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ALEKS Placement Test

ECC requires an ALEKS Placement, Preparation, and Learning (ALEKS PPL) assessment to determine readiness for mathematics courses for students below the math score minimum on the ACT, SAT, PSAT, and HiSET, or GED.


ALEKS is a powerful artificial intelligence-based assessment tool that zeros in on the strengths and weaknesses of a student’s mathematical knowledge, reports its findings to the student, and then provides the student with a learning environment for improving this knowledge to an appropriate level for course placement. The Placement Assessment is between 20 and 30 questions and generally takes 45 to 90 minutes to complete.

ALEKS chooses each question based on answers to all the previous questions. Once questions are answered and submitted, students cannot return to a previous question.

ALEKS consists of three parts:

  1. An initial placement assessment:
    • Each student, and therefore each set of assessment questions, is unique. It is impossible to predict the questions that will be asked. The questions begin with Trigonometry questions and then progress to College Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, or Algebra, depending on the questions missed in the above levels.
  2. The prep and learning module is an individualized, self-paced online review.
  3. Access to 4 additional placement assessments within one year.

ECC encourages each student to spend time in the prep and learning module, even if the desired score is achieved because time spent in ALEKS will ultimately lead to better preparation and improved grades.

Taking the ALEKS PPL Assessment

Before you take the Placement Assessment, ALEKS will present a short tutorial on how to enter answers, use the graphing utilities, and use the built-in calculator that will be offered when appropriate. Take your time with this tutorial, and be sure you understand how to use these features.

ALEKS is not a multiple-choice Placement Assessment. It is open-response and requires you to work out solutions with paper and pencil and then enter them into ALEKS. Testing staff will provide scratch paper and pencils.

  • Once you submit an answer, you cannot change it. Be sure to carefully check your answer before submitting your response.
  • You will likely be asked questions on material you have not yet learned. On any question that you are familiar with, however, it is important to do your best to answer the question. Answering a question with ‘I Don’t Know’ is interpreted by ALEKS to mean that you do not know how to solve the topic, which will be reflected in the results.
  • The test is not timed, and you can complete the Placement Assessment at your own pace.
  • If you need to exit the Placement Assessment, the testing staff can log back in and pick up where you left off.

ALEKS PPL Assessment Score

Your placement assessment score is a number between 0 and 100. It represents the percentage of topics ALEKS has identified you have mastered. Your ALEKS score and your program of study determine course placement.

  • An academic advisor will meet you during new student orientation before registering to ensure you choose the correct math course to fulfill your major.
  • Returning and transfer students should make an appointment with an academic advisor to review the placement assessment score and discuss course options.

The courses you are eligible to enroll in based on your score:

  • Your ALEKS score can be viewed by re-entering ALEKS using the same access link for which you took the Placement Assessment.
  • Your scores are added to your student profile on the accessECC portal.
  • View math placement chart

Your placement scores are available on the Test Summary page of the Plan, Register, and Pay tool located on the accessECC portal. Visit accessECC account information to learn how to set up your accessECC Portal login.

Remote Testing

Taking this assessment remotely will require you to register with ALEKS, our placement provider, and download software called LockDown Browser and Respondus Monitor.

You must complete the remote testing setup below the day before you sit down to take your test.

Remote Testing System Requirements

Please expect to spend up to 30 minutes setting up your account and downloading the software.

LockDown Browser and Responus Monitor will work on PCs, Macs, and iPads. Download software and review specific system requirements.

LockDown Browser and Responus Monitor do not work on Chromebooks or smartphones. If you do not have access to a device that is supported, please get in touch with

ALEKS Remote Math Placement Instructions.


Remote Math Placement Instructions FAQs

Review the testing scores summary to determine if you need to take placement testing. If you have not taken the ACT, SAT, PSAT, PARCC, HiSet, or high school equivalency tests, or if you do not meet any of the criteria listed in the testing scores summary, you must take ECC’s math placement test.

If you only need to satisfy the geometry requirement, email for Geometry placement instructions.

Students who have already enrolled or received a grade in an ECC math class are NOT eligible to take the placement unless they earn a grade of A in their first math course. 

Taking the math placement test requires using Respondus Monitor, a video monitoring service that uses the Respondus Lockdown Browser. It serves as a deterrent to students using secondary computers, phones, calculators, textbooks, or receiving assistance from other students. 

Once a student has taken the placement, a proctor will review the session to ensure no test aids are used or help is received. You must complete this assessment independently, as this will ensure you are placed into the best class to help you succeed. Cheating or plagiarism of any kind will not be tolerated. Engaging in such activity violates our Academic Integrity policy and may result in a score of zero.

Learn more about Respondus Monitor

Respondus Monitor creates a video for the proctor to review at a later time. It is not a remote live proctoring program.

