Why take a math placement exam?
All undergraduate students are required to complete a quantitative reasoning course [QUAN] to earn a bachelor’s degree. For many majors, this requirement is satisfied by completing a specific math class. To ensure you take the math class that is the best fit for your skill level and major, you are required to complete the ALEKS math placement exam before registering for your first math class.
Not everyone needs to complete the ALEKS math placement exam. If one of the following conditions apply, you should not take the placement exam unless directed by your academic advisor:
- You have completed a college level math course (level 100 or above) at a college, university or high school (for dual credit)
- You earned a score of 2 or above on the Advanced Placement Exam for calculus AB or calculus BC
- You earned a score of 4 or above on the International Baccalaureate higher level exam (HL) for mathematics
If you do not meet any of the conditions above AND are planning to pursue one of the following majors, you should plan to complete the math placement exam prior to meeting with your academic advisor. Majors requiring math coursework include:
- Business Administration
- Computer Science
- Data Analytics
- Earth and Environmental Science
- Electrical Engineering
- Elementary Education
- Hospitality Business Management
- Human Biology
- Mechanical Engineering
- Personnel Psychology and Human Resources
Still unsure whether you need to take the placement exam? Take the ALEKS Placement Wizard to find out.
What is ALEKS?
ALEKS is a powerful artificial-intelligence based assessment tool that zeroes in on the strengths and weaknesses of a student’s mathematical knowledge, reports its findings to the student, and, if necessary, provides a learning environment for bringing this knowledge up to an appropriate level for course placement.
The WSU math placement exam through ALEKS is a fully automated, adaptive system that covers a broad spectrum of college algebra and precalculus material. There are 20 to 30 questions (the number varies because of the adaptive mechanism). Plan on spending two hours to complete the exam. Most students do not need the full two hours.
A $45 fee will be billed to your WSU student account for the ALEKS Math Placement Exam.
You have up to 12 months of access to the WSU math placement assessment package, including:
- Initial WSU math placement assessment
- A six-week online preparation and learning module
- Up to four retests
There are two access periods:
- Students starting in fall semester: March 1 – Feb. 28
- Students starting in spring semester: Oct. 1 – Sept. 30
For ALEKS customer support:
Refer to ALEKS Technical Support if you have problems with the plug-in.