Eastern Iowa Community Colleges requires an ALEKS Placement, Preparation and Learning (ALEKS PPL) Assessment to determine readiness for mathematics courses. ALEKS PPL is a web-based program that uses artificial intelligence to map a student’s strengths and weaknesses. The Placement Assessment is up to 30 questions and generally takes 60-90 minutes to complete. After the Placement Assessment, an individualized Prep and Learning Module is available for students to refresh their knowledge on forgotten topics. Students then have the opportunity to reassess and improve their placement.

ALEKS consists of three parts:

  • An optional Initial Placement Assessment (a practice test)
  • The Prep and Learning Module, an individualized, self-paced online review.  Students are encouraged to complete 3 hours of review prior to completing the Proctored Assessment.
  • Proctored Placement Assessment (available at various college sites and local high schools)

Eastern Iowa Community Colleges encourages each student to spend time in the Prep and Learning Module, even if the desired score is achieved, because time spent in ALEKS will ultimately lead to better preparation and improved grades.

The Placement Assessment results will be used to determine the most appropriate courses for each student as they move forward with college coursework. After taking a Placement Assessment, students should meet with their advisor to review their results and enroll in the best classes based on their scores.

This is a “Placement Assessment,” not a test. The difference is that a Placement Assessment is designed to determine what a student knows and what a student needs to work on. At the end of the ALEKS PPL Assessment, a student will have a much better sense of his/her strengths and weaknesses in math. Students then have a chance to brush up on topics that may have been forgotten or haven’t been practiced for some time.

Preparation for ALEKS

The Placement Assessment is used to determine the mathematics course in which you will have the greatest success. Upon completion of the Placement Assessments, your scores are sent to your academic advisor. Your advisor will review your scores and help make appropriate recommendations for course registration.

  1. Students who have an ACT Math Score of 22 or Higher or an SAT Math Score of 500 or higher within the last two years can use those scores in lieu of taking ALEKS.
  2. Students that do not have recent ACT or SAT scores will need to take ALEKS along with an appropriate reading and writing assessment, as part of the admissions requirements.
  3. Students who have not already taken ALEKS and wish to enroll in a mathematics course at EICC for the first time will be required to take the ALEKS mathematics placement assessment.
  4. New students that have already completed a college level Math Course are not required to take ALEKS.

New Students are required to complete ALEKS prior to attending Orientation and meeting with their advisor. 

The college requires students to complete a proctored assessment.  Please contact the college to schedule an appointment to complete your proctored ALEKS assessment.  Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with ALEKS by logging in and taking the practice test or utilizing the prep and learning modules. 

Proctored Assessments are available at EICC Testing Centers.

There is no charge for ALEKS if you intend to enroll at Eastern Iowa Community Colleges for up to 3 assessments.  If a student wishes to take the placement for enrollment at another college or university, there is a $25 charge. 

No. There are no required plug-ins or applets required with your use of ALEKS PPL. As long as you have access to the internet and are using an updated browser, you should not experience difficulties in taking your Placement Assessment.  For a list of preferred browsers, please review the ALEKS system requirements on their support site.

ALEKS PPL is an online, adaptive system that covers a broad spectrum of mathematics topics. The length of the Placement Assessment will vary, but can be up to 30 questions. You will see some, but not all, of the math you have learned in high school. It is a Placement Assessment, not a preview of math courses at Eastern Iowa Community Colleges.  It is designed to identify if you are prepared for a particular course. After you take your first Placement Assessment, you will have the opportunity to review and master additional topics to reassess and improve your placement.

Topics covered:

  • Real numbers (including fractions, integers, and percentages)
  • Equations and inequalities (including linear equations, linear inequalities, systems of linear equations, and quadratic equations),
  • Linear and quadratic functions (including graphs and functions, linear functions, and parabolas), exponents and polynomials (including integer exponents, polynomial arithmetic, factoring, and polynomial equations), rational expressions (including rational equations and rational functions
  • Radical expressions (including higher roots and rational exponents)
  • Exponentials and logarithms (including function compositions and inverse functions, properties of logarithms, and logarithmic equations)
  • Geometry and trigonometry (including perimeter, area, and volume, coordinate geometry, trigonometric functions, and identities and equations).

ALEKS will begin with a brief tutorial to make sure you are comfortable with the math palette tools before your Placement Assessment begins. The tutorial shows you how to enter different types of answers, how to use the ALEKS calculator, and how to graph. If you aren’t sure how to input an answer, or need help while you are taking the ALEKS Placement Assessment, select the Help button below the answer pallet tools. Going to the tutorial during your Placement Assessment will NOT impact your Placement Assessment results.

Taking ALEKS

ALEKS is not a multiple-choice Placement Assessment. It is open-response and requires you to work out solutions with a paper and pencil, then enter them into ALEKS. Be sure to have scratch paper with you.

