PennWest Edinboro requires many incoming students to take an ALEKS Mathematics Placement Assessment to determine readiness for various mathematics courses.

Mathematics Placement Information

The ALEKS Placement Assessment will take approximately 90 minutes to complete. After the assessment, a targeted Preparation and Learning Module (PLM) is available for you to review and learn material, and to improve placement and eventual course outcomes. This module is of particular importance for those who wish to take the assessment and need additional time to potentially place in a different course.

The majority of students that place in their desired Math course spend several hours using the ALEKS Prep and Learning Module (PLM). 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. You are STRONGLY encouraged to do the same to avoid an undesired Math class that may add time to degree completion.

First of all, RELAX. This is NOT A TEST, it's an "assessment" of your skills. 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 mathematics. 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 it truly reflects your level of knowledge and math preparedness.

We recommend that you brush up on your math skills prior to your first attempt. Please refer to this website for practice.

The ALEKS Placement Assessments will now be facilitated out of the MACS Department. You can contact Kristin Ramey,, with questions.

What to Expect

This is a free response assessment; there are no multiple-choice questions. Before you take the assessment, ALEKS will present a short tutorial on how to enter answers, how to use the graphing utilities and how to use the built-in calculator that will be offered when appropriate. TAKE YOUR TIME WITH THIS TUTORIAL AND BE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND HOW THESE FEATURES WORK!
Yes, please take the assessment as soon as you feel ready to do so. However, you should do so before your scheduled New Student Orientation date. If need be, you may then remediate and retake the assessment (see below for details) for up to six months after your initial login, but you are strongly encouraged to do so much sooner to avoid being closed out of the most desirable mathematics classes and incurring a $25 fee for a new ALEKS account.
You will be notified by email if you are required to take the assessment. If you have any questions about your program of study and the mathematics requirement, please contact the department of your major or the Transfer and Adult Student Services Office.

Yes, you may take up to five placement assessments. One will be non-proctored. Attempts 2-5 must be proctored during one of the offered testing dates listed above, at your local library or testing center, or with your high school guidance counselor. However, to make each attempt worthwhile, it is important that you spend time working in your ALEKS Prep and Learning Module (PLM) in between placement assessments so that you can improve your skills. You are required to do a minimum of 10 hours of work in your PLM before you will be eligible to proceed.

Here is a partial list of testing centers within the United States.

No, you do a minimum of 10 hours or work in you PLM. There is generally no benefit to re-taking the assessment immediately after completing a prior attempt. You cannot improve your results by simply re-taking the assessment without spending time in the ALEKS Prep and Learning Module (PLM) to refresh material that you may have forgotten or to learn new material.

Yes, for a minimum of 10 hours between each placement assessment.

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. You should plan to complete the assessment in one two- to three-hour sitting.

NO! 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 by ALEKS. You 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 placement and ultimately course failure.

Your placement in certain math courses is determined by your best score on the assessment and the course requirements of your major. Please check your major requirements before enrolling in a math course.


Course Number

Course Name

Cut Score Range


Remedial Algebra

0-29 (or 45 for STEM)


Mathematical Reasoning I



Finite Mathematics

ALEKS not required**


College Algebra






Applied Math for Business



Essentials of Calculus



Calculus I



Elements of Statistics


** MATH020 and MATH104 are the only math courses with no prerequisites. Students who want ANY other mathematics course should take ALEKS, as MATH104 does not serve as a prerequisite for any course other than STAT260 (Elements of Statistics) and MATH209 (Math of Finance).

Your placement result is valid for 12 months, but your access to the PLM is limited to six months. If you exceed this timeframe and have not reached your desired placement, you will be required to pay a $25 fee for a new ALEKS account.

ALEKS will begin with a brief tutorial before your placement test begins.

You have only six months of access from the time you activate your ALEKS account.

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.

No, you must achieve the minimum placement result to take each corresponding class.

Proctored assessments must be arranged in advance by emailing in the Math and Computer Science Department. You may attend one of the provided on-campus test dates or arrange for an assessment at an off-campus location such as your local library, testing center, or with your high school guidance counselor. Assessments taken at an off-campus location must be pre-approved by the PennWest Edinboro testing coordinator. An online or downloadable proctoring form must be filled out and approved before an ALEKS access code will be issued to the proctor.

Congratulations! Notify your Academic Success Coordinator and he/she will be happy to make a change to your schedule if your desired course is available. Also, please 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.

Visit the ALEKS FAQs page or support page.

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Contact Us

Kristin Ramey
Clerk Typist 2
109 Ross Hall
Phone: 814-732-1392