ALEKS is used by the University to place students into a Math course. ACT and SAT scores, Advanced Placement (AP), or International Baccalaureate (IB) are other methods used to place into Math. ALEKS can be used as the initial placement tool, or to improve your placement.
The University uses ALEKS PPL for math placement only. Contact the Department of English for information about alternative placement options for first-year writing courses.
The University Testing Center staff is happy to assist you if you need help. You can contact us in either of the following ways:
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Call us at (775) 682-9940.
The University Testing Center has the following hours:
Monday–Friday: 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: Closed
If you contact us after hours, we will get back to you as soon as possible on the next business day.
ALEKS is an online, adaptive placement assessment; it is not a test. Taking ALEKS will give you and the University a comprehensive picture of your strengths and weaknesses across many areas of mathematics. It consists of three parts:
- an initial placement assessment
- a customized prep and learning module
- up to two additional placement assessments
Initial placement assessment
The purpose of the initial placement assessment is to gauge what skills you have mastered, and what skills you might need to brush up on. It is not necessary to study for the initial placement assessment. Do your best on the initial placement assessment, but do not cheat. Cheating may result in you being placed into a course that you are not prepared to pass. Also, cheating is a violation of the University’s academic standards policy.
After you complete the initial placement assessment, you will receive a score and placement into a math course.
Your score and placement results will be added automatically to MyNEVADA, which are accessible by your academic advisor. Please allow up to 24 hours for your results to appear.
Prep and learning module
After completing the initial placement assessment, ALEKS will provide you with a customized learning module to practice old or forgotten skills. If you decide you want to retake ALEKS, work in the learning module to brush up on your skills. Then make an appointment to retake ALEKS in person, or follow the steps to retake it remotely.
Additional placement assessments
You can retake ALEKS up to two additional times, for a total of three attempts. After each attempt, you will need to work in the learning module for a certain number of hours before you can take ALEKS again. Your ALEKS account remains active for one year, and you have access to the learning module for six months.
The placement process is complete when you
- achieve your desired placement result, or
- have taken the placement assessment three times.
ALEKS is adaptive. This means the program selects questions for you based on your answers to previous questions. The adaptive technique avoids asking you questions that are too easy or too far beyond your current state of readiness. The number of questions you receive may vary, but it will never be greater than 30.
Each ALEKS attempt must be proctored. You can take the placement assessment:
- in Reno, proctored in person at the University Testing Center on our main campus
- in Las Vegas, proctored in person at the Southern Nevada Office for Prospective Students
- from home, proctored remotely with a lockdown browser and webcam monitoring
There is no charge to take the placement assessment. If you take the initial placement assessment in person, you can retake it remotely, and vice versa.
Structure of the placement assessment
You will have three hours to take the placement assessment. Most students take between 60 and 90 minutes to complete. Because ALEKS is adaptive, you must answer each question before you can move on to the next question, and you cannot go back to previously answered questions. ALEKS is not multiple choice—it is open response and requires working answers out on paper, then entering them into the assessment.
As much as possible, avoid answering I don’t know. You usually know more than you think!
Availability of ALEKS
ALEKS is offered year-round. However, it is best to take ALEKS as soon as possible and prior to your registration and new student orientation.
If you feel that you need accommodation for your ALEKS placement assessment, please contact the Disability Resource Center (DRC) to speak with a specialist.
Get started with ALEKS PPL
You will need to set up your ALEKS account before taking the placement assessment.
Create your ALEKS account
To create an account with ALEKS simply log into MyNevada and select the ALEKS worklet on the home page. This worklet will automatically log you in through single sign-on (SSO) and take you to ALEKS where you will need to enter the class code below.
Enroll in a class
ALEKS will ask you to enroll in a class (you should see Add Class at the top of the screen). The class you enroll in depends on when you will be starting at the University.
Academic year 2023–2024
Class code: LM663-A3CJL
Enter the class code for your academic year, then click Continue. This will enroll you in Higher Education Math Placement for UNR for the given academic year.
Once you have enrolled, you will see Higher Education Math Placement in the list of classes on your ALEKS dashboard.
Survey and tutorial
After your ALEKS account is created, the first step is to take a brief survey and a tutorial. You can complete this right away, or you can wait until you are ready to take the placement assessment. Your survey responses will help the University and the Math department learn more about the backgrounds of first-year students. The tutorial will acquaint you with the ALEKS tools palette, which you will use during the placement assessment.
Logging into ALEKS
Because your ALEKS account is connected to your MyNevada account, you must log into ALEKS through MyNevada. You will not be able to log in at aleks.com. See the next section for the correct link.
Take your initial placement assessment
Academic standards policy
It is important to do your best on ALEKS, but do not cheat. Cheating on the placement assessment may place you into a course you are not prepared to pass, potentially resulting in poor grades or course failure, wasted tuition dollars, and delayed graduation. Also, cheating on the placement assessment is a violation of the academic standards policy.
