Mathematics Placement Assessment

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.

ALEKS PPL is a computer-based, adaptive system that includes material from basic mathematics through pre-calculus. The placement assessment will take approximately 60-90 minutes to complete. You will complete the assessment online. Your results are reported to you immediately after the assessment and are uploaded to your Ball State records within 24 hours. After the assessment, a targeted Preparation and Learning Module is available to you to review and learn the material so you may reassess and potentially improve your placement results.  You will have twelve months of access to ALEKS PPL, from the date of your first login, for use of the Preparation and Learning Module and assessments.

The ALEKS Placement, Preparation and Learning (PPL) mathematics placement assessment is REQUIRED for all students who need or desire to enroll in MATH 132, 161, 165, 201, or 207 but do not have the prerequisite coursework or SAT/ACT score.
 
Students who need only MATH 125 for their majors DO NOT have to take the ALEKS PPL mathematics placement assessment.

Ball State requires all students seeking a baccalaureate degree to complete a core curriculum, which includes a specific mathematics course for each major. Some majors require one of these courses:

  • MATH 132 Brief Calculus
  • MATH 161 Applied Calculus 1
  • MATH 165 Calculus 1
  • MATH 201 Number, Operations, and Algebraic Reasoning for the Elementary Teacher
  • MATH 207 Mathematics for the Teacher of the Exceptional Learning

Many majors do not require any of these courses, and students in these majors generally take MATH 125 Quantitative Reasoning.

MATH 132, 161, 165, 201, and 207 all have prerequisites that students may meet with prior collegiate mathematics coursework, an SAT/ACT score, or a mathematics placement assessment score.

New freshman and transfer students whose majors require the ALEKS PPL should complete the assessment before coming to Orientation. The sooner you take it, the more opportunity you have to review and retest if you are not satisfied with your placement. You may take the assessment up to 4 times. To make each attempt worthwhile, you are required to spend time working in your ALEKS Preparation and Learning Module to improve your skills.
Who Takes Math Placement?

The ALEKS PPL mathematics placement assessment is required for these majors:

R. Wayne Estopinal College of Architecture and Planning
Construction Management

Miller College of Business
Accounting, Business Administration, Business Analytics, Computer Information Systems, Computer Technology, Economics, Entrepreneurial Management, Finance, Human Resource Management, International Business, Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Marketing, Mathematical Economics, Professional Selling, Risk Management and Insurance

College of Health
Dietetics, Exercise Science: Basic and Applied Science Concentration, Exercise Science: Health and Fitness Concentration, Exercise Science: Pre-Physical Therapy Concentration, Exercise Science: Pre-Occupational Therapy Concentration, Health and Fitness, Medical Technology, Pre-Occupational Therapy, Respiratory Therapy, Sport Administration: Foundations of Business Minor

College of Sciences and Humanities
Actuarial Science, Aquatic Biology and Fisheries, Astronomy, Biology, Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology, Chemical Technology, Chemistry, Chemistry Education, Computer Science, Earth/Space Science Teaching, Environmental Geoscience, Environmental Management, Field Botany, Geology, Legal Studies: Business Concentration, Life Science Teaching, Mathematical Sciences, Mathematics Teaching, Meteorology and Climatology, Microbiology, Natural Resources, Physics, Physics Teaching, Pre-Audiology, Pre-Dentistry, Pre-Engineering, Pre-Medicine, Wildlife Biology and Conservation, Zoology

Teachers College
Early Childhood and Early Childhood Special Education Dual Major, Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Elementary Education and Special Education Dual Major, Exceptional Needs: Early Childhood Special Education, Exceptional Needs: Hearing Impaired/Deaf Special Education, Exceptional Needs: Intense Interventions Special Education, Exceptional Needs: Mild Interventions Special Education

Click here for an alphabetical list of required majors.

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 twelve months of access to ALEKS, from the date of your first login, for use of the Prep and Learning module and assessments. You may take up to 4 placement assessments during this twelve 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.

Is there a fee for using ALEKS?

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

How long will a placement assessment take to complete?

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.

May I use a calculator with ALEKS?

Students should only use the calculator in the program when it appears. Students should not be using an outside calculator.

May I use another resource 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.

How long is my placement result valid?

Your placement result is valid for 12 months.

Can I practice using ALEKS before I begin the placement?

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

What if I do not place in the course I wanted?

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.

Can I retake the ALEKS 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 Prep and Learning Module in between placement assessments so that you can improve your skills.

Must I work on my ALEKS Prep and Learning module between placement assessments?

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.

How long do I have access to my Prep and Learning module?

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

What are ALEKS progress assessments?

While working in the 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 placement assessment to change your placement result. Only your placement assessment results will be used for course placement.

Can I change to a different Prep and Learning Module later?

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.

I did not place in the class I wanted. Can I take it anyway?

Unless you have met the required prerequisites via collegiate mathematics coursework or an SAT/ACT score, no. You must achieve the minimum placement result to take each corresponding class.

What if I placed in the class I wanted?

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.

Where can I get help with ALEKS?

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

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.

Take the Assessment

May I use a Calculator?
Students should only use the calculator in the program when it appears. Students should not be using an outside calculator.

Can I use other resources?
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.

To access and complete the ALEKS-PPL placement assessment:

  1. Find a private and quiet location in which to take the assessment.
  2. Go to my.bsu.edu.
  3. Log in with your Ball State Username and password.
  4. Under “Additional Tools,” select “ALEKS-PPL.”
  5. Select the ALEKS-PPL user agreement.
  6. You will see an indication that you are enrolled in:
    •     Class: 2020 Orientation, All Year 2020
    •     School: Ball State University
  7. Select “Continue” to your ALEKS-PPL 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 twelve months of access to ALEKS, from the date of your first login, for use of the Prep and Learning module and assessments.

Your ALEKS score will determine your placement in one of the many mathematics prerequisites. ALEKS scores should be interpreted with the assistance of your academic advisor. Learn More.