Math Placement Evaluation

If you have declared a major program that requires completion of MATH 180: College Algebra or higher you must first complete a math placement evaluation. George Fox University uses the ALEKS Placement, Preparation and Learning (PPL).

What is ALEKS?

ALEKS PPL is an artificial intelligence-based assessment tool that helps identify the strengths and weaknesses of a student's mathematical knowledge. This innovative tool provides students with a comprehensive learning environment for improving knowledge to an appropriate level for math course placement.

The ALEKS math placement evaluation is designed to ensure that our students are enrolling for the math course(s) appropriate for their current ability level. Unless you have recieved college credit for a college algebra, or higher, course at another school you must take this math placement evaluation.

How to Get Started

Be Honest

It is important that this evaluation is taken seriously and that 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, or not challenging enough, 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 state so that he/she will be successful in mathematics courses. For more on our policy expectations, visit this Academic Honesty at George Fox University page.



Why must I take the math placement evaluation?

The math placement evaluation is used to determine the mathematics course in which you will have the greatest success. After taking ALEKS, one of our Career and Academic Planning Coaches will review your scores to determine if you are eligible to be registered for your corresponding math requirement. Registration for MATH 180, MATH 190 or MATH 201 is not guaranteed and is contingent on space availability in offered courses.

Who has to take the math placement evaluation?

Students who who want/need to take MATH 180 - College Algebra, MATH 190 - Pre-Calculus, a/o MATH 201: Calculus as part of their degree requirments here at George Fox.

What if I took a math placement exam somewhere else?

You will still have to complete the ALEKS math placement here at George Fox.  We do not accept other math placement results at this time.  

When do I take the math placement evaluation?

You will be sent instructions to access your assessment once you submit your Class Registration Survey.  In order to enroll in your required math class(es), you must have completed the ALEKS assessment and earn a qualifying score for the corresopnding course before the start of the semester you plan to enroll at the university.

What is my placement result?

Your placement results is a number between 0 and 100.  It represents the percentage of topics that you have mastered within ALEKS.  This is the score used for course registration eligiblity.

What score do I need to be eligible for the math class required of my program(s)?

Cut Score Range Course Placement
> 45 46 - 50 MATH 180 - College Algebra (In-Person)
> 50 51 - 60 MATH 180 -College Algebra (In-Person OR Online)
> 60 61 - 75 MATH 190 - Pre-Calculus
> 75 76 - 100 MATH 201 - Calculus I

Is there a fee for the math placement evaluation?

There is currently no fee for the use of ALEKS.

What topics are covered during the ALEKS PPL Assessment?

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 George Fox. 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.

Topics covered:

Can I practice using the ALEKS input tools before I begin the placement assesment?

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 placement assessment, select the Help button below the answer palette tools. Going to the tutorial during your placement assessment will NOT impact your placement assessment results.

Taking the Math Placement Evaluation

What is the format of the questions on ALEKS?

ALEKS 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.

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.

May I use any other resources during a placement assessment?

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 course failure.

Can I review a question after I've answered it?

Because ALEKS is adaptive, once you submit an answer you cannot change it. Be sure to carefully check your answer before submitting your response.

What if I see questions I don’t know?

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.

Are placement assessments timed?

Yes, you have two hours to complete a placement assessment once it has begun. You must complete your assessment once you have started.

Placement Results

What if I do not place into the course I wanted?

This is a perfect opportunity to take advantage of the prep and learning modules offered within ALEKS. An individualized study plan will be created based on your performance on the Initial Placement Assessment. ALEKS will identify what you know and what you are ready to learn next so you can brush up on lost knowledge.  Please see below for more information about the prep and learning moduels.

I did not place into the class I wanted. Can I take it anyway?

No, you must achieve the minimum placement result to take your corresponding math course (MATH 180, MATH 190, or MATH 201).

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 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.

Can I retake the ALEKS PPL Assessment?

Yes, you are able to take the assessment up to a maxium of three times. 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. Between each attempt, you must wait a minimum of 48 hours and spend at least five hours in the prep and learning modules.

Can I retake the ALEKS Placement Assessment immediately?

You must wait 48 hours between placement assessments. There is generally no benefit to retaking the placement asessment immediately after completing a prior attempt. You cannot improve your results by simply retaking the placement assessment without spending time in the prep and learning module to refresh material that you may have forgotten.

What if I don't get the necessary score after my final retake attempt?

If, after your second retake, you still have not achieved the requiste score required for the course required for your program of study, you have the option of fully completing the learning module activites.  Successful completion of the assigned learning module to 100% will fulfill the placement requirement that course.  Once fully completed please notify your CAP Coach for verifciation and registration adjustment.

Prep and Learning Modules

How long do I have access to my prep and learning module?

You will have 12 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.

Is there an additional fee for my prep and learning module?

Access to a prep and learning module is included along with the additional placement assessments.

Must I work in my ALEKS prep and learning module between 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 five hours between each assessment to increase success.

What are ALEKS Knowledge Checks?

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.

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. Select the placement tab in the upper right corner of the ALEKS page to start a new placement assessment.

Can I change to a different prep and learning module later?

No. You may only use one prep and learning module. If you are unsure which module to select, use the module recommended by ALEKS or consult with your advisor.

Technical Support

What do I do if my web browser gets stuck or my computer crashes while I'm taking the 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.

Where can I get help with ALEKS?

Visit this ALEKS technical support page or this Customer Support Form.