What is ALEKS?

ALEKS PPL is a web-based program that uses artificial intelligence to map a student’s strengths and weaknesses. The Assessment is up to 25 open-ended questions and generally takes an hour and 20 minutes to complete. After the Assessment, an individualized Prep and Learning Module is available for students to refresh their knowledge on forgotten topics. Students then can reassess and improve their placement.

ALEKS consists of three parts:

  • An initial placement assessment (Required to take proctored in the Testing Center)
  • The Prep and Learning Module, an individualized, self-paced online review (Optional)
  • Access to four additional Placement Assessments (Optional)

SFCC 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 lead to better preparation and improved grades.

What is the purpose of placement testing? 

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 the ALEKS PPL 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, i.e. their baseline of knowledge. 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 on topics that may have been forgotten or have not been practiced recently.