The University of North Dakota requires an ALEKS Placement, Preparation and Learning (ALEKS PPL) Assessment to determine readiness for mathematics courses.
ALEKS PPL is a web-based program that maps a student’s strengths and weaknesses. The Placement Assessment is up to 30 questions and generally takes 60-90 minutes to complete. After the Placement Assessment, an individualized Prep and Learning Module is available for students to refresh their knowledge on forgotten topics. Students then have the opportunity to reassess and improve their placement if they choose to do so.
To access the math placement assessment, read through the instructions below and then click on the Take the Placement Assessment button.
About ALEKS PPL
Course credit cannot be earned by taking the ALEKS PPL. The ALEKS PPL consists of three parts:
- An Initial Placement Assessment
- The Prep and Learning Module: an individualized, self-paced online review
- Access to 2 additional Placement Assessments
What is the purpose of the placement assessment?
The Placement Assessment results will be used to determine the most appropriate courses for each student as they move forward with college coursework. After taking a Placement Assessment, students should meet with their advisor to review their results and enroll in classes based on their scores.
This is a “Placement Assessment,” not a test. The difference is that a Placement Assessment is designed to determine what a student knows and what a student needs to work on. At the end of the ALEKS PPL Assessment, a student will have a much better sense of their strengths and weaknesses in math. Students then have a chance to brush up on topics that may have been forgotten or haven’t been practiced for some time.
Be honest. It is important that the Placement Assessment is taken seriously and each student gives it an honest effort so that the Placement Assessment truly reflects their current level of knowledge and math preparedness. There is no benefit to cheating on the Placement Assessment – the only result will be that a student enrolls in a class that is too difficult, potentially costing time and money. Therefore, while taking the Placement Assessment, students should not consult any outside sources for help (friends/family, internet searches, textbooks, notes etc.). The purpose of the Placement Assessment is to give an accurate measure of a student’s current mathematical knowledge so that they will be successful in mathematics courses.
Placement Assessment FAQs
The ALEKS PPL is not a multiple-choice Placement Assessment. It is open-response and requires you to work out solutions with a paper and pencil, then enter them into ALEKS. Be sure to have scratch paper with you.
ALEKS will provide an on-screen calculator if you need one to complete a particular problem. Otherwise, you may not use a calculator.
You may only use a pen or pencil, paper, and the resources provided within ALEKS. You should not receive assistance from friends, family, other websites, textbooks, or any other resource not provided by ALEKS. Using outside resources will lead to improper placement and potentially cause failure. It is a violation of the UND Code of Student Life.
Because ALEKS is adaptive, once you submit an answer, you cannot change it. Be sure to carefully check your answer before submitting your response.
It is likely that you will be asked questions on material you have not yet learned. On such questions it is appropriate to answer, I don't know. On any question that you have familiarity with, however, it is important to do your best.
I don't know is interpreted by ALEKS to mean that you do not know how to solve the topic, and this will be reflected in the Placement Assessment results. There is no penalty for incorrectly answering a question on the Placement Assessment, it only helps ALEKS understand what you know and don’t know.
Yes, the Placement Assessment is timed. The system will allow you to access your Placement Assessment for 2 hours once it has begun.
If the Placement Assessment is unproctored, you will have to restart the Placement Assessment. If the incomplete Placement Assessment is proctored and timed, you will be given a placement result, but it may not be a true reflection of your abilities.
Yes. There are other ways to place in Math courses.
- ACT math subscores, if officially submitted, can place you into the following math courses:
|ACT Math Subscore||Math Course Placement|
|0 - 20||Math 98|
|21 - 25||Math 103, 105, or 107|
|26 - 36||Math 103, 105, 107, 146, or 208*|
|27 - 36||
Math 103, 105, 107, 146, 165, or 208*
*Math 208 is not recommended for first semester freshmen.
2. Scores from AP (Calculus AB or Calculus BC exams), CLEP (College Algebra, Precalculus, or Calculus exams), or IB (mathematics) exams, if officially submitted, can be used to place you in the correct math course. See the AP, CLEP, and IB links above for details.
3. PSEO or dual-credit courses successfully completed in math can place you into the next appropriate math course.
4. Transfer credits in math can place you into the next appropriate math course.
Taking the Placement Assessment
Students will need their NDUS.identifier and password in order to access the assessment. For new students, this is the same log-in information you used to access the New Student Transition Reservation System and select your registration date. For current students, this is the same log-in information you use for Blackboard, Campus Connection, and your UND email.
*We strongly recommend that you bookmark the Placement Assessment link above to easily access your Prep & Learning Module. You will also need to access this link should you elect to take the Placement Assessment more than one time.
Your placement result (overall score) is a number between 0 and 100. It represents the percentage of topics ALEKS has identified you as having mastered. The table below indicates the math courses your score will allow you to register for.
Please note, your ALEKS PPL score is indicative of whether or not you will be able to successfully pass the course you've placed into at UND. Your academic advisor will work with you to select the appropriate course based on your program or major.
ALEKS PPL Scores
|ALEKS PPL Score||Note|
A score below 30 indicates that a student is not likely to be successful in a UND math course. Although you may register for Math 98: Intermediate Algebra, we strongly recommend that you spend the time working in your Prep & Learning Module prior to the start of the course as it will help you improve your likelihood of success in the course.
Students with a score below 30 will be contacted by the UND Math Department to ensure they are prepared to succeed in Math 98. Failure to work with the department will result in the student being dropped from Math 98.
|ALEKS PPL Score||Course #||Course Title|
|30 - 45||Math 98||Intermediate Algebra|
|46 - 60||
|61 - 75||
ALEKS PPL Scores FAQs
- You will receive your score immediately upon completion of your Placement Assessment.
