS?

Log into ASAP, click on the Student Services tab then click on the Testing Services Test Registration link, finally click on the ALEKS link.  Students must enter their UTSA ABC123 as their ID number.  If any other number is submitted then the test result may be nullified.

Where do I take the ALEKS proctored Assessment?

At the UTSA Testing Services Office, Multiple Disciplinary Studies Building, suite 1.01.04.  Register for a time/date testing slot in ASAP, under Student Services tab, Testing Services Test Registration link, then choose a Proctored ALEKS time/date.

Can I test at a site other than UTSA Testing Services?

Yes, there are a few ALEKS testing sites in Texas, please see the list at:

https://www.aleks.com/highered/Testing_Centers_040118.pdf

Students are responsible for additional site fees beyond the UTSA ALEKS fee when accessing the services of other testing sites therefore the overall fee to the student will be higher.