Department of Mathematics and Philosophy

Mathematics Placement at WIU

Exam Format

The math placement/assessment covers a broad spectrum of topics from basic math through precalculus. The ALEKS system is fully automated and the assessment is adaptive.

ALEKS avoids multiple-choice questions and instead uses flexible and easy to use answer input tools that mimic what would be done with paper and pencil (free-response environment).

When a student first logs on to ALEKS, a brief *tutorial shows how to use the following ALEKS answer input tools:

  1. how to enter answers
  2. how to use the graphing utilities
  3. how to use the built-in calculator that will be offered when appropriate.

*Take your time with this tutorial and be sure you understand how these features work.

Exam Description

Each assessment process consists of 20-35 questions and should take around two hours to complete. The exact number of questions will vary due to the adaptive mechanism. It is likely that students will be asked questions on material they have not yet learned. On such questions,it is appropriate to answer, "I don't know" (and is interpreted that the topic is not familiar to the student).

The first questions will be drawn from across the curriculum, and may be too easy or too hard. As the assessment proceeds, students' answers will be used to give the system an idea of their knowledge, and it will gradually focus the questioning in an individually appropriate way. By the end of the assessment, students should find the questions generally challenging, but reasonable for their individual level of knowledge.

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