ALEKS Math Placement Assessment

ALEKS Placement Assessments Information for Incoming College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Students

Important Information

ALEKS Math Assessment

Help Resource(s)

ISU Math Department ALEKS Website

Math Department ALEKS Helpline
515 294-2186

Leave a voicemail and your call will be returned as soon as possible. 

Departmental Information

ISU Math Department ALEKS Website

Cost for Practice Module


Assessment Deadline

Four weeks before scheduled Orientation

Lost AccessPlus Account Information

Contact Admissions at: 
800 262-3810 or

System Requirements

ALEKS System Requirements Website

What is ALEKS?

ALEKS is short for: Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces and is a web-based assessment and learning system. ALEKS uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine your knowledge level on a subject. Iowa State University is using ALEKS specifically for math and statistics assessments. ALEKS is not a test-out option. It is a placement assessment.

Why Do I Have to take ALEKS?

  • You are required to take the assessment. 
  • All students in our college will take a math and statistics course. ALEKS assesses your abilities and will place you in the level of classes that best fits you. 

When should I take ALEKS?

  • Take ALEKS as soon as you can. The assessment will determine which math and statistics courses you are prepared to take your first year at Iowa State, so we strongly urge you to take your placement assessment 4-6 weeks before your scheduled orientation session so your placement information is readily available to your adviser. 
  • The earlier you take the assessment, the more time you have to review if your first attempt doesn't place you in the class level you desire. 

How do I take ALEKS?

  • When you accept admission, your ALEKS account is activated. You can then access the assessment via your AccessPlus account using your nine (9) digit University ID number and password (here's what ALEKS will look like in AccessPlus)
  • Be sure your computer meets the system requirements outlined at the ALEKS System Requirements Website before attempting the assessment.
  • You may have to download the ALEKS plug-in and you will need Java on your browser enabled for ALEKS to work properly. 
  • ALEKS will present a short tutorial on how to enter answers and use other utilities within the platform. Take your time with this tutorial and be sure you understand how these features work before attempting the assessment.
  • You can take the ALEKS prep module (online training tool) to review some key skills after one attempt at the test. The module is free to use. You can take the assessment up to five times and ISU will use the best score to place you in the appropriate courses.

Tips for taking ALEKS

  • Get started as early as you can to allow time to go at your own pace. 
  • Take while you’re still in school or close to graduation. You’ll likely still be in an academic mind-set if you take ALEKS at this time, which could positively impact your assessment score.
  • Take each assessment in its entirety in one sitting.
  • Avoid distractions if possible.
  • If you reassess and decide to take a practice module(s), don’t try to cram all your ALEKS work into a short period of time. Plan to spend an hour or two each day on ALEKS and get plenty of rest between sessions.

Assessment Score 

Step 1: After the assessment, ALEKS will report the results to you. You’ll be able to see which areas you should review if you would like to reassess. Please print results and bring with you to orientation.

Step 2: Look at the results chart (below) to see which math or statistics classes you are eligible to take. 

Step 3: Look at your major’s four-year plan and compare your required math classes to your ALEKS placement results, or talk to the contact person for your department. In addition to a math class, all CALS students will need to take Stat 101 or 104. Look at your major’s four-year plan or talk to the contact person for your department to see which class you need.  



Class to be enrolled in

ALEKS prep module to prepare for this level

ISU course to prepare for this level


Math 166


Math 165

70% to 100%

Math 160
Math 165
Math 181

Prep for Calculus

Math 143

50% to 69%

Math 143
Math 145
Math 151
Math 160

Prep for Precalculus

Math 140 or
Math 10 (B)

38% to 49%

Math 104
Math 105
Math 140
Math 150
Math 195

Stat 101
Stat 104

Prep for Intermediate Algebra

Math 10

0% to 37%

Math 10



Iowa State University math courses



Math 195

Mathematics for Elementary Education I

Math 181

Calculus for Life Sciences

Math 166

Calculus II

Math 165

Calculus I

Math 160

Survey of Calculus

Math 151

Calculus for Business and the Social Sciences

Math 150

Discrete Mathematics for Business and the Social Sciences

Math 145

Applied Trigonometry

Math 143

Preparation for Calculus

Math 142

Trigonometry & Analytic Geometry

Math 140

College Algebra

Math 105

Introduction to Mathematical Ideas

Math 104

Introduction to Probability

Math 10

High School Algebra

Departmental Contacts

Major Contact
Agriculture and Life Sciences Exploration Howard Tyler
0020 Curtiss
515 294-2766
Agricultural Biochemistry Donald Beitz
313 Kildee 
515 294-5626
Agricultural Business Amy Brandau
166C Heady
515 294-5436
Agriculture and Life Sciences Education Ben Chamberlain
206E Curtiss
515 294-4655
Agricultural Studies Ben Chamberlain
206E Curtiss
515 294-4655
Agricultural Systems Technology Jenny Macken
1330 Elings
515 294-5196

Agriculture and Society

Carmen Bain
308 East Hall
515 294-9895
Agronomy Stephanie Zumbach
1126 Agronomy
515 294-5179
Animal Ecology John Burnett
124 Science II
515 294-3681
Animal Science Jodi Sterle
119 Kildee 
515 294-7997
Biology Jim Holtz
101 Bessey
515 294-2558
Culinary Food Science Anne Oldham
220E MacKay
515 294-6414
Dietetics Anne Oldham
220E MacKay
515 294-6414
Environmental Science Sue Sprong
103 Bessey
515 294-3651
Food Science Anne Oldham
220E MacKay
515 294-6414
Forestry Doug Stokke 
138 Science II
515 294-2115
Global Resource Systems Maggie Sprecher
103 Horticulture 
515 294-6025
Genetics Lois Girton
109 Bessey
515 294-1606
Horticulture Barb Clawson
107 Horticulture 
515 294-5624
Industrial Technology Tamara Kerns
1330 Elings
515 294-0462
Microbiology Nancy Boury
207 Science I
515 294-6831
Nutritional Science Anne Oldham
220 MacKay
515 294-6414