Math Placement Assessment for Incoming Students

To increase student success in introductory math courses, FIU has implemented a mandatory math placement assessment for all entering students. The assessment, known as ALEKS, is a web-based artificially intelligent system that uses adaptive questioning to determine exactly what a student knows. This information is used to place a student in a class for which she/he has sufficient background. Since each math class assumes prior knowledge, it is extremely important for a student’s success to properly identify his/her math proficiency level.

Below you will find additional information concerning ALEKS placement assessment and options you have for enrolling in math courses based on your ALEKS score.

Who must take ALEKS placement assessment?

All incoming freshmen, regardless of AP, IB, dual enrollment and CLEP credits, and all incoming transfer students with no college credit in math must take the ALEKS placement assessment.

All College of Business students must complete the ALEKS in person and on campus. For additional information and to register for the placement College of Business students should visit the following website.

We strongly encourage ALL transfer students to take the assessment if they need an additional mathematics course. If the score on the assessment is less than the required minimum for that course, as indicated in the table below, the student should seriously consider re-taking the prerequisite course or completing an ALEKS learning module.

Why should I take it?

The placement assessment will evaluate your mathematics knowledge and skills level, which will help your academic adviser in placing you in a class in which you are most likely to succeed.

When should I take the assessment?

You should take the assessment as soon as possible but no later than 72 hours before your orientation. You must bring the printout with your ALEKS score to the orientation, so your adviser can properly place you in a mathematics course. If you don’t take the assessment prior to the orientation, you will not be allowed to register for a math course during that time.

Do not wait until the last moment to take the assessment because if you are not satisfied with your score, you can retake the assessment or access the learning module and refresh your knowledge. Completing a learning module will require about 2-3 weeks.

The ALEKS placement score is valid for 18 months.

Where and how do I access the assessment?

To register and access the assessment for the first time:

Option 1: Complete in person. (Recommended for local students)

  • Go to http://testing.fiu.edu
  • Select Register for an Exam
  • Scroll down to ALEKS First Time BBC or ALEKS First Time MMC
  • Select campus
  • Select date and complete requested information
  • You will receive a confirmation via email
  • Photo ID is required on the day of the exam For assistance or additional information, please call (305) 348 - 2441 for MMC or (305) 919 - 4043 for BBC

Option 2: Complete Online (Recommended for out of the state students)

  • Go to http:// www.aleks.com/fiu
  • Register as a new user by clicking on NEW USER? SIGN UP NOW! (You will be asked to input your name, e-mail address, and student ID #, which is your FIU Panther ID )

Note: Make sure to enter your FIU Panther ID # and not any other ID #(e.g.high school ID #, Social Security #, etc.). Otherwise, FIU will not receive your score.

  • If you don't know your FIU Panther ID, log into http:/my.fiu.edu and click on "look up your Panther ID". This number can also be found on your admission Acceptance letter.
  • Accept ALEKS Terms of Service and click Continue.
  • You will be given login name and password. You will have the option of changing given password to one you can easily remember. Write the login information down, as you will need it to access ALEKS. Upon completion of the registration, an email with your login information will be sent to the email address you provided. Please retain this email for future reference.
  • After clicking Continue again, you will be taken to the site that contains the placement assessment and the learning modules.
  • Click on Placement to take the assessment.

To access your records:

  • Go to http://www.aleks.com/fiu
  • Log in using your given username and password
  • Look for a Record button to access your past assessment(s)

To re-take an assessment:

  • Go to http://testing.fiu.edu to schedule the assessment. During the registration process, you will be asked to pay proctoring fee; you might choose an option of paying the fee immediately prior to the assessment. Only credit/debit cards are accepted (no cash).
  • Arrive at the University Testing Center ten minutes before your scheduled time
  • You will be directed to a testing room where you will be asked to login to the ALEKS site (make sure you have your login name and password with you!)
  • If it is your second attempt, you will begin the assessment; otherwise, you will be asked to pay the assessment fee ($ 15) directly to ALEKS corporation before you begin. Make sure to have a valid credit /debit card with you.

If you have any trouble accessing ALEKS Placement, please contact ALEKS Support Center at (714) 619-7090.

Do I need to install additional software or plug-ins?

You can check the system requirements at www.aleks.com/faqs/technical

What can I expect on the assessment?

This is a math assessment, so make sure that you have plenty of paper to write on. You do not need a calculator since ALEKS makes it available for certain problems. Before you start the assessment, you will go through a short tutorial on how to use ALEKS toolbar to input the answers. The assessment will consist of about 30 open-ended questions, some easy and some difficult. You will not know whether your answer is correct or not. Your answers determine what questions you are asked next, as ALEKS is probing the depth of your knowledge. Because of the adaptive nature of the assessment, you will not be able to go back and change your answer. Therefore, try to answer the questions to the best of your ability. You should answer “I don’t know” only if you truly don’t know the answer.

How long does the assessment take? Is there a time limit?

