Math Placement Exam
The Math Placement Exam (ALEKS Placement, Preparation, and Learning Assessment or ALEKS PPL) can be used by students who do not otherwise meet the prerequisites to place into introductory math courses. Each assessment attempt is up to 30 questions and generally takes 60-90 minutes to complete.
The cost of the exam is covered by the Office of Student Success. The online proctoring service, ProctorU, may require fees if you register for the site without your university email.
ALEKS consists of three parts:
- An initial practice Placement Exam
This score is NOT used for placement but will act as a baseline for attempts going forward. It is important that you demonstrate your initial mathematical skills in the practice attempt; for unfamiliar problems you do not know how to solve, mark “I don’t know” and move on. On any question that you have familiarity with, however, it is important to do your best.
- The Prep and Learning Modules
These modules are required study tools used to review material and improve placement. ALEKS builds these modules based on your previous placement exam attempts. As you continue to retake the exam, the number of hours required in the assigned Prep and Learning Modules will increase.
- The proctored Placement Exam Attempt(s)
You have up to 4 additional attempts to take the placement exam and improve your score. Each attempt should ideally be completed in about two hours; however, you will be able to access your session within a 48-hour window of starting the exam.
Please read all the information provided below before starting the exam process.
When taking the proctored placement exam, calculators and other resources outside of ALEKS are prohibited. You may only use scratch paper and the tools provided in the ALEKS software to take the placement exam.
ALEKS will begin with a brief tutorial that will make sure you are comfortable entering different types of answers, using the ALEKS calculator, and graphing in the Exam. If you aren't sure how to input an answer while you are taking the ALEKS Placement Exam, select the "Help" button below the answer pallet tools.
Going through the tutorial during your placement exam will NOT impact your score.
The initial practice placement exam, the prep and learning modules, and the proctored placement attempts are administered using the ALEKS web-app and does not require additional software to be installed other than a functional internet browser and a stable connection. You can test your computer using https://www.aleks.com/support/troubleshooting.
Additional programs or plug-ins may be necessary with chosen virtual proctoring services.
You may not receive assistance from friends, family, other websites, textbooks, or any other resource not provided by ALEKS in the proctored attempts. There are serious consequences and no benefit to cheating on the placement exam - you may enroll in a class that you are underprepared, or overprepared for potentially costing you time and money.
Any incident of using unauthorized materials or outside help on a proctored placement exam will be reported to the All-University Academic Integrity Board for adjudication. This may result in sanctions beyond just the invalidation of the placement result itself.
Review https://honesty.uark.edu/policy/ for more information regarding academic honesty policies and sanctions for academic dishonesty.
After logging into UAConnect, click on your Academic Records tile, then click the folder icon next to “Other Academics” and the link for the Math Placement Test will be in the dropdown menu.
It is recommended that you take your initial practice attempt 6 - 12 months before you will need the score.
After taking the initial practice attempt and completing three hours in the assigned Prep and Learning Modules during the two day waiting-period you may take the proctored placement exam.
Each time you start an attempt, your access will last for 48 hours. If you need to exit the placement exam for any reason, you will be able to log back in and pick-up where you left off. Coordinate with your proctor if you need to take a break. Incomplete attempts will be graded after 48 hours and will reflect what you have completed.
Taking the Exam on Campus
The Department of Mathematical Sciences offers free proctoring in the Testing Center (located in Champions Hall 326) during operational hours outside of finals week. Plan and be aware of when the Testing Center closes so you have enough time to finish your exam.
You MUST also present your valid UARK ID upon entry and may not enter with a calculator or any other outside resource. You will be turned away if you do not have your UARK ID.
Hours and information on our Testing Center are available at https://mrtc.uark.edu.
Taking the Exam Online
The Office of Student Success covers the costs of ProctorU when students create an account linked with their UARK email account. Use https://www.proctoru.com/portal/uark when creating your new account.
Please review the following instructions about using ProctorU services. You will have to schedule a proctoring session BEFORE you begin the assessment.
Required technical specifications are listed on https://www.proctoru.com/portal/uark#technical. Your computer MUST have a webcam and it is required that you have a reflective surface to use to show the proctor your area is clear of prohibited materials.
For our virtual proctoring option, please watch Get Started with ProctorU for an overview of the online proctoring experience.
Review the following instructions.
Scheduling Your Exam
- Create your ProctorU account (for new users), take the initial Placement Exam in ALEKS, review using the Prep and Learning Module for two hours
- Log-in to ProctorU
- Click the button that says "Schedule New Session"
- In the confirmation menu, confirm the following using options from the three dropdown
- Confirm your institution > "University of Arkansas"
- Select a term > "Math Placement Exams"
- Select your exam > "ALEKS Math Placement Test..."
- Click "Find Sessions" to schedule your exam
- Schedule and confirm your time, and process your order
- When it comes time for your appointment, you will log into ProctorU and select the exam with ALEKS open in another window; the proctor will unlock the exam
You can retake the proctored Placement assessment up to four times to improve your score. Students are required to work in the Prep and Learning Modules for a specific amount of time before each Placement Exam to increase the likelihood of success. If you are unsure of which module to select, use the module recommended by ALEKS.
You must wait 48 hours between Placement Exams. There is generally no benefit to re-taking the Placement Exam immediately after completing a prior attempt.
1st attempt (practice) —no time required in the Prep and Learning Module before attempting this assessment. It does not produce a score which will satisfy prerequisites.
2nd attempt—required to complete 3 hours of work in the Prep and Learning Modules before attempting assessment.
3rd attempt—required to complete 3 additional hours of work in the Prep and Learning Modules before attempting assessment.
4th attempt—required to complete 5 additional hours of work in the Prep and Learning Modules before attempting assessment.
5th attempt—required to complete 8 additional hours of work in the Prep and Learning Modules before attempting assessment.
The highest of the proctored scores will be used for your math placement.
If you run out of attempts and want to take another attempt, your account will be reset and you will have to start over.
ALEKS defines your mathematical mastery on a score, from 0 to 100, based on the difficulty of problems and how well you did on them. You will receive your score immediately upon completion of your placement exam. Your score can be viewed on the ALEKS dashboard and are updated overnight to UAConnect.
Review the minimum score you may need for to register for a given course by visiting https://mathplacement.uark.edu.
Scores on the Math Placement Exam do not count for credit hours and may not fulfill specific degree requirements. Refer any degree requirement questions to your college’s advisory center or your program’s main office.