Florida State University Mathematics Placement Test (ALEKS)

ALEKS is an essential part of mathematics placement for math courses at Florida State University.

Our goal is to place you at your correct starting point in mathematics -- the place where you have the necessary skills to succeed but with enough challenge to keep you engaged all semester. It is important to start in the right place, since once you start in one of these courses, you may not skip over courses.

The flow chart above shows the courses where ALEKS is used for placement. It also shows the prerequisite courses: MAC 2311 requires both MAC 1114 and MAC 1140, each of MAC 1114, MAC 1140 and MAC 2233 require MAC 1105. It also shows you can take MAC 1114 and MAC 1140 in the same semester, or in either order. Also ALEKS cannot place you into MAC 2312 Calculus II or a higher course.

Placement Test Requirement

Prior to an FSU student's first MAC course at FSU, if that course is mac2311 or lower, they must take the ALEKS placement test —EXCEPT for students who have earned college credit with a C- or better in a MAC course through high school dual enrollment or other trasfer credit. This exception does not include students who have earned MAC credit through AP/IB/AICE/CLEP — those students MUST take ALEKS. Note ALEKS scores expire after 15 months, unless the student is granted an extension by the Mathematics advisor.

To register for and access the ALEKS placement test, please click here: How to Access the ALEKS test.

About the ALEKS placement test

ALEKS can be accessed at any time using a computer with internet access and the most recent version of Java. The assessment consists of 25 to 30 questions, and average completion time is about 90 minutes. You will have 48 hours to complete the assessment; if not completed at this time, that assessment will become unavailable, and ALEKS will provide a new assessment. ALEKS automatically saves all progress, so the assessment does not have to be completed in one sitting, and can be reaccessed anytime within the 48 hour period by simply logging back in.

ALEKS does not use multiple choice, but instead uses input tools in which you type or graph your answer. Before beginning the assessment, ALEKS will walk you through a quick tutorial on how to use the system, including: entering your answers, using the graphing tool, and using the calculator provided. DO NOT use the back button.

We understand it may have been a while since you took math, so you may need to refresh some topics before enrolling in a Mathematics course at FSU. After taking the initial assessment, you will have the opportunity to use a Learning Module within ALEKS to refresh mathematical topics unique to your results.

It's important that you use only the resources provided by ALEKS. You should not use any textbooks, websites, friends, or family, nor a personal calculator (ALEKS will provide a calculator, as needed). Non-permitted use of these resources may gain you entry into a course for which you are not prepared; leading to failure, wasting time/money, and causing a delay in degree completion.

ALEKS is a web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system. It uses adaptive questioning to determine exactly what you know, don't know, and are ready to learn. This means that the ALEKS assessment is unique for every student and will expose your particular strengths and weaknesses. After completing the ALEKS assessment, you will get a detailed pie chart (see below), called MyPie, of your current mathematical knowledge, and will have the opportunity to review mathematical topics in a Learning Module to help you prepare for your courses.

Interpreting your ALEKS score

Below are the courses you are eligible to enroll in based on your score. For your records, print your results and write in the course(s) you're eligible to take based on the table below. Use this document during your orientation, advising sessions, and/or registration.

ALEKS score Trig Subscore Course Eligibility
76%-100% 56% or higher MAC 2311 Calculus with Analytic Geometry I
76%-100% 41%-55% Recommended that student take MAC 1114 Trigonometry before MAC 2311, or concurrently. Students who opt to proceed with MAC 2311 without MAC 1114 should use the ALEKS learning modules to review.
76%-100% Less than 41% Must take MAC 1114 Trigonometry before MAC 2311, OR petition the math department (email advisor@math.fsu.edu) to take MAC 1114 concurrently with MAC2311
61%-75% You are eligible for MAC 1114 Trigonometry, MAC 1140 Precalculus Algebra, and MAC 2233 Business Calculus. Both MAC 1114 and MAC 1140 are required before MAC 2311.
46%-60% You are eligible for MAC 1105 College Algebra, MGF 1106 Liberal Arts Math, and MGF 1107 Practical Math. MAC 1105 is required before MAC 2233, MAC 1140, or MAC 1114.
45% or below Non-remediated students can still register for MAC 1105 College Algebra, MGF 1106 Liberal Arts Math or MGF 1107 Practical Math and they should use the ALEKS learning modules to get up to speed. MAC 1105 is required before MAC 2233. Have a conversation with your major advisor about math and your career expectations.

Note: It is possible to enroll in courses below your score range, but you should discuss it with your major academic advisor before doing so.

Using a Learning Module

ALEKS is not just a placement test, but also a collection of learning modules to help you prepare for your next math course. Using a Learning Module in ALEKS:

Meeting the cutoff score for your preferred course is a great start, but does not guarantee success. Using a Learning Module will increase your preparation for the course, making you more likely to succeed and ensuring long-term mathematical success. Once you begin a Learning Module, you will have access for 6 months. As you answer questions, you'll see your MyPie fill up, and ALEKS may reassess you from time to time to ensure you have retained the topic information (Note: any reassessment within a Learning Module does not count as a retake and will not be recorded in the student information system.)

Optional: You may retake the placement test (if necessary)

A retake of the placement test will become available 48 hours after your previous assessment so you can have time to study. You must also spend at least 5 hours in a Learning Module before retaking the placement test. The placement test can be retaken up to three times after the initial test.

Speak to your major academic advisor about which math course to take.

Work with you academic advisor at new student orientation to determine which math course would be best to take in your first semester. Your math placement will be based on a number of factors, including your ALEKS score, your major and your overall math confidence.

Additional resources and contact information.