Who should take the ALEKS Math Placement Exam

  1. Students majoring in or planning to major in an area listed below or students who are planning on taking a math class in their first year on campus.
  2. Students who have not completed Calculus in high school and/or are not bringing in college credit for Calculus. If you have completed Calculus or are bringing in college credit for Calculus (1 year), you should take the Advanced Math Placement Test.
  3. All first-year students admitted to the College of Engineering and/or the Tippie College of Business are required to take a math placement test regardless of credit you are bringing into Iowa. 
Actuarial Science and Actuarial Science Interest

Interdepartmental Studies

  • Business Studies
  • Health Studies
Applied Physics Mathematics
Astronomy Medical Laboratory Science (pre-)
Athletic Training Medicine (pre-)
Biochemistry Microbiology
Biology Neuroscience
Biomedical Sciences Nuclear Med Tech Interest

Business (and Pre-Business)

  • Accounting
  • Business Analytics & Information Systems (BAIS)
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Management
  • Marketing
Nursing and Nursing Interest
Chemistry Optometry (pre-)
Chiropractic (pre-) Pharmacy and Pharmacy Interest
Computer Science Physical Therapy (pre-)
Data Science Physician Assistant (pre-)
Dentistry (pre-) Physics
Elementary Education Podiatry (pre)

Engineering (and Engineering Interest)

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Computer Science & Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Undeclared Engineering
Public Health and Public Health Interest
Enterprise Leadership Radiation Sciences (pre-)
Environmental Sciences Science Education
Geography Science Studies
Geoscience Speech and Hearing Science
Global Health Studies Statistics
Health & Human Physiology Sustainability Science
Human Physiology Veterinary Medicine (pre-)

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.

Placement exams need to be completed at least 2 weeks prior 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.

How to take the ALEKS Math Placement Exam

Begin 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?

  1. 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?
  • Fall 2022 admits should use this code, if prompted: XKAKM-PTJK3
  • Spring 2022 admits should use this code, if prompted: XA6WU-MKX3

Please email Amanda Marr if you need your access to the ALEKS math placement test extended.  Be sure to include your name and student UID number in the email.

  1. 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 its-helpdesk@uiowa.edu  or calling (319) 384-HELP (4357).

Questions about placement in courses? Contact the Academic Advising Center at: advising-center@uiowa.edu or Engineering Tutoring/Academic Advising at: megan-e-allen@uiowa.edu.