Mathematics provides the foundation for many of the science, business, and professional courses you will take during your college years. We want you to succeed.

Ball State University requires students enrolling in any mathematics course other than MATH 108 or MATH 125 to meet prerequisite criteria. You may meet these prerequisites by prior collegiate mathematics course work, SAT/ACT Mathematics score or an ALEKS Mathematics Placement Assessment score. We strongly recommend all incoming students complete the ALEKS assessment as it provides the most accurate predictor of your readiness to succeed in your entry mathematics course.

The ALEKS Placement system is a computer-based, adaptive system that covers material from Basic Mathematics through Pre-calculus 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 so you may re-assess and potentially improve your placement results. You will have six months of access to ALEKS, from the date of your first assessment, for use of the Prep and Learning modules and assessments.

All students are strongly encouraged to spend several hours using the 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.

Your results are reported to you immediately after the assessment and will be uploaded to your Ball State records within 24 hours.

Preparation

New freshman and transfer students should complete their assessment before coming to Orientation. The sooner you take it, the more opportunity there will be for you to review and re-assess if you are not satisfied with your placement.

This is an “assessment,” NOT A TEST. There is really no penalty for incorrectly answering a question on the 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. At the end of the ALEKS Mathematics 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 no benefit to cheating on the ALEKS Mathematics 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.

The results of your first assessment will impact the Prep and Learning Module you have access to for preparing for a later assessment. If you do not try your best, you may be limited to reviewing information you actually already know. This will not help you in the long run.

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 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. You will have six months of access to ALEKS, from the date of your first assessment, for use of the Prep and Learning module and assessments. You may take up to 4 placement assessments during this 6 month period. However, to make each attempt worthwhile, you will be required to spend time working in your Prep and Learning Module in between placement assessments so that you can improve your skills.

Be sure that Java is enabled and the ALEKS plug-in will download automatically.

If your computer locks up or freezes during the middle of the assessment, refresh the page in your browser. If that does not work, close your browser and log back in. The work you have already submitted will be saved and the assessment will pick up at the point you left off.

ALEKS Customer Support

Refer to the ALEKS Technical Support webpage if you have problems with the plug-in.

If you are considering one of the following majors, plan to take the ALEKS Mathematics Placement Assessment:

  • biology
  • business (all majors in the Miller College of Business)
  • chemistry
  • computer science
  • computer technology
  • construction management
  • elementary education
  • geology
  • industrial technology
  • information systems
  • mathematics
  • meteorology and climatology
  • physics
  • pre-audiology
  • pre-dental studies
  • pre-medicine
  • pre- physical therapy
  • special education

Frequently Asked Questions

Use of ALEKS, including Prep and Learning Module, is included in your student fees.

The assessment is designed to be taken in a single sitting. 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.

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.

Your placement result is valid for 12 months.

ALEKS will begin with a brief tutorial before your placement begins.

You can use the Prep and Learning Module to review and learn, and you may take up to 3 more placement assessments to improve your placement result.

Yes, you may take up to 4 placement assessments. However, to make each attempt worthwhile, you will be required to spend time working in your Prep and Learning Module in between placement assessments so that you can improve your skills.

You must wait 48 hours between 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.

Yes, for at least five hours between the 1st and 2nd placement assessments and between the 2nd and 3rd assessments. If you wish to take a 4th assessment, you must work at least 3 hours between the 3rd and 4th assessments.

You will have six months of access to ALEKS, from the date of your first exam, for use of the Prep and Learning module and assessment.

While working in the Prep and Learning Module, you will periodically complete progress assessments to solidify your gains in knowledge.

No, you must complete a new placement assessment to change your placement result. Only your placement assessment results will be used for course placement.

No, you may only use one Prep and Learning Module. ALEKS will assign you a Prep and Learning Module based on the results of your initial placement assessment. It is important that you try your best on this first assessment.

Unless you have the required SAT/ACT score, no. You must achieve the minimum placement result to take each corresponding class.

Congratulations! Continue to use your Prep and Learning Module to improve your chances for success. Take advantage of the targeted review and learning features in ALEKS to get a better grade in your class.

Take the Assessment

To access and complete the ALEKS Placement Assessment:

  1. Go to my.bsu.edu.
  2. Log in with your Ball State username and password.
  3. Under “Additional Tools,” select “ALEKS.”
  4. Select the ALEKS user agreement. You will see a screen that shows your Ball State and ALEKS accounts together. Select “Continue.”
  5. You will see an indication that you are enrolled in:
    • Class: 2018 Orientation, All Year 2018
    • School: Ball State University
  6. Select “Continue” to your ALEKS class, and you will be at the beginning of the assessment. A brief survey and tutorial on how to enter your responses will precede the actual assessment.

Can I retake the ALEKS Mathematics Placement Assessment?

Yes, you may take up to 4 placement assessments. However, to make each attempt worthwhile, you will be required to spend time working in your ALEKS Prep and Learning Module in between placement assessments so that you can improve your skills.

You must wait 48 hours and work in the Prep and Learning Module between 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.) You must work for at least 5 hours between the 1st and 2nd placement assessments and between the 2nd and 3rd placement assessments. If you wish to take a 4th assessment, you must work at least 3 hours between the 3rd and 4th assessments. You will have six months of access to ALEKS, from the date of your first exam, for use of the Prep and Learning module and assessments.

Your ALEKS score will determine your placement in one of the many mathematics prerequisites. Learn More.