Who should take the ALEKS Math Placement Exam

  1. Students majoring in or planning to major in an area listed to the right 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.

When to take the ALEKS Math Placement Exam

Students will take math placement test as part of online orientation. The Orientation Tile opens in November for spring admitted students and late April from summer and fall admitted students. You will see more information and be directed to take the test through the SOAR page in MyUI. You should take the test at least 1 week prior to your Student Online Advising and Registration appointment. 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 1 week prior to SOAR appointment.

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 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 may repeat the ALEKS exam. However, you must 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.
  • Placement exam results are binding because they place you in the most appropriate level for your current math skills.

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 2024 admits should use this code, if prompted: 6F66Y-K3LNU

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.

Majors required to take a math placement test

  • Actuarial Science
  • Actuarial Science interest
  • Applied Physics
  • Astronomy
  • Athletic Training (pre-)
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Biology
  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Biomedical Sciences Interest
  • Business and pre-business 
    • Accounting
    • Business Analytics & Information Systems (BAIS)
    • Economics
    • Finance
    • Management
    • Marketing
    • Risk Management & Insurance
  • Chemistry
  • Chiropractic (pre-)
  • Computer Science
  • Data Science
  • Dentistry (pre-)
  • Dietetics (pre-)
  • Elementary Education
  • Engineering and Engineering Interest
    • Biomedical
    • Chemical
    • Civil
    • Computer Science 
    • Electrical
    • Environmental
    • Industrial
    • Mechanical
    • Undeclared
  • Enterprise Leadership
  • Environmental Policy and Planning
  • Environmental Science
  • Exercise Science
  • Geography
  • Geoscience
  • Health Promotion
  • Health Studies
  • Human Physiology
  • Informatics
  • Interdepartmental Studies
    • Business Studies
    • Health Studies
  • International Relations
  • Mathematics
  • Medical Laboratory Science and Medical Laboratory Science Interest
  • Medicine (pre-)
  • Microbiology
  • Neuroscience
  • Nuclear Med Tech and Nuclear Med Tech Interest
  • Nursing and Nursing Interest
  • Occupational Therapy (pre-)
  • Optometry (pre-)
  • Pharmacy Assured Admission
  • Pharmacy Interest
  • Physical Therapy (pre-)
  • Physical Assistant (pre-)
  • Physics
  • Podiatry (pre-)
  • Public Health and Public Health Interest
  • Radiation Sciences and Radiation Sciences Interest
  • Science Studies
  • Speech and Hearing Science
  • Statistics
  • Sustainability Science
  • Veterinary Medicine (pre-)