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About ALEKS Mathematics Assessment

what is aleks?

ALEKS is an artificial intelligence assessment tool that identifies for students their strengths and weaknesses in mathematics. It will report to both the student and Clarion University a score on which your mathematics placement is based.

The ALEKS system will help ensure that students are adequately prepared for their first mathematics course in college. It is important for students to begin in the mathematics course that is most likely to lead to success, and ALEKS is the tool Clarion University uses to determine the appropriate course. Students will not be permitted to take a course unless they have demonstrated readiness by scoring high enough on the ALEKS assessment or by successfully completing the prerequisite course (at the level of a C or better).

ALEKS offers students the opportunity to develop their mathematics skills by working through learning modules that are provided free of charge. Students who do not achieve their desired placement the first time around can work through the modules suggested by ALEKS re-take their placement exam. We want to stress the importance of this opportunity, as well as how successful this program has been for students.

How do I take the aleks mathematics assessment?

Students can access the ALEKS mathematics assessment through their MyCLARION account.  After logging in, click the link to navigate to your `Student Center'.  Within the Student Center screen you will see a link for `ALEKS Mathematics Placement' to the left of your schedule.  Click this link to be taken directly into the ALEKS system. (No further sign-on is required.)

How long will the assessment take?

The assessment will ask up to 30 questions. Last year, it took students an average of 90-120 minutes to complete the assessment. If you do not complete the assessment in one sitting, you will have 48 hours to complete it before the assessment is reset.

What are the steps in the aleks process?

Think of ALEKS as a multi-step process:

  1. The initial assessment
  2. Personalized learning modules (minimum of 3 hours)
  3. Second attempt at the assessment
  4. Personalized learning modules (minimum of additional 3 hours)
  5. Third attempt at the assessment

After you complete the assessment once, you will receive an initial placement AND individualized learning modules will be created for you in the ALEKS system. The purpose of these modules is to further develop your skills and provide you with the opportunity to earn a higher placement. These learning modules will take you a minimum of 3 hours to complete. We encourage you to spend the time completing these modules and to then re-take the assessment. You do not have to complete them all at once, but please work through the process in a timely manner.

You will then have the opportunity to retake the assessment.  Recognizing the importance of the learning that can occur within the learning modules, you will then be given another opportunity to use the learning modules to advance your skills.  This requires a minimum of 3 hours.  At that time, you can then attempt the assessment for a third and final time.

Important Note: Once you click on the link in MyClarion and start step one, above, you will have 60 days to complete the entire process. The smaller window of time in which you work through these steps, the better chance you have of improving your placement.

WHy would i want to re-take the assessment?

To put it simply: You want to set yourself up for success in your first year. To do that, you should try to place into the highest mathematics course that you can. Even if you are not pursuing a major that requires higher-level mathematics courses, ALL Clarion University students have to take a mathematics course to meet their General Education requirements. Many of our students who have trouble with mathematics place into Math 050. Unfortunately, this course does not count toward your 120 credits that are required to earn a Bachelor’s degree. Therefore, these students need to take Math 050 and at least one additional mathematics course, depending on their major. We know that students who start in Math 050 do not successfully graduate at the same rate as students who place into a higher mathematics course.

That’s why we chose ALEKS, and we want you to take full advantage of the individualized learning modules and the opportunity to re-take your placement. We also know that it works:

  • Last year, 78% of the students who placed into Math 050 and who chose to work through the learning modules tested out of Math 050 on their second attempt at the placement.
  • 77% of all students who worked through the learning modules and re-took the placement achieved a higher placement level.

Even if you place into your desired/required mathematics class, there are still good reasons to re-take the assessment:

  • Improving your background and knowledge prior to taking your required class will likely improve your performance in that course.
  • You may be interested in a specialized career path or graduate school and may be encouraged to take a higher level mathematics course beyond the required course.
  • You may change your major and may ultimately need a higher level class.

There is no penalty for retaking the ALEKS assessment. Only the highest ALEKS score is used for placement purposes.

Read more about your ALEKS score for better understanding.  If you feel that you have improved your placement score after retaking the assessment, please contact your advisor to adjust your schedule accordingly.

Who do I contact if I have technical problems?

Students with problems or issues getting started with MyCLARION or the ALEKS placement system should contact the Help Desk at or (814) 393-2640.

If you encounter a technical issue once you are within ALEKS and have started the assessment, contact ALEKS Higher Education Customer Support:

Hours (Eastern Time):
4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday
7 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday - Thursday
7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday
Telephone: (714) 619-7090

Or fill out a support request form here.


Last Updated 9/22/20