# ALEKS Math Placement Test

GW uses the online placement system Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces (ALEKS) to place students in the appropriate version of the first calculus or other math course. This placement test does not assess calculus knowledge, but rather readiness to start introductory calculus courses. Topics covered include algebra and trigonometry.

ALEKS is an online, non-multiple choice adaptive placement exam that we use to determine the appropriate placement in mathematics and economics courses. The goal is to ensure that you have the skills that you need in order to succeed in the course that you take.

Students wanting to register for Math 1051, 1220, 1231 or 1252 must achieve the minimum required score on the proctored ALEKS Math Placement test prior to registering for the class.

There are two virtual unproctored attempts that allow you to practice prior to taking the proctored ALEKS placement test that will be valid for placement. The ALEKS proctored placement will use remote proctoring, allowing students to take the proctored test online and at home proctored virtually. Before you take your proctored placement you will need to verify your computer meets the requirements and download Respondus Lockdown Monitor and Browser. The proctored test requires a computer camera and audio.

Students with questions about ALEKS should email [email protected].

## For Spring 2025 Math Courses

- FOR STUDENTS WHO ENTERED THE UNIVERSITY FALL 2023 OR LATER:
You are required to have the minimum score on a proctored version of the ALEKS test prior to registering for your spring 2025 courses. You should have the required proctored score two days prior to registering for the course you want to take. The final deadline for taking the proctored ALEKS test prior to spring 2025 classes will be 11:59 p.m. on January 5, 2025.

- FOR STUDENTS WHO ENTERED THE UNIVERSITY PRIOR TO FALL 2023:
You must achieve the minimum score on an unproctored ALEKS math placement test prior to registering for your spring math course. If you entered the university prior to Fall 2023 and have the required unproctored score please contact the Economics Department to be signed into your class.

*If you require disability-related accommodations for the ALEKS assessment, you will need to register with GW’s Disability Support Services by submitting their **online application.** Note, the DSS registration process can take 1-2 weeks. If you have further questions on how to register for accommodations, please contact **[email protected]** or 202-994-8250.*

*Once you are registered and approved for accommodations with DSS, you will then need to submit your **Letters to Professors** to (**[email protected]**), to ensure your accommodations are in place for your exam. It will take approximately two business days to get your accommodations added within ALEKS.*

## Who Needs to Take ALEKS

This test is mandatory for any student who wishes to register for MATH 1051, MATH 1220, MATH 1231 or MATH 1252.

Scores on ALEKS Math Placement Test assist students in getting placed in the appropriate Math course. Students must have the required proctored ALEKS placement test score in the system to register for a course.

**All students who entered the university in Fall 2023 or later must have the required minimum score on the proctored ALEKS Math Placement Test in order to be enrolled in a course.**

Students who have a 3 on the AP Calculus AB exam (or AB subscore of the BC exam) may enroll in MATH 1231 with their AP Score and do not need to take the ALEKS Math Placement Test. Be sure to have your AP score in the system prior to registration.

You must complete two unproctored attempts before you take a proctored placement test. You should use the ALEKS Knowledge Prep and Learning Modules to prepare for the proctored test. Students who spend more time in the prep modules are more likely to see improvement and will be better prepared for proctored placement exam.

No placement test is needed to take MATH 1000: Dean’s Seminar, MATH 1007: Mathematics and Politics or MATH 1009: Mathematical Ideas.

Students are unable to place into MATH 1220 in Spring semesters. Please talk to your advisors for alternative options.

## Required ALEKS Test Scores

- MATH 1051: 31 or higher
- MATH 1220 with required additional discussion section: 31 - 60*
- MATH 1220: 61 or higher
- MATH 1231: 76 or higher
- MATH 1252: 31 or higher

*Students who score between 31-60 on the proctored placement exam can register for Math 1220, they will be placed in a mandatory additional discussion section that will meet once a week. MATH 1220 is not offered in spring semesters.

