For students who did not take a year or more of Calculus in high school and who have not earned college credit for Calculus:
If you want to take a math class (for any reason) during your first year at the University, you are required to take the ALEKS Math Placement Exam.
If you are considering a major in any of the programs of study listed below, you are required to take the ALEKS Math Placement Exam.
All international students admitted for fall who did not take a year or more of Calculus in high school and who have not earned college credit for Calculus are required to take the ALEKS math placement exam by the end of May or as soon as possible thereafter in order to be eligible for early enrollment. All international students admitted for spring who did not take a year or more of Calculus in high school and who have not earned college credit for Calculus are required to take the ALEKS math placement exam by the end of November or as soon as possible thereafter in order to be eligible for early enrollment. Placement exams should be completed 2 weeks prior to Orientation.
Placement exam results are binding because they place you in the most appropriate level for your current math skills.
When to take the ALEKS Math Placement Exam
For spring admitted students, do not take this exam before October 1. For summer and fall admitted students, do not take this exam before May 1. Take this exam as soon as possible following the opening date for your session (spring, summer or fall) and at least 2 weeks prior to your orientation date. If you take the ALEKS Math Placement Test and are not satisfied with your initial score, you will have enough time to review math through the ALEKS Prep & Learning Modules and retake the test before coming to orientation.
What you should know before taking the ALEKS Math Placement Exam
- ALEKS is an online exam consisting of 25 – 30 open-ended questions covering a variety of math topics. The exact number of questions will vary because of the adaptive format.
- There is no time limit for ALEKS, but you should allow a minimum of 90 minutes to complete your exam.
- You may repeat the ALEKS exam.
- You may not use a calculator, books, notes, or any other resources except for scratch paper. A calculator will be provided within the ALEKS programs when appropriate.
- You can take ALEKS more than once, however you should work on the Prep & Learning Modules before re-taking ALEKS. You may want to discuss results with your advisor at orientation prior to re-taking ALEKS.
- See the ALEKS FAQ for more information and answers to commonly asked questions.
How to take the ALEKS Math Placement Exam
Login with your University of Iowa hawkID and password
To see the minimum ALEKS scores required for math courses, please see the ALEKS Math Course Placement
Having Problems with the ALEKS Math Placement Exam?
- After I log in with my HawkID, I get a message saying that the ALEKS course has expired, and I need a course code. What should I do?
Please email Cynthia Farthing telling her that your access to the ALEKS math placement test needs to be extended. Be sure to include your name and student UID number in the email.
- I can log into the ALEKS test site, but I cannot take a placement exam. Why?
There are two possible reasons for this: either you have not waited enough time between placement tests, or you have not spent the required amount of time in the ALEKS Prep and Learning modules since your last placement test. You are required to wait at least 24 hours between assessments. You must also spend 3 hours in the Prep and Learning modules between your second and third tests, 3 hours in the Prep and Learning modules between your third and fourth tests, and 15 hours in the Prep and Learning modules between your fourth and fifth tests.
For all other questions or trouble with the ALEKS placement test, please contact the ITS Help Desk by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (319) 384-HELP (4357).