If your degree requires MATH 104B or MATH 116, you do NOT need to take the placement assessment.
If you need to take MATH 120, MATH 124, or MATH 126, but do not place into the desired course, you can still register for MATH 120E, MATH 124E, or MATH 126E, which are the normal versions of those courses taken with a 2- or 3-credit Corequisite course. See our infographic (PDF) for more details.
Or, you can self-remediate in the ALEKS PPL to raise your placement level.
IMPORTANT: This test will help decide the best placement for you. We want you to succeed in your next Math course. Data has shown students have the best chance of succeeding in their next course when they take this test with no other resources so as to make sure to get an accurate assessment of their knowledge. Please be aware that using outside resources could place you in a course for which you are not adequately prepared.
CSN uses the ALEKS Placement, Preparation and Learning (ALEKS PPL) Assessment to determine readiness for mathematics courses. ALEKS PPL is an adaptive web-based program that can map a student’s strengths and weaknesses. The Placement Assessment has up to 30 questions and generally takes 60-90 minutes to complete. After taking the Placement Assessment, an individualized Prep and Learning Module is available for students to refresh their knowledge on forgotten topics. Students then have the opportunity to reassess and improve their placement.
ALEKS consists of three parts:
- An initial placement assessment
- The Prep and Learning Module (This is individualized to your mathematical needs.)
- Access to 4 Additional Attempts at the Placement (If you are unhappy with their initial placement.)
CSN requires that students spend 3-8 additional hours in the Prep and Learning module before re-attempting the placement assessment.
- An official, government-issued, photo ID is required to take the test.
- A device with Internet capabilities and a webcam. (Sorry, cell/smartphones are not supported.)
- Pen/Pencil and paper. ALEKS has a built-in calculator program, but you may use your own scientific calculator if you have one.
- A CSN account to log into the ALEKS site via the Microsoft 365 Portal.
Taking the Test:
- Check your system specs: ALEKS System Requirements.
- Go to the CSN version of the ALEKS Placement Assessment Website (as of 7/21/23). IMPORTANT: This link will have you validate your NSHE ID@student.csn.edu and password via Microsoft 365 and then reroute you to ALEKS.
- IMPORTANT: If you are visually impaired and require a screen reader, please contact the CSN Disability Resource Center to register so that you can be given the proper version of the assessment.
- Take the ALEKS tutorial and answer the survey questions. IMPORTANT: The ALEKS placement test requires the installation and use of the Respondus Lockdown Browser (and webcam monitoring). If you cannot install the necessary software, you may set up an appointment with the CSN Testing Center, instead.
- Take the assessment. You will get 2 hours and 30 minutes, while most students finish in 60-90 minutes. IMPORTANT: If the test is not completed in its entirety, no score will be recorded.
- Once finished, ALEKS will show your score and resulting math placement! If you are unsatisfied with your placement or would like to improve your placement, you must spend 3+ hours in the Prep and Learning module before taking the assessment again (see FAQ Item “What if I am not satisfied with my initial placement” for more details).
- You’re done! Once the score is automatically entered into CSN’s system (will take less than 24 hours), you can then register for your corresponding math course. How to View Your Placement Scores in MyCSN.
Do I have to take the ALEKS Placement Assessment?
Not necessarily. Students may also use SAT scores, ACT scores, or Next-Gen ACCUPLACER scores for placement, provided the scores are less than two years old. If your degree requires MATH 104B or MATH 116, you do NOT need to take the placement assessment. If you wish to take MATH 120E, MATH 124E, or MATH 126E, you do not need to take the placement test, but you may still need to meet with an academic advisor to remove a hold on your account before you can register. Otherwise, then you should take the ALEKS PPL assessment for placement.
Do I need to pay for ALEKS PPL?
No. The ALEKS placement assessment and the Prep and Learning modules are provided to all CSN students for up to 12 months at no cost to the student.
Do I need to make an appointment?
If you take it at home using the Respondus Lockdown Browser, no appointment is needed; you may take the placement test whenever it fits into your schedule. Just make sure you have a 2-3 hour window to do so. If, however, you wish to take the test in the CSN Testing Center, then, yes, you need to schedule an appointment.
What type of questions will be asked?
The ALEKS PPL assessment is an open-response (no multiple choice) assessment, which will require you to work out solutions on paper. The questions will adapt to your knowledge of mathematics. As such, occasionally the assessment may ask you a question that you don’t know how to solve. In that circumstance, just choose the option “I don’t know.” The topics cover a range from Prealgebra through Precalculus.
How much time do I get?
You will get 2 hours and 30 minutes to take the assessment, while most students finish in 60-90 minutes. Keep in mind, the timer runs even if you close your browser or turn off your computer during the test. It is also important to note that once you start it, you need to complete it in its entirety. If the test is not completed in its entirety, no score will be recorded.
What happens if I get disconnected or interrupted during my assessment?
Again, you will have a time limit of 2 hours and 30 minutes. If you have to close the browser for some reason you can always pick up where you left off (when you restart the assessment, it will take you right back to the problem you were working on). If you are disconnected in the middle of your assessment, please do your best to log back into the program quickly as the 2 hour and 30 minute timer will continue to run.
What if I am not satisfied with my initial placement?
If your degree requires MATH 120 but you not place into it, you may still register for MATH 120E, which is the normal 3-cr MATH 120 taken with a 2-cr MATH 20 Algebra Review course. Or, you can self-remediate in the ALEKS PPL to raise your placement level.
Every student has 4 additional attempts at the ALEKS PPL within a 12 month period. However, CSN requires that the student uses the Prep and Learning module for an extended period of time depending on the attempt:
- 2nd Attempt: Students must spend at least 3 hours in the Prep and Learning module before retaking the assessment.
- 3rd Attempt: Students must spend at least 5 additional hours in the Prep and Learning module before retaking the assessment.
- 4th Attempt: Students must spend at least 5 additional hours in the Prep and Learning module before retaking the assessment.
- 5th Attempt: Students must spend at least 8 additional hours in the Prep and Learning module before retaking the assessment.
NOTE: This is for your benefit. The more time you spend learning in ALEKS, the better chance you have of improving your placement results. Also, there is also a 24-hour cooling-off period in-between attempts at the assessment.
What if I score lower on my 2nd/3rd/4th/5th assessment?
CSN will always take your highest placement score, regardless of the attempt.
Can I take the assessment on my phone?
Nope. As of this time, the software is not supported for smartphones.
What does my score mean and how can I find it?
Your placement result (overall score) is a number between 0 and 100, and will automatically be transferred into MyCSN within 24-48 hours. See our How to View Your Placement Scores in MyCSN page for instructions on how to see your placement scores in MyCSN, and see our CSN Math Course Placement and Prerequisites page for more specific cut-off requirements for CSN MATH/STAT courses. You can also view your placement score by re-entering ALEKS from GoCSN if you wish.
How long is my placement score valid?
You ALEKS placement score is valid for 2 years. After 2 years you must retake the placement test.
If you experience technical difficulties:
- The first thing you should check is to make sure you have a stable internet connection to avoid having to reconnect.
- Then, make sure that your web browser is compatible. ALEKS PPL’s system requirements.
- For issues with the ALEKS program, visit the ALEKS Support page https://mhedu.force.com/aleks/s/alekscontactsupport or call 800-258-2374.
- If you are having a problem with your CSN login, contact the CSN Helpdesk at 702-651-HELP (4357).
- If you are still experiencing other CSN-related issues you may need to Contact Us for additional assistance.