## Guidance on Taking the ALEKS Math Placement Test

- You have a total of two unproctored attempts to prepare for the proctored test. You will have one proctored attempt in summer to achieve the minimum score needed to register for the course you want to take in fall, a second proctored attempt is available in fall to achieve the minimum score needed to register for the course you want to take in spring.
- Students must take the test online without proctoring two times, as practice, before taking an online proctored test.
- Please do your best on your unproctored attempts at the placement test. Take your time and do not rush through the assessment. The unproctored attempts help you become comfortable with this environment and identify areas of needed review. Prep and Learning Modules are assigned based on your unproctored score. If you do not obtain the required score for the course you are interested in taking on the unproctored test, you should study the Prep and Learning Modules presented by ALEKS in order to remedy the deficits in your knowledge base and prepare for the proctored test. Even if you receive the desired minimum score on your unproctored attempts, you may find it helpful to review materials that the unproctored assessment identified as a knowledge weakness.
- The third attempt will be a proctored test. You must download the Respondus Lockdown Browser and Monitor to take the proctored test. You need to install the ALEKS version of Lockdown Browser even if you already have a different version of LockDown Browser that is used for other courses on your device. Guidelines and the password for the proctored test are below. A fourth proctored attempt is available prior to spring registration.
- Students who already took their two unproctored tests and one proctored test in summer can take an additional proctored test during fall term in order to get the minimum proctored score needed. It is recommended that you study in the Prep and Learning Modules prior to taking the next proctored test.
- Students may only use a pen or pencil, paper and the resources provided within ALEKS for their unproctored and proctored attempts. ALEKS provides an on-screen calculator if students need one to complete a particular problem, you may not use your own calculator.
- After every attempt, before you can retake the test, you must spend a minimum of three hours studying the ALEKS Prep and Learning Modules. You are required to take both unproctored attempts before the proctored attempt.
- There is a cool-off period of 24 hours between assessments. This means 24 hours must pass before you can retake the placement test.
- You have two hours and 30 minutes for each assessment, so use your time wisely. If you do not complete the test and submit within the allotted time it will not count as a test attempt and record your work. Be sure to watch the clock and complete the assessment within the allotted time.
- You must hit "submit" on your work before you log off, or it will not count as a test attempt.
- ALEKS testing should be completed consistent with the principles of GW’s Code of Academic Integrity.

## Proctored ALEKS Math Placement Test

The proctored ALEKS Math Placement Test Score is used for placement. Students must take the online ALEKS Proctored test prior to January 5, 2025 for Spring 2025 classes.

Students will take their proctored ALEKS attempt using the Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor. This will block access to other websites and software and use remote proctoring software in which a webcam scan of the testing area, and recording of all activity during the exam is required. You must show your photo identification at the start of the remote proctoring.

You should take the proctored test in a private quiet space, free from noise and distractions. You will need to have a valid ID showing your name and photo available as well as pens/pencils and a few pieces of blank scratch paper. No other materials should be near you or within reach. You may not leave the room for breaks during the exam. You may not use your own calculator.

In order to take the proctored exam you will need to ensure that your computer meets the system requirements and that you have downloaded Respondus Lockdown Browser and Monitor for ALEKS. You can download the Respondus Lockdown Browser for ALEKS, check system requirements, and check your setup and installation.

You will be remotely proctored using Respondus Monitor, an automated remote proctoring vendor. Respondus Monitor will walk students through the check in procedures and monitor students throughout their assessment session through audio and video. A human staff member reviews most assessment session recordings after the assessment is taken.

Note: You will need to install the ALEKS version of Lockdown Browser even if you already have a different version of LockDown Browser. You can have multiple versions of Lockdown browser installed on your computer. There is no need to uninstall other versions.

Students who experience technical difficulties or other circumstances that make it impossible for them to take the online proctored test should contact [email protected].

### What happens if I do not get the needed minimum score on the proctored ALEKS math test for the math class that I want to take?

Students who do not have the proctored score needed for the math course they want to take should consult with their school advising office about course options. Opportunities to take the proctored test for Fall 2025 course registration will open in March of 2025.

## Guidelines for the Proctored ALEKS Test

**No outside resources are permitted**. While taking ALEKS, you should not access other resources (a phone, tablet, notes, books, etc.) or communicate with other people. Do not wear headphones or ear pods while taking the assessment. Make sure the area around your computer is clear of papers with writing, books, phones, calculators, etc.- Only 3-5 blank sheets of paper and a pencil/pen are permitted during the assessment. Your phone should be placed far enough away from you that you would need to stand to pick it up.
- You may not use any type of handheld calculator. On problems in which a calculator is permitted, one will be provided in ALEKS.
- You will be prompted to complete a 360° environment check.
- You must position your computer and webcam so that you
**SHOW YOUR FACE, TORSO, BOTH HANDS AND YOUR ENTIRE WORK SPACE AT ALL TIMES**. To achieve this, you will need to push your computer slightly away from you and tilt the webcam.**This is required**.**The expected webcam position should look like this image:**

Please stay in your seat and focus on your assessment until you are finished. If an interruption occurs, briefly explain what happened by speaking directly to your webcam.

Have your identification ready before you take ALEKS.

**Acceptable Identification:**

- Your GWORLD Student ID card
- State Driver's License
- State Issued Personal Identification with photo
- Valid Passport

Password for Proctored ALEKS is: **ALEKS2425!**

And, finally, remember that you cannot exit ALEKS until all questions are completed and you have submitted it for grading. The assessment usually takes about 90 minutes to complete, but it is timed for 2 hours and 30 minutes.

