College of Education & Human Services

Teacher Preparation

Educator Preparation

ALEKS Testing

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why should you take the ALEKS Test?
    Take the ALEKS Test if you feel that your SAT or ACT math score does not reflect your current ability in mathematics. This is especially true if your ACT or SAT scores are old. You want to be adequately prepared for the first math course you take in college.
  2. What is the ALEKS Test?
    ALEKS (Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces) is a Web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system. ALEKS PPL (Placement, Preparation and Learning) consists of three parts: an initial placement exam, access to three re-takes, and six months of personalized learning and remediation to help students succeed.
  3. How can you prepare for the ALEKS Test?
    Take the practice exam available in the link below.
  4. What are the features of ALEKS?
  • 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 him how to use these ALEKS answer input tools.
  • Each assessment consists in 20-35 questions, and should take 1-2 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.


  • Following the initial assessment, student receives a report in the form of a color-keyed pie chart.
  • Each "slice" corresponds to a particular area of the course, such as "decimals" or "fractions and proportions." The darker portion of each pie slice represents the topics that the student has mastered and the lighter portion represents what has yet to be learned.
  • Each slice of the pie chart may be opened to produce a list of the topics on which the student can choose to work based on the prerequisite knowledge.

Practice Exam (from COMPASS)

Sample Compass ACT Items

Advising Contact Information

Holly VanVlymenHolly VanVlymen

Teacher Education Advisor
Bilingual/English as a Second Language,
Early Childhood, Elementary, Physical Education and Special Education
Macomb Campus
Horrabin Hall 91

Schedule an Appointment

Kim MorenoKim Moreno

Teacher Education Advisor
Bilingual/English as a Second Language,
Elementary Education
Quad Cities Campus
309 762-9481 ext.62325


Advising Quick Links

Teachers interested in other endorsement areas should contact the licensure office at 309-298-2117