Taking the Placement Assessment
What topics are covered on the Placement Assessment?
ALEKS PPL is an adaptive system that covers a broad spectrum of mathematics topics, and you will see some, but not all, of the mathematics you learned in high school. Below is an overview of the topics you may encounter on the Placement Assessment:
- Real numbers (including fractions, decimals, percentages, and proportions)
- Equations and inequalities (including solving and graphing both linear and quadratic equations and inequalities)
- Exponents and polynomials (including properties of exponents, polynomial arithmetic, factoring polynomials, and graphing polynomial functions)
- Lines and systems (including the slopes and equations of lines and solving systems of linear equations)
- Functions and graphs (including domain and range, graphs of functions and their transformations, composition of functions, and inverse functions)
- Rational expressions (including solving rational equations and graphing rational functions)
- Radical expressions (including solving radical equations, higher roots, and rational exponents)
- Exponentials and logarithms (including properties of logarithms, solving exponential and logarithmic equations, and graphing exponential and logarithmic functions)
- Geometry (including perimeter and area, surface area and volume, and coordinate geometry)
- Trigonometry (including right triangle trigonometry, the unit circle, graphing trigonometric functions, trigonometric identities, and solving trigonometric equations)
What if I see questions I do not know how to answer on the Placement Assessment?
It is likely that you will be asked questions on material that you have not learned yet. For questions on which you have absolutely no idea how to proceed, it is appropriate to click "I Don't Know." However, it is important to do your best on any questions asking about content with which you are familiar, as there is no penalty for answering a question incorrectly on the Placement Assessment.
How many questions will I be asked on the Placement Assessment?
While the exact number of questions varies, each Placement Assessment will consist of no more than 30 questions.
What is the format of the questions on the Placement Assessment?
The questions will be open-response rather than multiple-choice, and you will need to work out solutions with a pencil or pen and paper before entering your answers into ALEKS.
Can I review a question on the Placement Assessment after I've answered it?
Because ALEKS is adaptive, once you submit an answer, you cannot change it. Be sure to read carefully and check your answer before confirming your response.
Can I use a calculator during the Placement Assessment?
ALEKS will provide an on-screen calculator if you need one to complete a particular problem. Otherwise, you may not use a calculator. Be aware that Lawrence University does not typically allow the use of calculators in the calculus sequence.
Can I use any other resources during the Placement Assessment?
You may only use a pencil or pen, paper, and the resources provided within ALEKS. In particular, you may not receive assistance friends or family members, internet searches, textbooks, notes, or any other outside resources. Seeking unauthorized help could qualify you to enroll in the calculus sequence before you’re ready, and it is a violation of the Lawrence University Honor Code.
Is the Placement Assessment timed?
Once you begin the Placement Assessment, ALEKS will allow you to access it for 24 hours, so you are free to complete the Placement Assessment at your own pace. Although students typically spend 1-2 hours on the Placement Assessment, we recommend setting aside 3 hours to avoid feeling rushed.
What if I am unable to complete the Placement Assessment?
If you need to exit the Placement Assessment for any reason, including technical difficulties, then do not worry. ALEKS will resume the Placement Assessment exactly where you left off, with no loss of your previous answers, provided that you return to it within the allotted 24 hours. However, in the event that unforeseen circumstances prevent you from finishing the Placement Assessment before 24 hours expire, you will be forced to restart the Placement Assessment.
What if I require accommodations for taking the Placement Assessment?
Lawrence University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. Please contact Accessibility Services for more information about establishing eligibility and requesting accommodations.