Academic standards violations are reported to the Office of Student Conduct, and may result in the cancellation of your scores or further disciplinary action. The University’s academic standards policy (UAM 6,502) applies to all students and prospective students.
Don’t start your University career off on the wrong foot. Take the placement assessment seriously, be honest, and do your best.
All ALEKS assessments must be proctored. The procedures will differ depending on whether you take the placement assessment in Reno, Las Vegas, or remotely from home, but the general principles are the same for all.
- All students are expected to abide by the academic standards policy.
- You will need to have a valid photo ID.
- You may only use a pen or pencil, paper and the resources provided in ALEKS. No outside assistance or resources are permitted.
- ALEKS will provide an on-screen calculator if it is required for a particular question. Otherwise, you may not use a calculator.
- You will have three hours to take the placement assessment, but most students finish between 60 and 90 minutes.
In Reno, the placement assessment is administered at the University Testing Center on the main UNR campus.
Location and hours
The University Testing Center is located in the William J. Raggio Building, room 1003. We are located at the far north end of the 1st (ground) floor.
Our hours vary by semester, and we are occasionally closed for certain departmental or national testing days. Please check our hours of operation page for the most up-to-date information.
There is no charge to take the placement assessment in person in Reno.
Parking at the University can be challenging if you are unfamiliar with campus. There are a few parking options available:
- West Stadium Parking Complex (recommended): Seven-minute walk from the testing center; all-day parking for $6. Permit dispensers are located on Level 6 and accept cash and credit cards.
- Brian J. Whalen Parking Complex: One-minute walk from the testing center; hourly parking for $2 (four hours max). Permit dispensers are located on Level 1 and accept cash and credit cards.
- National Judicial College parking lot: Directly north of the National Judicial College Building on Evans Ave.; two-minute walk from the testing center; hourly parking for $2 (eight hours max). Permit dispenser is located at the southwest corner of the lot and accepts cash and credit cards.
Parking is enforced Monday through Friday. A permit is not required on weekends (except for spaces marked “Enforced 24/7”).
Appointments are required and you can make one online using our registration form. As you move through the form, follow these steps:
Step 1: Select “University Testing Center - WRB 1003” from the drop-down menu.
Step 2: Select “ALEKS PPL math placement assessment” from the drop-down menu.
Step 3: Select “ALEKS PPL (Reno)” from the drop-down menu.
Step 4: Confirm you have selected the correct exam.
Step 5: Select an available date from the calendar.
Step 6: Select an available time from the drop-down menu.
Step 7: Enter your name and email address in the fields provided.
Step 8: Read through our exam policies and check the box to agree to them.
Step 9: Enter your NSHE ID number and select whether this is your first, second or third attempt.
Click “Add to Cart.” On the next page, click “Complete Registration.” You will receive an automated confirmation email within one to two minutes.
When you arrive
- Plan to arrive approximately 15 minutes before your appointment.
- Scan the QR code with your phone for contactless check-in, or come up to the window to check in with a staff member.
- Place all of your personal items (phone, keys, wallet, backpack, etc.) in one of our lockers, but keep your photo ID with you.
- A staff member will call your name, provide you with pencils and scratch paper and assign you a seat in our testing room.
- You will need to log in to ALEKS using your NetID and password to begin the assessment.
Please visit the COVID-19 policies and information for students page for the latest information and requirements.
If you live outside of Reno or Las Vegas, or your schedule doesn’t permit you to take the placement assessment in person, you can take it from home with remote proctoring.
Instead of a testing staff member monitoring you in person, remote proctoring is provided by a lockdown browser and webcam monitoring. You will need to download and install Respondus LockDown Browser onto your computer before you take the placement assessment with remote proctoring.
What is a lockdown browser?
A lockdown browser is a custom web browser that restricts the environment on a computer. The name says it all: it “locks down” the browser on your computer. While you are taking the placement assessment, you are unable to copy, print, access other applications or visit other websites.
What is webcam monitoring?
Webcam monitoring uses your computer’s webcam to record the assessment session. This is to verify your identity and proctor the assessment.
You will need to have a suitable environment to take the placement assessment with remote proctoring. This doesn’t just ensure academic integrity, but also allows you to take the assessment without distractions and do your best work.
- A private, indoor location where you can be alone and are unlikely to be disturbed.
- A clear desk or table with sufficient space to work out solutions on your scratch paper.
- A reliable internet connection (wired is preferred but WiFi is acceptable).
- A compatible desktop or laptop computer with the most updated version of Chrome, Firefox, or Safari web browsers.
- A webcam and microphone (built-in or USB are both acceptable).