ALEKS will provide an on-screen calculator if you need one to complete a particular problem. Otherwise, you may not use a calculator.

You may only use a pen or pencil, paper, and the resources provided within ALEKS. You should not receive assistance from friends, family, other websites, textbooks, or any other resource not provided by ALEKS. Using outside resources will lead to improper placement and potentially course failure.

Because ALEKS is adaptive, once you submit an answer, you cannot change it. Be sure to carefully check your answer before submitting your response.

It is likely that you will be asked questions on material you have not yet learned. On such questions it is appropriate to answer, I don't know. On any question that you have familiarity with, however, it is important to do your best. I don't know is interpreted by ALEKS to mean that you do not know how to solve the topic, and this will be reflected in the Placement Assessment results. There is no penalty for incorrectly answering a question on the Placement Assessment, it only helps ALEKS understand what you know and don’t know. 

No, you are free to complete the Placement Assessment at your own pace. The system will allow you to access your Placement Assessment for one week.  If you need to exit the Placement Assessment for any reason, you will be able to log back in and pick up where you left off.

If the incomplete Placement Assessment is proctored and timed, you will be given a placement result, but it will not be a true reflection of your abilities.

You must complete a college application for admissions.  After applying, you will receive your eicconnect login. You will access eicconnect and then click on the ALEKS logo on the left to begin your ALEKS PPL Assessment. 

Placement Results

Your placement result (overall score) is a number between 0 and 100. It represents the percentage of topics ALEKS has identified you have mastered.

Course placement is determined as follows and scores must be within two years.

Score Placement
ALEKS Score: 0-13 MAT-053 Pre-Algebra
ALEKS Score: 14 – 29 MAT-063 Elementary Algebra MAT-065 Math Literacy MAT-066 Algebra I MAT-104 Applied Math Topics
ALEKS Score: 30 - 45 MAT-067 Algebra II MAT-073 Elementary Algebra II MAT-156 Statistics MAT- 110 Math for Liberal Arts
ALEKS Score: 46 - 60 MAT-117 Math for Elementary Teachers MAT-121 College Algebra MAT-140 Finite Math
ALEKS Score: 61 - 75 MAT-128 Pre-Calculus MAT-165 Business Calculus
ALEKS Score: 76 MAT- 210 Calculus 1

 You will receive your score immediately upon completion of your Placement Assessment.

Your placement result is valid for 2 years.

This is a perfect opportunity to take advantage of the Prep and Learning Modules offered within ALEKS PPL. An individualized study plan will be created based on your performance on the Initial Placement Assessment. ALEKS will identify what you know and what you are ready to learn next so you can brush up on lost knowledge.

No, you must achieve the minimum placement result to take each corresponding class.

Congratulations! Continue to use your Prep and Learning Module to improve your chances for success. The placement result required is the minimum preparation for your course. Take advantage of the individualized review and learning features in ALEKS to get a better grade in your class.

Yes, you may take up to 2 additional Placement Assessments. However, to make each attempt worthwhile, it is important that you spend time working in your ALEKS Prep and Learning Module between Placement Assessments so that you can improve your skills. Eastern Iowa requires you to take 3 hours of prep and learning.

You must wait 48 hours between Placement Assessments. There is generally no benefit to re-taking the Placement Assessment immediately after completing a prior attempt. You cannot improve your results by simply re-taking the Placement Assessment without spending time in the Prep and Learning Module to refresh material that you may have forgotten.

Prep and Learning Modules

You will have six months of access to your Prep and Learning module. Access to the prep course will not begin until you select start on the top of your screen. DO NOT select into the Prep and Learning Module until you are ready to start working.

Access to a Prep and Learning Module is included along with the additional Placement Assessments.

You can retake the Placement assessment 2 additional times to improve your score. (The highest score will be used for math placement). Students are required to work in the Prep and Learning Modules for a specific amount of time prior to each Placement Assessment to increase success.

While working in a Prep and Learning Module, you will periodically complete a Knowledge Check to make sure you have mastered the topics you gained in Learning Mode. If you do not show mastery during the Knowledge Check, the topics will be added back into your Learning Pie so you can review them again.

No. You must complete a new Placement Assessment to change your placement result. Select the placement tab in the upper right corner of the ALEKS page to start a new Placement Assessment.

No. You may only use one Prep and Learning Module. If you are unsure which module to select, use the module recommended by ALEKS or consult with your advisor.

Need Technical Support?

If the web browser gets stuck or your computer crashes whil taking the Placemebnt Assessment, simply close the browser, or log out and log back in. ALEKS will resume the Placement Assessment exactly where you left off, with no loss of your previous answers.

You can find more technical support at

ALEKS Support site

ALEKS Customer Support form