ALEKS Frequently Asked Questions
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What is the ALEKS mathematics assessment?

Mercyhurst University requires an ALEKS mathematics placement assessment to determine readiness for various courses. The ALEKS placement assessment covers material from basic mathematics through precalculus and will take approximately 90 minutes to complete.

At the end of the assessment, you will instantly receive your score, as well as a better understanding of your mathematical skills. This is an assessment designed to determine what you know in order to best serve your academic success at Mercyhurst University. It's important that you take the test honestly, using only the tools provided within ALEKS itself, so that the assessment can measure your readiness level as accurately as possible. Don't think of it as a test, think of it as a personal math advisor.

Read more about the ALEKS assessment on the ALEKS site.

Do I have to take the assessment?

You may need to take the mathematics assessment if: You may not need to take the mathematics assessment if:

What will I need to take the assessment?

You will need: You will not need: When you're ready, keeping reading for information on how to get started.

How do I take the assessment?

Go to the ALEKS website at Choose SIGN UP NOW, even if you have already taken the ALEKS placement test.

Enter Class Code


and click Continue. This code is updated for the 2022 calendar year.

You should see the following confirmation details:

class code h j h m 3 - y c x 9 p class current students jan to dec 2022 subject higher education math placement institution mercyhurst university
If that looks correct, continue on and select “No, I have never used ALEKS before” (even if you have - you may not use the same account you may have accessed before beginning classes at Mercyhurst).

Enter your information to create your account. You must use your Mercyhurst email in order for your scores to be recognized by the registrar. Choose a memorable password and agree to the terms of use, then continue. Note your username and continue.

Select “No, I need to purchase an access code.” You will be taken to a screen asking for additional information, and asked to pay a fee of about $17 (plus tax) using a credit or debit card.

Complete your registration, and begin the guided tour of ALEKS before starting the assessment.

What does my score actually mean?

Your ALEKS assessment score will be a number between 0 and 100. It should not be interpreted as a percentage of how many questions you answered correctly. You can answer several questions incorrectly and receive a high score, or answer almost all questions correctly and receive a low score.

ALEKS is designed to find exactly what skills you have, and what topics you'll need to learn. The score reflects which topics you've mastered. Generally, a score between 0 and 50 reflects your understanding of algebraic concepts. Scores between 50 and 70 indicate strength in algebra, but that you may be unfamiliar with trigonometry and special functions like logarithms. Scores over 70 suggest an understanding of algebra and additional skills required for calculus.

Your assessment will be personalized to you, so every student will receive different questions from a variety of topics. After completing the assessment, you'll be able to see a report of exactly what skills ALEKS has determined you have mastered, and where you could use some more practice.

I have my score, what class can I take?

Your score can tell you which class you're ready for, and in some cases, it might mean you don't have to take a math course at all. Enter your score here to find out more.
You can find your score in your ALEKS account, or under the "Test Scores" tab in Self Service.

For a score of :
Always check with your academic advisor(s) when planning courses.

Can I try the assessment again if I need a better score?

Yes, you can retake the assessment at any time for a chance at a better score. Your account will have 5 attempts at the assessment, which will expire after your account is a year old - so don't wait too long!

After the first or second try, you may want to spend some time in the included practice area of ALEKS. This will appear after your first attempt, when ALEKS has had a chance to see what you already know. The tutorials will be targeted to help you fill in any weak spots in your math skills, giving you the best chance at a better score as soon as possible.

I still have questions, who can I ask?

For questions about mathematics course placement options, how to access the placement assessment, or whether or not you'll need to take the assessment, contact Dr. Lauren Williams.

For questions about what math courses you'll need for your graduation requirements, and how to plan prerequisites, talk to your academic program advisor. You can find your advisor's name in Self Service.

If you lost your ALEKS password and would like to reset it, click here.

For technical issues with ALEKS, visit the ALEKS Support page.