Appointments not required
You can take the placement assessment with remote proctoring at any time of the day or night. An appointment is not required, and you do not need to contact the Testing Center to inform us in advance.
Remote proctoring instructions
Because the Lockdown Browser prohibits you from accessing other websites while it is running, we recommend printing these instructions so you can refer to them as necessary:
- Download and install the Respondus LockDown Browser onto your computer.
- Log into ALEKS. On the left-hand side of the screen, click Get Started.
- A proctor password is required. Enter house604pencil and click Submit Password.
- On the next page, click Launch LockDown Browser + Webcam. It may prompt you to close some other applications. Do this to continue.
- When the browser opens, select I want to use a webcam (Respondus Monitor) and click Continue.
- Follow the pre-check steps in the browser:
- Step 7: Show ID is where you will hold up your photo ID to the webcam.
- Step 8: Environment Check is where you will use the webcam to scan the room you are in.
- Once you have completed all the pre-check steps, you will be ready to begin your exam.
Your placement results
After you complete the placement assessment, you will receive a score and placement into a math course.
- is a number between 0 and 100
- represents the number of topics that ALEKS has determined you have mastered
- does not represent the number of correctly or incorrectly answered questions
You will be placed into one of the courses in the math sequence according to the cut scores set by the math department.
Viewing your score and placement
Your score and placement will be shown on the screen immediately after your finish the placement assessment. You can access copies of your scores for each attempt by logging into ALEKS and clicking View Report on the left side toolbar. Your score will be added automatically to your University records, which are accessible by your academic advisor. Please allow up to 24 hours for your results to appear.
The cut score is the score required on the placement assessment to enroll in a given course.
|MATH 120E + MATH 20*||3 + 1 = 4||0–45|
|MATH 126E + MATH 26B*||3 + 2 = 5||30–45|
|MATH 126EE + Math 26C*||3 + 3 = 6||0–29|
*MATH 20, 26B, and 26C are not college-level courses. Units earned in these courses count towards enrollment, but do not count toward degree requirements.
The Department of Mathematics and Statistics regularly reviews cut scores, and they are subject to change without notice. Please refer to the most recent version of the University Catalog for the most up-to-date cut scores.
Retaking the placement assessment
Way to go!
Congratulations for placing into your desired class on the initial placement assessment! All of us at the Testing Center are cheering for you.
Now that you have achieved your desired placement, your placement process is complete. Your scores will be added to your student records, and your academic advisor will be able to view them. This can take up to 24 hours. Once your student records are updated, you should be able to enroll in your math course (unless you have holds on your account for other reasons).
Even though your placement process is complete, your ALEKS account remains active for one year and you have access to your customized prep and learning module for six months. You’ve proven you have the skills to get started in your desired class, but we encourage you to take advantage of the ALEKS learning module to be even better prepared for college-level math.
If you didn’t place into the class you wanted on your initial placement assessment, no worries! ALEKS has created a customized prep and learning module to help you brush up on your skills.
How to use the prep and learning module
- In ALEKS, you will see Up Next: Improve Your Knowledge in a Prep and Learning Module. Click Get Started to launch the module.
- Based on your initial placement assessment, ALEKS will recommend one of five modules. Click Start to launch the module.
- The Learning Pie will help you keep track of which topics you’ve mastered in the module. As you work in the module and build your skills, more sections of the Learning Pie will fill in.
- Occasionally, ALEKS will give you Knowledge Checks to gauge whether you’ve mastered a topic. If you need additional practice on a topic, it will be added back to your Learning Pie.
Access to the prep and learning module
You will have access to the prep and learning module for six months from the date you first launch it. You will need to complete the placement process within this six-month period.
If you decide to re-take the placement assessment, there are a couple of things to consider:
- Cooling-off period: You must wait at least 48 hours between each attempt.
- Prep and learning module: You must work in your prep and learning module for at least five hours before you can attempt the assessment again.
Scheduling a retake
If you wish to retake the placement assessment in person, revisit the Take your initial placement assessment section and follow the instructions to set a new appointment. Be sure you have completed both the cooling-off period and worked at least five hours in the learning module before your appointment. If both of these requirements aren’t met, the testing staff won’t be able to launch the assessment.
If you wish to retake the placement assessment remotely, you can do so as soon as you have completed the retake requirements by following the instructions in the Take your initial placement assessment section.
If you took the initial placement assessment in person, you can retake it remotely, and vice versa.
What if I get a lower score on the retake?
Only your highest score will be used to determine your placement. Retaking ALEKS can never place you into a lower course.
The placement process is complete when you have
- placed into your desired course, or
- taken the placement assessment three times.
What do I do once my placement process is complete?
- Meet with your academic advisor to discuss your course enrollment for the upcoming term.
- Enroll in classes.
Best of luck on your college career!