Reviewing and refreshing your math skills can help you prepare for college-level math courses. Two different resources are available from ALEKS to help you succeed: the ALEKS math assessment and the ALEKS 360 subscription resources. One or both of these may be required for certain courses.

ALEKS Math and Statistics Assessment

The ALEKS assessment gauges your math skills and provide resources to help you prepare for a math or statistics course. The assessment is required for some courses and recommended for others and is designed to help you find the right math course for your needs.

You should take the ALEKS assessment before meeting with your adviser to plan for your first semester at Penn State World Campus.

The assessment results serve several purposes:

  • Placement — determine your appropriate starting levels in mathematics courses
  • Basic Skills — identify basic mathematics areas in which you need additional preparation for college-level course work
  • Educational Planning and Academic Advising — take a critical first step in your education plans, laying a strong foundation in mathematics

After completing the assessment, you can also take advantage of the ALEKS Prep and Learning modules to refresh your knowledge and prepare yourself to succeed in your math and statistics courses.  

The ALEKS assessment is free. Check with your adviser to see if it’s needed for your program. 

  1. Set aside 2–3 hours to take the assessment. Plan to take it in a distraction-free place where you can do your best work.
  2. Access the assessment in LionPATH. You can access the assessment via a link in the Academic Records section of your LionPATH homepage. For more detailed information about finding the ALEKS assessment, visit the Understanding LionPATH section of the LionPATH Support page and review the ALEKS Math Assessment FAQs.  

  1. Let your adviser know when you have completed the assessment.
  2. After completing the assessment, work through the ALEKS Prep and Learning module. ALEKS is designed not just for course placement, but for students to refresh their math knowledge. It is highly recommended that students complete the Prep and Learning module to better prepare for math courses and the time involved for study. 

Our Student Disability Services team can assist you with any accommodations you may need for the ALEKS assessment. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodations, please visit our Disabilities and Accommodations page

You will need your Penn State ID number to take the assessment. You should also have paper and pencils.  

You should not use your own calculator. If one is needed to answer a question, ALEKS will provide one automatically for that question.  

Assistance from someone else during the test is not allowed and violates Penn State's academic integrity policies. Completing the exam on your own will help to ensure that you are placed into a course you are prepared to take.

If you would like to retake the assessment, you may take it up to three times total. You must wait 24 hours between attempts and spend at least 10 hours using the learning modules before retaking the assessment the first time, and an additional 10 hours using the learning modules before taking the assessment for your third and final time.

After you complete the ALEKS assessment, you will see your placement result in a pie chart showing the extent to which skills were mastered, a link to learning modules, and a link for more information.  

ALEKS scores cannot be interpreted in the same way as exam grades. Scores of 30 or higher reflect adequate preparation for college-level math. Learn more about understanding your ALEKS score.  

Regardless of your results, the ALEKS assessment will not allow you to receive credit for any required courses. The assessment is designed to help you prepare for any math courses you must take.  

ALEKS 360 Subscription Resources 

ALEKS 360 offers resources, including instructional materials, you can access with a subscription. An ALEKS 360 subscription is required to participate in the Math Essentials program and is also required for the MATH 4, MATH 21, and MATH 22 courses.

ALEKS 360 costs about $170 for a 52-week subscription. You can use the same subscription for two subsequent math courses. If you plan to participate in Math Essentials, you should wait to purchase ALEKS 360 until the first week of Math Essentials.

The 52-week subscription may offer the best value for Math Essentials participants. However, shorter subscriptions are available, ranging from six weeks for about $60 to 18 weeks for about $120.