On average, the assessment takes about 90 minutes. You will have 2 hours and 30 minutes. The assessment should be completed in one sitting, so plan accordingly. The time starts when you start the assessment. After 2 hours 30 minutes, the assessment will close and you will be assigned the score earned at that time. This will count as one attempt. If your first attempt is interrupted (power outage/ internet connection issues), try to login back as soon as possible to finish the assessment. If you don't sign in during the 2 h 30 min from the start of the assessment, ALEKS will consider your attempt complete and you will receive the score you earned at the time of the exit. If you are not happy with that score, you can retake the assessment at the University Testing Center.

Should I ask for help while taking the assessment?

No, absolutely not. This assessment determines your placement into your first mathematics class, so it is extremely important that your score reflects your true ability. Any help received to increase the score will jeopardize your success in that class, as you might be placed in a course for which you do not have sufficient background.

Receiving assistance on the ALEKS placement assessment is a violation of FIU's Code of Academics Integrity and is punishable under the provisions of that code; (see http:/academic.fiu.eduAcademicBudget/misconductweb/Code_of_Academic_Integrity.pdf, Code of Academic Integrity)

How do I find out my ALEKS score?

Your ALEKS score appears after you complete the assessment. You will see a pie chart showing your performance in different areas represented by color-keyed slices. The darker color in each slice represents your mastery level. Above the pie, you will see, under Course Mastery, the number of topics you did well on. At the bottom of this page, under the History tab, you will see a table that contains, among other things, the Assessment Performance Goal which is your ALEKS score.

Your ALEKS score will be available to your adviser within 24-48 hours. If you need it sooner,please print the results.

What does my score mean? What class am I eligible for?

Your score shows the level of your math preparedness and as such can be used to help you choose a class that you are likely to succeed in. If you take a class for which you don’t have required prerequisites, you will have a hard time passing it. ALEKS placement assessment evaluates your knowledge and indicates the class level that you can be successful in.

The table below shows the classes you can register for depending on the score and your intended major. You will be able to discuss your preferences with your academic adviser.

Course ALEKS score
Intermediate Algebra (MAT 1033) 0-29
College Algebra (MAC 1105) Minimum 30
Trigonometry (MAC 1114) Minimum 50
Precalculus Algebra (MAC 1140) Minimum 50
Precalculus Algebra & Trigonometry (MAC 1147) Minimum 70
Calculus I (MAC 2311) Minimum 75
Exploration in Mathematics (MGF 1100) 0-19
Extended Finite Math (MGF 1106) 20-29
Finite Math (MGF 1106) Minimum 30
Social Choice Math (MGF 1107) Minimum 20
Business Calculus (MAC 2233) Minimum 60
Mathematics for IT (MAD 1100) Minimum 50
Discrete Mathematics (MAD 2104) Minimum 50


Please note that a student with an SAT math score below 440 or an ACT math score below 19 must take the PERT assessment for math placement. Contact the University Testing Center at (305) 348-2441 for additional information.

Do I have to take the assessment every time I want to register for a math course?

No, you will have to take ALEKS to register for the first math class only. Remember however that the ALEKS score is valid only for 18 months, so if you do not take the math class you place into or are not successful in it, and your score is over 18 months old at the start of the semester, you will have to re-take ALEKS before you are allowed to take the class again. If you fail a course you placed into, register for a prerequisite course or purchase ALEKS learning module to refresh the skills needed for that class.

I failed a prerequisite course. Can a satisfactory score on the placement assessment be used to meet that prerequisite?

No. Performance in an entire course is a much better measure of a student's proficiency than performance on a placement assessment. The placement assessment is used only when the available information about a student's performance in college level math courses is insufficient to determine a placement. In short, if you take a prerequisite course and don't receive a C or better in it, you must repeat that course.

Can I take the assessment more than once?

Yes. You can take the assessment as many times as you want. The second and subsequent attempts have to be taken at the University Testing Center (one attempt per day). Please visit http://testing.fiu.edu for available dates and times.

What can I do to increase my score?

ALEKS score is used only to place you in a class for which you have adequate background. It is extremely important that the score reflects your true abilities, so the class you take will be a good fit for you. The class might still be challenging, but your prerequisite knowledge will be sufficient to succeed in it.

However, if you believe that your ALEKS score underestimates your knowledge, you have two choices:

  • retake the assessment, or
  • complete one of the ALEKS learning modules and retake the assessment.

If your score is slightly above the minimum required for a specific class, you are encouraged to complete the learning module for that specific class to increase your skill level and boost your chances of successful completion of that course. For example, if your ALEKS assessment score is 31 and your major requires that you take College Algebra, you should complete the Prep for College Algebra learning module before the first day of classes.

If your score is sufficient to register for calculus, make sure that you have a good knowledge of trigonometry and precalculus algebra (especially exponential and logarithmic functions). Without adequate background in these topics, you will have a very hard time in the class. You will probably be better off taking Precalculus Algebra and Trigonometry(MAC 1147) prior to Calculus I.

How much does the assessment cost?

Your first two attempts of ALEKS Placement Assessment are free (paid for by the Math Department). Any subsequent attempt costs $15 and is payable directly to the ALEKS corporation. A six-week access to a learning module costs $38.

For current proctoring fees charged by the University Testing Center, please visit their website httt://testing.fiu.edu

Will the score appear on my transcript?

No, the score will be available to your adviser and used only to place you in the class that you are most likely to succeed.