North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) requires an ALEKS mathematics placement assessment to determine readiness for various courses. The ALEKS Placement Assessment covers material from Basic Math through Precalculus and will take approximately 90 minutes to complete. After the assessment, a targeted Prep and Learning Module is available for you to review and learn material, and to improve placement and eventual course outcomes.
All students are strongly encouraged to spend several hours using the ALEKS Prep and Learning Module. Even if you have achieved placement in your desired course, time spent in ALEKS will better prepare you for your upcoming course and ultimately lead to better grades.
First of all, RELAX. This is an “assessment,” NOT A TEST. The difference is that an assessment is designed to determine what you know. At the end of the ALEKS Placement Assessment, you will have a much better sense of your strengths and weaknesses in math. You will then have a chance to work on those weaknesses. There is really no penalty for incorrectly answering a question on the assessment. The most important thing is that you take the assessment seriously and give it an honest effort so that the assessment truly reflects your level of knowledge and math preparedness.
Be honest about your skill level. There is no benefit to cheating on the placement assessment – your only reward will be that you are forced to take a class that is too difficult for your current level of mathematical knowledge. Therefore, while you are taking the assessment, do not consult any other source for help (friends, family, internet searches, etc.). The purpose of the placement assessment is to give an accurate measure of your current mathematical skills so that you will be successful in your mathematics courses.
Who has to take the ALEKS Placement Assessment?
All students who have the primary goal of an Associate in Arts (AA) Degree or an Associate in Science (AS) Degree are required to take the ALEKS Placement Assessment. If you are not earning an AA or AS degree but wish to take any of the courses listed below you will also be required to complete the ALEKS Placement Assessment.
|MAT-110||Math for Liberal Arts|
|MAT-134||Trigonometry & Analytic Geometry|
|MAT-153||Math for Elementary Teachers I|
|MAT-156||Introduction to Statistics|
|MAT-165||Calculus (for Business)|
Is there a fee for using ALEKS?
Use of ALEKS is included in your student fees.
Can I retake the ALEKS Placement Assessment?
Yes, you may take up to 5 placement assessments. However, to make each attempt worthwhile, it is important that you spend time working in your ALEKS Prep and Learning Module in between placement assessments so that you can improve your skills.
Are ALEKS Placement Assessments proctored?
The first time you take ALEKS, the test is unproctored so you can get an idea of what the test is like. You can take this at home or school, wherever you have internet access. It is recommended that you take your time and do well on the first test. From the first test results, you can begin to utilize the Prep and Learning modules before taking your proctored test that will be used for placement in math courses. You will need to make an appointment for a proctored test by calling the Testing Center at 641-422-4237 or 1-888-GO NIACC ext. 4237.
Can I retake the ALEKS Placement Assessment immediately?
You must wait 48 hours between placement assessments. There is generally no benefit to re-taking the assessment immediately after completing a prior attempt. Unlike the SAT or ACT, you cannot improve your results by simply re-taking the assessment without spending time in the Prep and Learning Module to refresh material that you may have forgotten or to learn new material.
Must I work in my ALEKS Prep and Learning Module between placement assessments?
Yes, 3 hours work in ALEKS Prep and Learning Modules must be logged before a retest can take place.
Are placement assessments timed?
No, you are free to complete the assessment at your own pace.
How long will a placement assessment take to complete?
Placement assessments require approximately 90 minutes to complete, but the amount of time will vary by student. There will be a maximum of 30 questions.
May I use a calculator while using ALEKS?
ALEKS will provide an on-screen calculator if you need one to complete a particular problem. Otherwise, you may not use a calculator.
What is my placement result?
Your placement result is your percentage mastery on the [latest/best] assessment. Course placement is determined as follows:
|Course Number||Course Name||ALEKS Score|
|MAT-110||Math for Liberal Arts||At least 67% in Whole Number section, AND at least 50% in the Percent Section; OR at least 38% overall|
|MAT-121||College Algebra||At least 38% overall|
|MAT-128||Precalculus||At least 50% overall|
|MAT-134||Trigonometry & Analytic Geometry||At least 50% overall|
|MAT-140||Finite Mathematics||At least 46% overall|
|MAT-153||Math for Elementary Teachers I||At least 38% overall|
|MAT-156||Introduction to Statistics||At least 38% overall|
|MAT-165||Calculus (for Business)||At least 60% overall|
|MAT-210||Calculus I||At least 70% overall|
Is there an additional fee for my Prep and Learning Module?
Access to a Prep and Learning Module is included along with up to 5 placement assessments.
What are ALEKS Progress Assessments?
While working in a Prep and Learning Module, you will periodically complete progress assessments to solidify your gains in knowledge.
Does progress in an ALEKS Prep and Learning Module count toward placement?
No, you must complete a new placement assessment to change your placement result. Click on the placement tab on the upper right of the page from within ALEKS. Only your placement assessment results will be used for course placement.
What if I do not place into the course I wanted?
You can use a Prep and Learning Module to review and learn, and you may take another placement assessment to improve your placement result.
I did not place into the class I wanted. Can I take it anyway?
No, you must achieve the minimum placement result to take each corresponding class.
What if I placed into the class I wanted?
Congratulations! Continue to use your Prep and Learning Module to improve your chances for success. The placement result above is the minimum preparation required for your course! Take advantage of the targeted review and learning features in ALEKS to get a better grade in your class.