ALEKS Math Placement Exam

If required, you’ll take the math placement exam on the ALEKS website. It has up to 30 questions and usually takes 60-90 minutes to complete.

Electronic devices (calculators, phones, earbuds, etc.) are not allowed.

Access ALEKS


If you need testing accommodations, contact the Disability Resource Center at 815-753-1303 or by email at several weeks before you plan to test.

Transfer students: Since testing is determined by both your major and transfer credits, some transfer students may not need to test. Please review our placement exams to see if your major is listed. If so, consult with your advisor to determine if you need to test.

You need to take the exam if:

  • Your major is undecided.
  • Your major is in the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology.
  • Your major is in the College of Business.
  • You're earning a Bachelor of Science degree in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
  • Your major requires MATH 103, 104/105, 110, 155, 206, 210, 211 or 229.

ALEKS Proctor Password

Enter TESTING1 when asked for the proctor password.

ALEKS Assistance

Visit the ALEKS support website or call 1-800-258-2374.

How to Take the Exam

  1. Make sure you have a PC, Mac or Chromebook with internet access, blank paper and a pen or pencil.
  2. Create an ALEKS account using your NIU Z-ID and password.
  3. Click on your Incoming Student Cohort.
  4. Click on Get Started to take the survey, then take the tools tutorial.
  5. Make sure you’re logged in and click on Get Started to begin the test. Enter the proctor password TESTING1 when prompted.

Relax and Be Honest

This assessment simply determines what course level you should take to be successful. Using outside resources could lead to improper placement and, ultimately, course failure.


We reserve the right to invalidate your score and require you to take the assessment with a proctor at Testing Services.

Your score, available in your ALEKS account, will tell you what math course to take. For instance, if you receive a C-level score, it allows you to add MATH 110 to your upcoming course schedule. It doesn’t indicate that MATH 110 matches your current knowledge.

Check your major requirements and speak with your advisor before enrolling. If you don't enroll in the designated course your first year, you may need to complete the exam again, at your own expense.

Score Course
A (76-100) MATH 206, 210, 211 or 229
B (61-75) MATH 155, 206, 210 or 211
C (46-60) MATH 110
D (30-45) MATH 104/105
E (0-29) MATH 103


After your first attempt, you can take the exam up to four more times to improve your score. Before you can retest, you must wait at least 24 hours and complete the required number of hours in the ALEKS Prep and Learning Module:

  • Second attempt: three additional hours
  • Third attempt: five additional hours
  • Fourth attempt: five additional hours
  • Fifth attempt: eight additional hours

Frequently Asked Questions

Contact Us

Testing Services
Peters Campus Life Building 120


8 a.m.-noon
1-4:30 p.m.

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