Placement: How to interpret your ALEKS Score

What does my score mean?

Your ALEKS score is the percentage of the mathematical topics that you have mastered.  It is not a reflection of how many questions you answered correctly!  The more topics you have mastered, the more math and science courses you are ready for. If your score seems low given your mathematical background, that may be because you haven’t had a recent opportunity to review or practice some of the elementary skills that are important in quantitative courses yet don’t often come up in Precalculus and Calculus courses.  

If you complete the ALEKS math placement test during the academic year, please email Colin Ehr ( to have your score recorded.

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What classes does my score allow me to take?

The table below will help you to determine your placement, based on your score from the ALEKS Placement Exam.


You can register for:

Explanations and Suggestions

less than 30 You cannot register for any courses with a math or QR 101 prerequisite 
  • You must retake the placement test after reviewing in a learning module.  
  • Work on the first four pie slices. You should aim for 60% mastery of the College Algebra ‘pie’ before retaking the assessment. 
30 to 52 QR 101
  • You are strongly encouraged to retake the assessment after studying in the ALEKS online learning modules. 
  • QR 101 is a prerequisite for almost all Natural Sciences courses.
53 to 75 Any course with a prerequisite of “QR 101 or equivalent”
  • A score of 53 or higher allows you to register for introductory biology and chemistry classes. To be even better prepared for these classes, use the Prep for Calculus learning module in ALEKS.
  • If you want to register for MATH 131 or any other class with a MATH 115 prerequisite, then you should work in the Prep for Calculus module and retake ALEKS to earn a score above 75.
Above 75 MATH 123, MATH 131, or any course with a prerequisite of MATH 115.
  • Using the Prep for Calculus module to review will contribute to your success in these courses.
  • If you have already taken Calculus, and are ready to move on to Calculus II or beyond, see Advanced Standing or Transfer Credit.

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What if I want to take a course at a higher level?

Activate your learning module, work through the lessons and problems, and try the test again! We strongly advise that you to spend 45-60 minutes per day in the modules for 1-2 weeks before retesting. This has been a proven formula for success! Incoming students are required to spend 8 hours in the module before taking the test a second time, but 10-12 hours is recommended.  

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If I’m happy with my placement do I need to use a learning module?

If you scored under a 30, you must retest. Otherwise, you’re not required to. You are strongly encouraged to use the learning module and retest if you have scored under a 53.  The only students who should sign up for QR 101 are those who have used the learning modules for at least 8 hours, and retested, and did not achieve a mastery level of 53 or above. 

However, you will be more successful in all of these courses if your ALEKS scores are better than the minimum required. So even if you have placed into the class you want to take, we encourage you to continue to use the appropriate learning modules to review and deepen your preparation for your classes!

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