ALEKS Placement Assessments Information for Incoming College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Students

ALEKS is short for: Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces and is a web-based assessment and learning system. ALEKS uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine your knowledge level on a subject. Iowa State University is using ALEKS specifically for math and statistics assessments. ALEKS is not a test-out option. It is a placement assessment.

ALEKS Math Assessment Information

Helpful resource(s):

Math Department ALEKS Helpline: 515 294-2186. Leave a voicemail and your call will be returned as soon as possible. ISU Math Department ALEKS Website

Cost for practice module:


Assessment deadline:

Four weeks before Orientation

Lost AccessPlus Account Information:

Contact Admissions at 800 262-3810 or

System requirements:

ALEKS System Requirements Website


Why Do I Have to take ALEKS?

You are required to take the assessment. All students in our college will take a math and statistics course. ALEKS assesses your abilities and will place you in the level of classes that best fits you.

When should I take ALEKS?

Take ALEKS as soon as you can. The assessment will determine which math and statistics courses you are prepared to take your first year at Iowa State, so we strongly urge you to take your placement assessment 4-6 weeks before your scheduled orientation session so your placement information is readily available to your adviser.

The earlier you take the assessment, the more time you have to review if your first attempt doesn’t place you in the class level you desire.

How do I take ALEKS?

When you accept admission, your ALEKS account is activated. You can then access the assessment via your AccessPlus account using your nine (9) digit University ID number and password (here’s what ALEKS will look like in AccessPlus).

Be sure your computer meets the system requirements outlined at the ALEKS System Requirements web page before attempting the assessment.

You may have to download the ALEKS plug-in and you will need Java on your browser enabled for ALEKS to work properly.

ALEKS will present a short tutorial on how to enter answers and use other utilities within the platform. Take your time with this tutorial and be sure you understand how these features work before attempting the assessment.

You can take the ALEKS prep module (online training tool) to review some key skills after one attempt at the test. The module is free to use. You can take the assessment up to five times and ISU will use the best score to place you in the appropriate courses.

Tips for taking ALEKS

Get started as early as you can to allow time to go at your own pace.

Take while you’re still in school or close to graduation. You’ll likely still be in an academic mind-set if you take ALEKS at this time, which could positively impact your assessment score.

Take each assessment in its entirety in one sitting.

Avoid distractions if possible.

If you reassess and decide to take a practice module(s), don’t try to cram all your ALEKS work into a short period of time. Plan to spend an hour or two each day on ALEKS and get plenty of rest between sessions.

Scoring and Assessment

Step 1: After the assessment, ALEKS will report the results to you. You’ll be able to see which areas you should review if you would like to reassess. Please print results and bring with you to orientation.

Step 2: Look at the ALEKS Placement chart on the Math website to see which math or statistics classes you are eligible to take.

Step 3: Look at your major’s four-year plan and compare your required math classes to your ALEKS placement results, or talk to the contact person for your department. In addition to a math class, all CALS students will need to take Stat 101 or 104. Look at your major’s four-year plan or talk to the contact person for your department to see which class you need.