## Interpreting Your Score

To register for: | A student should have: | Comments: |

MATH 2233 (Multivariable Calculus) | Credit for MATH 1231 and 1232 | A 4 or a 5 on the BC Advanced Placement Test earns credit for MATH 1231 and 1232. |

MATH 1232 (Calculus II) | Credit for MATH 1231 | A 4 or a 5 on the AB Advanced Placement Test (or AB subscore on the BC test) earns credit for MATH 1231. |

MATH 1231 (Calculus I) | - 76 or above on ALEKS placement test
- OR a 3 on the AP Calculus AB exam (or AB subscore of the BC exam)
| Students who have done well in high school calculus but have not received AP credit should generally take MATH 1231. A 3 on the AB Calculus AP exam (or 3 on the AB subsection of the BC Calculus AP Exam) or a 76 or higher on the proctored ALEKS placement test is required for registration in this course. |

MATH 1221 (Precalculus with Calculus II) | Credit for MATH 1220 | No other students should elect this course. |

MATH 1220 (Precalculus with Calculus I) | 61 or above on ALEKS placement test to be placed in MATH 1220 without an extra discussion section. Students with scores between 31-60 may enroll in MATH 1220 but will be assigned to an additional mandatory discussion section. | This course (together with MATH 1221) combines one semester of precalculus and one semester of calculus into a one-year course. It is intended for students who are not quite ready for Calculus I. Students who qualify to take MATH 1231 should not take MATH 1220. The placement test is required for registration in this course. Students with ALEKS placement test scores between 31-60 will be placed in a mandatory discussion section in addition to the lecture and recitation. |

MATH 1252 (Calculus-Social & Mgt. Sciences) | 31 or above on ALEKS placement test | MATH 1051 is not a prerequisite for MATH 1252. The placement test is required for registration in this course. |

MATH 1051 (Finite Math) | 31 or above on ALEKS placement test | MATH 1051 and 1252 are mostly taken by students to satisfy the GWSB math requirement. However, they can also be used to satisfy the general education curriculum requirement in quantitative reasoning. The placement test is required for registration in this course. |

MATH 1009 (Mathematical Ideas) | No prerequisite | This course treats areas of mathematics not normally taught in high schools, with a focus on mathematical tools that can be used to solve real-world problems. |

MATH 1007 (Mathematics & Politics) | No prerequisite | This course focuses on the mathematics of social choice, an area of mathematics not normally taught in high schools. This course is more rigorous than a typical freshman math course and involves more writing. |

MATH 1000 (Dean's Seminars in Mathematics) | No prerequisite | These are special topics courses limited to freshmen, with class sizes of 20 or fewer. They cover areas of mathematics not taught in high schools that were specially selected by the Instructor. Although these courses have minimal prerequisites, they are meant to be rigorous, challenging, and stimulating. |

## Frequently Asked Questions

- What is ALEKS?
ALEKS is an online, non-multiple choice adaptive placement exam. The ALEKS placement exam is used in determining the appropriate level of placement in mathematics and economics courses, to help ensure students have the demonstrated skills for the greatest likelihood of success.

- How do students take ALEKS?
The exam can be accessed at: http://go.gwu.edu/mathplacement.

To take ALEKS you will need reliable, fast-internet connection, a functioning web camera, microphone, and speakers.

- What is the deadline for students to attain the minimum placement score on the proctored placement test?
Students should have the minimum required proctored ALEKS placement test score for the class they want at least two days prior to registering.

**The last day to complete the proctored online math placement test will be January 5, 2025 at 11:59 p.m. for spring courses.**Students must complete two unproctored attempts before they take their first virtual proctored exam. Make sure to give yourself enough time to have the proctored score in place before registration.- How many times can a student take the ALEKS math placement exam?
Students have a total of two unproctored attempts and one proctored attempt prior to August 16, 2024. A second proctored attempt is available starting September 25 for students looking to register for spring 2025 courses.

Students must take the test online without proctoring two times as practice prior to taking their first online proctored test. Students must wait a minimum of 24 hours and complete a minimum of 3 hours in the Prep Learning Modules between ALEKS attempts. A significant percentage of students who take advantage of the ALEKS Learning Modules improve their scores. Students who spend at least 15 hours in a learning module show the most improvement in their scores. Scores do not normally change without review and practice between assessments.

- When is the required proctored ALEKs math placement exam offered?
For spring 2025 course enrollment, the ALEKS Math placement exam is open from September 25, 2024 – January 5, 2025.

