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.
ALEKS is an online, nonmultiple 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.
Your score on the virtual (unproctored) ALEKS Math Placement Test provides you with guidance in selecting the appropriate Math course prior to registration. Students wanting to register for Math 1051, 1220, 1231 or 1252 must achieve the minimum required score on the virtual ALEKS Math Placement test prior to registering for the class. All students are then required to have the minimum score on a proctored version of the ALEKS test taken in person on campus in order to remain in their initial math course placement as final placement is determined by scores on the proctored ALEKS Placement test taken in person on campus.
For Fall 2023 Math Courses
Students have up to three attempts to achieve the minimum score required on the virtual (unproctored) ALEKS Math Placement Test. You must have the minimum score in order to initially register for MATH 1051, MATH 1220 or MATH 1231. The virtual attempts must be completed prior to August 16 at 11:59 p.m.
All students wanting to take MATH 1051, MATH 1220 OR MATH 1231 are REQUIRED to take the exam in person (the proctored ALEKs exam) on Sunday August 20 regardless of whether or not they have already achieved the minimum score and registered for the course. The inperson proctored score will replace your unproctored virtual score and is used for final placement. Achieving the minimum score on the inperson proctored exam for the course you are registered for is required. In the event that your inperson score does not meet the minimum requirements for the course you are enrolled in, you will be contacted by email with next steps for making changes to your schedule. Students will be sent a survey the in early August to sign up to take the proctored exam on August 20.
If you require accommodations for the ALEKS assessment, please contact GW's Disability Support Services (DSS) as soon as possible to request reasonable accommodations. Please note that the DSS registration process can take 12 weeks. If you have questions about the DSS registration process, please contact [email protected] or 2029948250.
Note: The requirement for the proctored version of the ALEKS test to remain in your math course applies only to new GW students who are starting in fall of 2023.
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 the virtual (unproctored) ALEKS Math Placement Test provide guidance in selecting the appropriate Math course prior to registration. Students must have the required virtual ALEKS placement test score in the system prior to initially registering for the listed courses. All students must then take the proctored ALEKS Math Placement Test in person on campus. Scores on the proctored exam are necessary for final placement.
If you do not achieve the minimum score needed to register for your preferred mathematics course on your first virtual attempt, you may use the ALEKS Knowledge Prep and Learning Modules to try to improve your score up until the deadline for taking the virtual unproctored placement test for a given enrollment term. For fall 2023, students have until August 16 at 11:59 p.m. to complete their virtual attempts.
Students who spend more time in the prep modules are more likely to see improvement and will be better prepared for the require inperson proctored exam.
Please be advised that you only have a total of 3 (three) attempts to take the virtual test and achieve the required minimum score for the course you want to take prior to initial registration.
Note: The highest score you receive on a virtual ALEKS Math placement test taken after March 1 of each year (within your 3 allotted attempts) will be applicable for initial Summer/Fall/Spring registration for the upcoming semesters. Scores on your proctored ALEKS Math placement test taken in person on campus in August are valid for the spring semester if you have achieved the minimum score needed for final placement in a course.
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.
Minimum Required ALEKS Test Scores
 MATH 1051: 61
 MATH 1220: 61
 MATH 1231: 76
 MATH 1252: 61
Guidance on Taking the Virtual Unproctored Test
 Please do your best on your first attempt at the virtual placement test. Take your time and do not rush through the assessment. If you do not obtain the required score for the course you are interested in taking, 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 three (3) attempts to take this test and try for the required minimum score to initially register 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 cooloff 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.
InPerson Proctored ALEKS Math Placement Test
A proctored ALEKS Math Placement test will be offered in person on campus prior to the start of each term. The proctored placement exam is required for ALL students who wish to take one of the listed math courses regardless of whether or not they have already achieved the minimum score on the virtual placement test and registered for the course. The inperson proctored score is used for final placement to ensure that students are prepared for the class and likely to be successful. Achieving the minimum score on the inperson proctored exam for the course you are registered for is required.
What happens if I do not get the needed minimum score on the inperson proctored ALEKS math test for the math class that I initially registered for?
Students who do not achieve the required minimum score on the inperson proctored math placement will need to adjust their schedule. They will be contacted by email with next steps and are welcome to discuss placement with their school advising office.
 Students initially registered for MATH 1231 who do not achieve the minimum score on the proctored placement test will need to drop Math 1231 and register for MATH 1220.
 Students enrolled in MATH 1220 who do not achieve the minimum score on the proctored placement test will be registered for a required weekly discussion section in addition to their regular MATH 1220 lecture and recitation section.
 Students enrolled in MATH 1051 who do not achieve the minimum score on the proctored placement exam may remain registered for the course. However, it is recommended that they discuss their plans with their school advisor and take advantage of tutoring through academic commons to ensure success.
Interpreting Your Score
To register for: 
A student should have: 
Comments: 
MATH 2233 
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 
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 
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 
Credit for MATH 1220. 
No other students should elect this course. 
MATH 1220 
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 oneyear 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 
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 
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 
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 realworld problems. 
MATH 1007 
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 
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, nonmultiple 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?

Students can access the virtual (unproctored) placement exam directly. Students will receive information on how to sign up for the inperson proctored exam which will take place on campus just before the start of the term.
 What is the deadline for students to attain the minimum placement score on the virtual placement test?

It is recommended that students must have the minimum required virtual ALEKS placement test score for the class they want to register for at least two days prior to initially registering. Students must complete all virtual attempts (up to 3) prior to August 16 for fall 2023.
 How many times can a student take the virtual unproctored ALEKS math placement exam?

ALEKS may be taken more than once, with a total of 3 attempts in one year to attain the minimum placement score. Students must wait a minimum of 24 hours and complete a minimum of 3 hours in the Prep Learning Modules between virtual 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 fall 2023 the required proctored ALEKS placement exam will be held on August 20 with information on signing up for the proctored exam sent to students in early August. A proctored exam for final spring semester placement will be offered in December. Scores from the August proctored exam may be used for final placement for spring registration as well as fall registration.
 How long will the virtual placement exam take?

Students should allow 2 hours of uninterrupted time to complete the assessment. 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 before they will have to start the exam again.
 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 onscreen 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 may lead to improper course placement and ultimately course failure. It is also a violation of GW's academic integrity policy.
 How do students see their virtual 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. It is the "Placement Result" score that is used for initial registration purposes.
 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 should I do if may require accommodations for the ALEKS virtual unproctored test or the inperson proctored ALEKs test?

If you require accommodations for the ALEKS assessments, please contact GW’s Disability Support Services (DSS) as soon as possible to request reasonable accommodations. Please note that the DSS registration process can take 12 weeks. If you have questions about the DSS registration process, please contact [email protected]. Students who need to access an ADA compliant version of ALEKS should contact Disability Support Services for assistance.
 I am required to register for an additional discussion section for MATH 1220; how will I be assigned to that section?

You will be registered by the Math department for one discussion section. These mandatory discussion sections meet for 50 minutes. These discussion sections meet at the following times:
 Monday 5:106 p.m.
 Tuesday 5:106 p.m.
 Wednesday 5:106 p.m.
 Thursday 5:106 p.m.
 Friday 3:454:35 p.m.
 Monday 8:008:50 a.m.
 Wednesday 8:008:50 a.m.
 Thursday 3:554:45 p.m.
If you experience issues with ALEKS, please contact Professor Murli Gupta or Professor Jay Daigle. 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.