Beginning in the Fall semester of 2017, the University at Buffalo requires an ALEKS PPL Assessment to determine readiness of any student wishing to enroll in our first semester calculus courses, including MTH 121, 131, 141.

At the end of the ALEKS PPL Assessment, you will have a much better sense of your strengths and weaknesses in math, and you will have an opportunity to brush up on topics you may have forgotten or not practiced for some time, but that you must know in order to be ready for calculus. The minimum score required is 61 for MTH 121 and 131, or 76 for MTH 141.

**Use of ALEKS is paid for by a mathematics placement fee
assessed to all students who take ALEKS. ALEKS is not required for
Winter or Summer sessions.**

Students log into ALEKS using their UBIT name and password. Each
student who **completes** the assessment will be billed the
$33 “Mathematics Placement Fee”. The fee covers up
to five attempts over a one year period, and six months use of the
learning modules. Students who require more than the five
assessment, or who take another assessment more than a year later,
will be billed again. Please refer to the pdf (below) regarding
frequently asked questions about the Mathematics Placement Fee.

**UPDATE 8/15/2017:** Students charged the $33 fee who did
not take ALEKS will have the fee credited to their student accounts
shortly. Only students who log-in to ALEKS will be charged the
mathematiascs placement fee.

The ALEKS PPL Assessment is web based – you complete it on your own computer, and at a time convenient for you. The assessment consists of about 30 questions. The average completion time is 90-minutes, but you can take more time if you need to.

You must achieve a score of 76 (out of 100) or better to demonstrate your readiness for MTH 141, or 61/100 for MTH 121 and 131. If you don’t reach this score when you take the assessment for the first time you will be have two more attempts at the Assessment to allow you to improve your score.

Beside the assessment, ALEKS has built-in Prep and Learning Modules that you can use to refresh your knowledge on forgotten topics. After you take the assessment for the first time, ALEKS will suggest which modules you should work on to improve your score. We encourage you to spend time in the Prep and Learning Modules, even if you achieve the desired assessment score, because time spent in ALEKS will ultimately lead to better preparation and improved grades.

It is important that you take the Placement Assessment seriously and give it an honest effort so that it truly reflects your current level of knowledge and math preparedness. There is no benefit to cheating on the Placement Assessment – the only result will be that you enroll in a class that you are not prepared for and set yourself up for a likely failure. Therefore, while taking the Placement Assessment, you should work on your own, without consulting any outside sources for help (friends/family, internet searches, textbooks, notes, etc.). UB's academic integrity policy applies to the ALEKS Assessment.

**AVAILABLE NOW: **The ALEKS placement test is available
now..

**DEADLINE:** On Monday January 8, 2018, students registered
for MTH 121, 131 or 141 who have not obtained the required score or
better will be removed from their calculus class. From this point
forward, only students meeting the prerequisite ALEKS score will be
able to register.

** Click HERE to access the ALEKS PPL Assessment
(UBIT name and password required).**

**What to do after achieving a passing score**: Nothing! You
do NOT need to notify anyone: the Math Department downloads scores
directly from ALEKS twice each day and updates HUB - once in the
morning and once in the evening. Once HUB has been updated, you
will be able to register in the Calc I course you have qualified
for.

**During the asssessment:** If your web browser gets stuck,
or your computer crashes, while taking the Placement 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.

**For ALEKS technical support see:**
ALEKS PPL Technical support and system requirements.

**For UB Math Advising Support contact Prof. John Ringland,
ALEKS PPL Coordinator, ringland@math.buffalo.edu.**

**Who has to take the ALEKS PPL Assessment?**

All students who wish to take MTH 121, 131,or 141, **including
students who have already taken it previously** and including
students who have just passed a precalculus course.

**Why must I take the ALEKS PPL Assessment?**

The assessment is used to assess your readiness for college level
calculus.