- Your ALEKS PPL score can be viewed by re-entering ALEKS using the same access link for which you took the Placement Assessment.
- Your scores will be added to Campus Connection, which is accessible by your advisor.
- Your scores will be verified by the math department before the semester begins.
Your placement result is valid for up to 12 months.
This is a perfect opportunity to take advantage of the Prep and Learning Modules offered within ALEKS PPL. An individualized study plan will be created based on your performance on the Initial Placement Assessment. The ALEKS PPL will identify what you know and what you are ready to learn next so you can brush up on lost knowledge.
You must achieve the minimum placement result to take each corresponding class. If you have other course credit or test scores (AP, ACT, CLEP, etc.) that allow placement into a mathematics course, talk with your academic advisor.
Congratulations! Continue to use your Prep and Learning Module to improve your chances for success. The placement result required is the minimum preparation for your course. Take advantage of the individualized review and learning features in ALEKS to get a better grade in your class.
Yes, you may take up to 3 Placement Assessments. However, to make each attempt worthwhile, it is important that you spend time working in your ALEKS Prep and Learning Module between Placement Assessments so that you can improve your skills.
You must wait 48 hours between Placement Assessments. There is generally no benefit to re-taking the Placement Assessment immediately after completing a prior attempt. You cannot improve your results by simply re-taking the Placement Assessment without spending time in the Prep and Learning Module to refresh material that you may have forgotten.
Additionally, students must work in their Prep and Learning Module at least:
- 3 hours before the 2nd placement assessment
- 5 hours before the 3rd placement assessment
Math Placement FAQs
The Placement Assessment is used to determine the mathematics course in which you will have the greatest success. Upon completion of the Placement Assessments, your scores will be added to our student information system. Your advisor will review your scores and help make appropriate recommendations for course registration.
All students who have an intended primary or secondary major whose curriculum requires a mathematics course need to take the Placement Assessment. New incoming students must complete the placement assessment prior to new student registration. Students taking a mathematics course in a future semester must complete the placement assessment prior to registration for that semester.
Students should complete the ALEKS PPL Assessment at least 2 weeks prior to their scheduled registration date.
ALEKS PPL for the University of North Dakota does not currently require proctoring for the first three placement attempts. We reserve the right to require a student to take a placement assessment in a proctored environment.
There is no benefit to cheating on the Placement Assessment – the only result will be that a student enrolls in a class that is too difficult, or not challenging enough, potentially costing time and money.
No, there is no fee for the use of ALEKS PPL.
No. There are no required plug-ins or applets required with your use of ALEKS PPL. As long as you have access to the internet and are using an updated browser, you should not experience difficulties in taking your Placement Assessment. For a list of preferred browsers, please review the ALEKS system requirements on their support site.
ALEKS PPL is an online, adaptive system that covers a broad spectrum of mathematics topics. The length of the Placement Assessment will vary, but can be up to 30 questions. You will see some, but not all, of the math you have learned in high school. It is a Placement Assessment, not a preview of math courses at the University of North Dakota. It is designed to identify if you are prepared for a particular course. After you take your first Placement Assessment, you will have the opportunity to review and master additional topics to reassess and improve your placement.
- Real numbers (including fractions, integers, and percentages)
- Equations and inequalities (including linear equations, linear inequalities, systems of linear equations, and quadratic equations),
- Linear and quadratic functions (including graphs and functions, linear functions, and parabolas), exponents and polynomials (including integer exponents, polynomial arithmetic, factoring, and polynomial equations), rational expressions (including rational equations and rational functions
- Radical expressions (including higher roots and rational exponents)
- Exponentials and logarithms (including function compositions and inverse functions, properties of logarithms, and logarithmic equations)
- Geometry and trigonometry (including perimeter, area, and volume, coordinate geometry, trigonometric functions, and identities and equations).
ALEKS will begin with a brief tutorial to make sure you are comfortable with the math palette tools before your Placement Assessment begins. The tutorial shows you how to enter different types of answers, how to use the ALEKS calculator, and how to graph. If you aren’t sure how to input an answer, or need help while you are taking the ALEKS Placement Assessment, select the Help button below the answer pallet tools. Going to the tutorial during your Placement Assessment will NOT impact your Placement Assessment results.
Prep & Learning Modules
You will have twelve months of access to your Prep and Learning module. Access to the prep course will not begin until you select start on the top of your screen. DO NOT select into the Prep and Learning Module until you are ready to start working.
Access to a Prep and Learning Module is included along with the additional Placement Assessments.
You can retake the Placement assessment up to two additional times to improve your score. (The highest score will be used for math placement). Students are required to work in the Prep and Learning Modules for a specific amount of time prior to each Placement Assessment to increase success.
- 2nd attempt—required to complete 3 hours of work in the Prep and Learning Modules before attempting 2nd assessment.
- 3rd attempt—required to complete 5 additional hours of work in the Prep and Learning Modules before attempting 3rd assessment.
While working in a Prep and Learning Module, you will periodically complete a Knowledge Check to make sure you have mastered the topics you gained in Learning Mode. If you do not show mastery during the Knowledge Check, the topics will be added back into your Learning Pie so you can review them again.
No. You must complete a new Placement Assessment to change your placement result. Select the placement tab in the upper right corner of the ALEKS page to start a new Placement Assessment.
Simply close the browser, or log out and log back in. ALEKS will resume the Placement Assessment exactly where you left off, with no loss of your previous answers.
Students can call ALEKS Customer Support at 1.800.258.2374 or visit the placement assistance website to submit a customer support ticket.