You may NOT use your calculator during this exam. A calculator will be provided on the screen when permitted during the test. The use of a personal calculator will void your attempt.

You shouldn't access other resources (a phone, tablet, notes, books, etc.) or communicate with others during this exam. Please stay seated and focus on the computer screen until the exam is complete. If an interruption occurs, briefly explain what happened by speaking directly to your webcam. And finally, remember that you cannot exit the exam until all questions are completed and submitted for grading.

You must complete this assessment independently, as this will ensure you are placed into the best class to help you succeed. Cheating or plagiarism of any kind will not be tolerated. Engaging in such activity violates our Academic Integrity policy and may result in a score of 0.

Follow the steps below to register and access ALEKS Placement Prep & Learning, PPL. Please contact ALEKS Customer Support at 800-258-2374 or email for registration help.

Step 1: Visit and select Sign-Up New Student!
Screen grab showing the sign-up link on aleks dot com

Step 2: Enter the 10-character ALEKS code: GDN3D-4FT6H into the Course Code box. Then select Continue.
Screen grab of the form field to enter the class code

Step 3: Verify the following:

Class Code: QNLYN-G69DF

Class: Cohort 5 _ AY24, SU24, FA24 2024

Subject Higher Education Math Placement 

Class Dates: 03/11/2024 - 05/24/2025

Institution: Elgin Community College 

If the information is correct, select Confirm. If the information is incorrect, select Cancel to re-enter the ALEKS Code.

Step 4: Select “No, I have never used ALEKS before.” Then select Continue.

Even if you have used ALEKS before, you still must select the first option to create a new ALEKS account.
Screen grab of the Welcome to ALEKS screen

Step 5: Complete the Student Information, and write down the password you create. Enter your seven-digit ECC student ID (including any leading zeroes) in the Student ID text field above. For email, enter the full ECC student email address ( Review and select “I Agree to the Terms of Use” and click Continue.
Screen grab showing the Registration form

Step 6: You’ll next see your Login Name generated by ALEKS. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address you provided, including your Login Name. Be sure to save your Login Name for future ALEKS testing. Select Continue.
Screen grab showing the Login Information screen

Step 7: Click on the title to enter your Math Placement Assessment.
Screen grab showing My Classes screen

Step 8: A tutorial will begin. To view, click “Next” and follow the prompts on the screen.
Screen grab showing the ALEKS pop up tutorial screen

Step 9: Complete the Survey and click “Next”.
Screen grab showing the Survey screen

Step 10: At the end of the survey, click “Continue”.
Screen grab showing the Thank you for completing the survey! message on aleks dot com

Step 11: Click “Get Started” to begin the “Take the Tools Tutorial and complete all the practice questions”.
Screen grab showing the Get Started button

Step 12: Once completed, you will see the below message “Congrats…” click continue.
Screen grab showing the Congrats message on aleks dot com

Step 13: To begin the Placement Assessment, click “GET STARTED”.
Screen grab of the Get Started button to begin the Placement Assessment

Step 14: Click “Launch LockDown Browser + Webcam”.
Screen grab showing the Launch LockDown Browser and Webcam message

Step 15: Read the “Terms of Use” and click Agree.
Screen grab of the Terms of Use

Step16: The “Webcam Check” will begin. Click “Yes” when ready. Remember, you are not able to use a personal calculator during the test.
Screen grab of the Webcam Check screen

ALEKS PPL Assessment FAQs

Frequently asked questions and answers regarding the ALEKS placement, preparation, and learning (ALEKS PPL) assessment.

Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces is a Web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system. ALEKS uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine what a student knows and doesn't know in a course. ALEKS then instructs students on the topics they are most ready to learn. As a student works through the prep modules, the system periodically reassesses the student to ensure that the topics learned are retained. Each prep module is complete in its topic coverage and avoids multiple-choice questions. A student who demonstrates a high mastery of a prep module will succeed in the actual course they are taking.

The placement assessment determines the mathematics course in which you will succeed most. Upon completion of the placement assessment, your score is entered into the student system. An academic advisor will review your score and help make appropriate recommendations for course registration during new student orientation.

  • Students indicated they are pursuing a degree or certificate with courses requiring math.
  • All students who wish to take MTH 102, 104, 110, or MTH 112 do not have the minimum mathematics sub-score ACT 23 or SAT 540 or SAT3 570 or HiSET 15, or GED 165 must take the ALEKS placement assessment.
  • Students with the minimum scores listed above and who wish to enter MTH 114, 120, 125, 126, or MTH 190 should also take the ALEKS placement assessment.

Students must take the ALEKS placement assessment before being scheduled for New Student Orientation.

  • No appointment is required, and there is no time limit.
  • No fee is charged.
  • Results are issued to students upon completion of the test.