- How long will the ALEKS Math Placement exam take?
Students should allow 2 hours of uninterrupted time to complete the exam. The exam is adaptive so the actual time and number of questions will vary depending on the student. Most students complete ALEKS in approximately 90 minutes. Students will have up to 2 ½ hours from when they begin the placement exam to complete it.

- May students use a calculator or any other resources while taking ALEKS?
Students may only use a pen or pencil, paper and the resources provided within ALEKS. ALEKS provides an on-screen calculator if students need one to complete a particular problem. Otherwise, a calculator may not be used. Students may not receive assistance from friends, family, other websites, textbooks, or any other resource not provided by ALEKS. Using outside resources will invalidate your score and violates the principles of GW's Code of Academic Integrity.

- How do students see their ALEKS score?
When students reach the end of the questions, and submit their assessment, a score and a pie chart will appear. The "Placement Result " (overall score) will range from 0 to 100. The system also displays subscores in different math topic areas to let students know how they performed in each area. Your unproctored placement attempts help you become comfortable with the ALEKS testing environment and identify areas of needed review. Prep and Learning Modules are assigned based on your unproctored score. If you do not obtain the required score for the course you are interested in taking on the unproctored test, you should study the Prep and Learning Modules presented by ALEKS. Even if you receive the desired minimum score on your unproctored attempts, you may find it helpful to review materials that the unproctored assessment identified as a knowledge weakness. The placement result from your

**proctored test**is the score used for your Math course placement.- How do the Prep Learning Modules work?
The ALEKS Your Knowledge and Prep Learning Modules provide a personalized tutorial based on the types of problems students answered correctly and incorrectly on the previous assessment. Therefore, the learning modules are available only after students have taken ALEKS the first time. Once a student begins a Knowledge and Prep Learning Module they will have access to it for six months. As students answer questions they will see their MyPie fill up, and ALEKS may reassess them from time to time to ensure they have retained the topic information.

- What do I need to do before taking the proctored ALEKs Test? How does remote proctoring work?
Before you can begin the proctored ALEKS Math Placement Test you must:

Complete your two unproctored practice attempts and spend time reviewing the Prep and Learning Modules assigned based on your unproctored score.

Download the Respondus Lockdown Browser and Monitor. You can download the Respondus Lockdown Browser for ALEKS, check system requirements, and check your setup and installation at this Respondus Lockdown Browser and Monitor link. More information and troubleshooting help can be found on the ALEKS website. You will need to install the ALEKS version of Lockdown Browser even if you already have a different version of LockDown Browser. You can have multiple versions of Lockdown browser installed on your computer. There is no need to uninstall other versions.

If you experience difficulties you can contact ALEKs Customer Support.

Students will take their proctored ALEKS attempt using the Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor. This will block access to other websites and software and use remote proctoring software in which a webcam scan of the testing area, and recording of all activity during the exam is required. When you are ready to take your proctored test you should:

- Find a private quiet space, free from noise and distractions to take the test.
- Have a valid ID showing your name and photo available. You will need to show the ID at the start of the test on video.
- Have pens/pencils and a few pieces of blank scratch paper. No other materials should be near you or within reach.
- Remember: You may not leave the room for breaks during the exam. You may not use your own calculator. Please see the "Guidelines for the Proctored ALEKS Test" section above for more detail.

You will be remotely proctored using Respondus Monitor, an automated remote proctoring vendor. Respondus Monitor will walk students through the check in procedures and monitor students throughout their assessment session through audio and video. A human staff member reviews most assessment session recordings after the assessment is taken. A student whose proctored score is determined to be unreliable after review may not use that score to place into fall classes, the student may be required to retake the assessment in person in a proctored setting during orientation week.

Students who experience technical difficulties or other circumstances that make it impossible for them to take the online proctored test should contact [email protected].

- What should I do if I may require accommodations for the ALEKS test?
If you require disability-related accommodations for the ALEKS assessment, you will need to register with GW’s Disability Support Services by submitting their online application. Note, the DSS registration process can take 1-2 weeks. If you have further questions on how to register for accommodations, please contact [email protected] or 202-994-8250.

Once you are registered and approved for accommodations with DSS, you will then need to submit your Letters to Professors to ([email protected]), to ensure your accommodations are in place for your exam. It will take approximately two business days to get your accommodations added within ALEKS.

Students with questions about ALEKS should email [email protected].

Answers to frequently asked technical questions can be found on the ALEKS support site. Students who need further technical assistance with ALEKS may contact ALEKS support using the customer support form. If you have questions or concerns about your ALEKS placement and how this could affect your course schedule, contact your home school advisor. Columbian College students can find their advisor in the CCAS Undergraduate Advising Office. If students have additional questions specific to their math placement they may contact Professor Jay Daigle.