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 course. This placement test does not assess calculus knowledge, but rather readiness to start introductory calculus courses. Topics covered include algebra and trigonometry.


Take the ALEKS Test


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.

Students must have the required ALEKS placement test score in the system prior to registering for the listed course. It is strongly encouraged that, if you do not have a recent score, you should use the ALEKS tutorial to prepare for the course and retake the test.

Please note: ALEKS Math assessments taken after March 1st of each year (within your 4 allotted attempts) will be applicable for Summer/Fall/Spring registration for the upcoming semesters.
Example: If you take an ALEKS Math assessment on March 5th, the score you achieve will be the only score used to allow registration for the following Summer, Fall and Spring semesters. 

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

As of March 1, 2021, there will be new cohorts of placement tests and any test results taken after this date will be good for the following summer, fall and spring semesters. Older ALEKS scores will not be valid after the year.



Minimum Required ALEKS Test Scores

  • MATH 1051: 61
  • MATH 1220: 61
  • MATH 1231: 76
  • MATH 1252: 61


Taking the Test

  • Please do your best on your first attempt at the placement test. If you do not obtain the required score, you will have to study the Prep and Learning Modules presented by ALEKS in order to remedy the deficits in your knowledge base. You have a total of four attempts to take this test and try for the required minimum score for the course you want to take.
  • After every attempt, before you can retake the test, you must spend a minimum of three hours studying the ALEKS Prep and Learning Modules.
  • 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.


Interpreting Your Score

To register for:

A student should have:


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

Students who have done well in high school calculus but have not received AP credit should generally take MATH 1231. The 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

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.

MATH 1252 
(Calculus-Social & Mgt. Sciences)

61 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)

61 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.



If you experience issues with ALEKS, please contact Professor Murli Gupta or Professor Jay Daigle. 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