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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the UNC Mathematics Placement Assessment?

The 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 your placement score and eventual course outcomes.

What Is The Prep And Learning Module?

The ALEKS Prep and Learning Module is a resource that will assist you in learning material that you may have missed or forgotten. 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.

I Have a Disability That May Require Accommodations. Can ALEKS Be Adjusted To Fit My Needs?

Please read through ALL of the information about how to take the UNC Mathematics Placement Assessment. If you still believe you need testing accommodations to take the math placement assessment, please contact Disability Resource Center at (970) 351-2289.  The University will work together with you to determine the best way to meet your math placement accommodation needs. 

How Long Will The Assessment Take?

Be sure you are ready to take your assessment prior to logging on. Set aside at least a 2-hour block of time in which to complete the assessment. You may finish the assessment in 90 minutes or less, but allow 2 hours. There will be a maximum of 30 questions.

ALEKS Is Asking Me For a Course Access Code, What Do I Do?

Even though you did not receive an error message, this likely means that you incorrectly entered your log-in information. Make sure you have the correct log-in credentials and try again. If you're still having problems, please contact us for help (see below for details).

What Materials Do I Need To Take The Assessment?

You will need only a pencil and paper. 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 a Calculator On The Assessment?

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 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.

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.

How Long Do I have to Complete The Assessment?

You have 48 hours to complete a placement assessment once it has begun.

Can I Practice Using ALEKS Before I Begin Placement?

ALEKS will begin with a brief tutorial before your placement begins. You may spend additional time practicing before starting your first assessment.

Can I Retake The Assessment?

You must wait 48 hours between placement assessments. There is generally no benefit to re-taking the assessment immediately after completing a prior attempt. In addition, you must complete 3 hours of work in the learning module before you can take the second or third re-take assessment.  ALEKS is available for re-takes up to six months after your initial assessment.

How Long Is My Placement Result Valid?

18 months.

What Does My Placement Result Mean?

Your placement result is the highest score on the ALEKS assessment based on your initial assessment and any retakes. Your result will be used during New Student Orientation to help advise you into an appropriate Mathematics or Statistics Course.  The appropriate course will depend on your level of preparation and on the courses required by your intended major.

Since we know you may be curious about what your placement result indicates, we are providing result guidelines based on the experiences at UNC and other institutions. These guidelines will not entirely determine your placement into a math course.  The choice of the most appropriate course for you will be made when you attend Orientation and are advised at the math placement session.

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.

I Have Questions That Aren't Answered Here.

We would love to answer your questions. We can be reached by email at Math.Placement@unco.edu (preferred) or you can contact the mathematics office at (970) 351-2827