**Is there a fee for using ALEKS PPL?
** Your mathematics placement fee pays for a single account on
ALEKS. This account provides you 3 tries at the assessment and six
months use of the learning module. There are also two additional
assessments that can be unlocked by contacting the ALEKS
coordinator. Students who exhaust the free options will be required
to pay out of pocket for any future ALEKS tests.

**Do I need to install any software or plug-ins prior to taking
the ALEKS Placement Assessment?**

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 up-to-date browser, you should not experience any
difficulties in taking your Placement Assessment. For a list of
preferred browsers, please review the ALEKS system requirements on
their support
site.

**What topics are covered during the ALEKS PPL
Assessment?
**

- 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).

**Can I practice using the ALEKS input tools before I begin the
Placement Assessment?**

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.

**What is the format of the questions on 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.

**May I use a calculator while using ALEKS?**

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

**May I use any other resources during a Placement
Assessment?**

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. It is a violation of the
UB’s academic integrity policy.

**Can I review a question after I've answered it?**

Because ALEKS is adaptive (i.e. each subsequent question is
selected based on how you answered the previous ones), once you
submit an answer, you cannot change it. Be sure to carefully check
your answer before submitting your response.

**What if I see questions I don’t know? **

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.

**Are Placement Assessments timed?**

No, you are free to complete the Placement Assessment at your own
pace.* *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. Once you begin a Placement Assessment, you will
have 48 hours to complete it.

**What happens if I do not complete a Placement Assessment in
the allotted time?**

You will have to restart the Placement Assessment.

**What is my placement result?**

Your placement result (overall score) is a number between 0 and
100. It represents the percentage of topics ALEKS has identified
you have mastered. **The required score to take MTH 121 or
131 is 61. The required score to take MTH 141 is 76.**

**Where can I see my score?**

- You will receive your score immediately upon completion of your Placement Assessment.
- Your ALEKS score can be viewed by re-entering ALEKS using the same access link for which you took the Placement Assessment.
- Currently ALEKS is not integrated with HUB. Advisors will receive scores regularly from the math department, but your advisor may also ask you what your score is.
**The minimum required score to take MTH 121 or 131 is 61. For MTH 141 it is 76.**

**How long is my placement result valid?**

Your placement result is valid for six months. So for example, if
you earn a score above 76 on ALEKS in May 2016 but you postpone
taking MTH 141 until Spring, 2017 you will need to retake the
assessment since Spring courses will start more then six months
after your assessment date.

**I did not score 76/100 or better. Can I take MTH 141
anyway?**

No, you must achieve the minimum placement result to be allowed in
MTH 141.

**What if I placed into the class I wanted?**

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.

**Can I retake the ALEKS PPL Assessment?**

Yes, you may take up to three assessments. Access to a fourth and
fifth assessment may be provided after you talk with an advisor.
However, to make each attempt worthwhile, it is required that you
spend time working in your ALEKS Prep and Learning Module between
Placement Assessments so that you can improve your skills.

**What type of circumstance would allow me to retake the ALEKS
PPL Assessment a fourth or fifth time?**Taking the ALEKS PPL
Assessment a fourth or fifth time is very rare. An example of a
circumstance that may allow for a fourth or fifth attempt would
be:

A student used all 3 attempts of the ALEKS PPL Assessment in the month of June and did not meet the minimum grade of 76 required, but the student completed a precalculus class at a local community college and did well in it.

**Can I retake the ALEKS Placement Assessment
immediately?**

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.

**How long do I have access to my Prep and Learning
Module?**

You will have six months of access to your Prep and Learning
module.

**Is there an additional fee for my Prep and Learning
Module?**

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

**Must I work in my ALEKS Prep and Learning Module between
Placement Assessments?
** You can retake the Placement assessment up to three times to
improve your score. You will be required to complete 3 hours of
work in the Prep and Learning Modules before prior to the second
attempt and 5 additional hours prior to the third attempt to
increase your chances of success.

**What are ALEKS Knowledge Checks?**

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.

**Does progress in an ALEKS Prep and Learning Module count
toward placement?**

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.