Students are encouraged to meet with an ECC academic advisor to review test scores and high school and/or college transcripts to determine final placement. If a student does not have high school and/or college transcripts on file, only the ECC Math Placement Test scores will be used to determine the final placement.

Students will take the ALEKS test in the testing center located in Building B, Room B115. Allow at least two hours to take the ALEKS math placement test. Arrive no later than 2 hours before closing.

The testing center hours are:

  • Monday to Thursday from 8 am to 7 pm
  • Friday from 8 am to 3 pm
  • Saturday from 9 am to 3 pm

The Testing Center is closed on Tuesdays from 2 to 3 pm for a department meeting. All tests and materials are collected 15 minutes before closing.


  • Your government-issued photo id, driver’s license, school id, or passport.
  • ECC ID number.

We provide:

  • Pencils and scratch paper.
  • ALEKS provides an on-screen calculator for specific questions.
  • No other calculator is allowed. You can solve most questions without a calculator.

When you arrive:

Ask to take the Math Placement Test. The Testing Staff will ask for your photo ID and ECC student ID number. You will be asked to lock away any personal items (cell phones, smartwatches, watches, bookbags, coats, purses, and other electronic devices) in a nearby locker for which you will be given a key.

There is no fee associated with using the ALEKS placement assessment.

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 ECC. 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.

  • Real numbers (including fractions, integers, and percentages)
  • Equations and inequalities (including linear equations, linear inequalities, systems of linear equations, and quadratic equations),
  • Linear and quadratic functions (including graphs and functions, linear functions, and parabolas), exponents and polynomials (including integer exponents, polynomial arithmetic, factoring, and polynomial equations), rational expressions (including rational equations and rational functions
  • Radical expressions (including higher roots and rational exponents)
  • Exponentials and logarithms (including function compositions and inverse functions, properties of logarithms, and logarithmic equations)
  • Geometry and trigonometry (including perimeter, area, volume, coordinate geometry, trigonometric functions, and identities and equations).

Math course requirements are different for each program and certificate. Talk with an academic advisor to determine the math course required for your program.

ECC accepts ALEKS placement scores as long as the assessment is proctored. If the assessment was not completed in a proctored setting, the student must retake the ALEKS placement in a proctored setting for ECC to accept the scores.

Close the browser, or log out and log back in. ALEKS will resume the ALEKS PPL Assessment exactly where you left off without losing your previous answers. Testing staff will need to enter the password to resume the test.

Yes. You may take up to 5 Placement Assessments within one year. To make each attempt worthwhile, you must work on your ALEKS Prep and Learning Module between Placement Assessments to improve your skills.

Students wishing to retake the placement assessment may do so after a 24-hour cool-down period between attempts and after completing the required Prep and Learning. Students must complete a minimum of hours in the Prep and Learning Module between assessments.

Students can visit for more detailed information and preview the types of questions by choosing the 'Free Trial' link.

ECC accepts ALEKS placement scores as long as the assessment is proctored. If you did not complete the assessment in a proctored setting, the student must retake the ALEKS placement in a proctored setting for ECC to accept the scores.

ALEKS Prep and Learning Module FAQs

Frequently asked questions and answers regarding the ALEKS Placement, Preparation, and Learning (ALEKS PPL).

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.

No. You must complete a new ALEKS PPL Assessment to change your placement result. Select the placement tab in the upper right corner of the ALEKS page to start a new ALEKS PPL Assessment. Only testing staff can start a new placement assessment in a proctored setting by entering the password.

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 at the top of your screen. Do not select the Prep and Learning Module until you are ready to start working.

No. Access to a Prep and Learning Module and the additional ALEKS PPL Assessment are included.

Yes. You can retake the ALEKS PPL Assessment. Up to four additional times to improve your score. The highest score will be used for math placement. You must wait 24 hours between attempts and complete the required time in the Prep and Learning module. Students are required to work in the Prep and Learning Modules for a specific amount of time prior to each Placement Assessment to increase success.

  • 3 hours using the Prep and Learning Module before the second attempt.
  • 3 more hours (6 total) using the Prep and Learning Module before the third attempt.
  • 5 more hours (11 total) using the Prep and Learning Module before the fourth attempt.
  • 8 more hours (19 total) using the Prep and Learning Module before 5th attempt.

While working in a Prep and Learning Module, you will periodically complete a Knowledge Check to ensure 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 to your Learning Pie so you can review them again.

Introduction to ALEKS® PPL

Learn about ALEKS Placement, Preparation, and Learning (PPL).


Other Helpful Resources


Testing Center

Building B, Room B115
Fax: 847-608-5474

Exam Registration

Monday through Thursday: 8 am to 7 pm
Friday: 8 am to 3 pm
Saturday: 9am to 3pm

*Note: The Testing Center is closed Tuesdays from 2 to 3 pm for a department meeting. All tests and materials are collected 15 minutes before closing.