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- ALEKS® Assessments
Your major may require completion of a math and/or chemistry assessment. The result of each assessment is used to enroll you in an appropriate math and/or chemistry course best suited to support your overall success.
The math and chemistry assessments are completed using web-based programs from McGraw-Hill – ALEKS® PPL (Placement, Preparation and Learning) for Math and ALEKS® Prep for General Chemistry. The initial Placement Assessment for Math and Initial Knowledge Check for Chemistry includes up to 30 questions each and generally takes 60 to 90 minutes to complete. At the completion of each initial assessment, a Prep and Learning Module (Math) and a Learning Path (Chemistry) becomes available for you to refresh your knowledge of forgotten topics to improve your course placement.
MUST Read before accessing ALEKS®
Before You Take The Assessment
- ALEKS® presents a short tutorial on how to enter answers. TAKE YOUR TIME WITH THIS TUTORIAL.
- Be sure to have scrap paper with you.
- ALEKS® is not a multiple-choice assessment. It is open-response and requires you to work out solutions with a paper and pencil, and then enter them into ALEKS®.
- ALEKS® provides an on-screen calculator if you need one to complete a particular question. Otherwise, you may not use a calculator. Calculators (other than the one ALEKS® provides) are not permitted during the assessment.
- It is always best to attempt each question in ALEKS® if you have an idea of how to answer it.
- ALEKS® is adaptive; once you submit an answer, you cannot change it. Be sure to carefully check your answer before submitting it.
- If you do not know how to answer the question, click the “I don’t know” button.
- It is important that the assessment is taken seriously, as it will truly reflect your current level of knowledge in that subject.
- There is no benefit to using any type of outside assistance while completing ALEKS®. Any assistance may result in inaccurate course placement (i.e., a course that is too difficult or not challenging enough), potentially costing time and money. Therefore, while taking each assessment, students should not consult any outside sources for help (e.g., friends/family, internet searches, textbooks, notes, etc.).
Technological (Computer) Requirements:
- ALEKS® requires a computer with Windows, an iPad, or a Mac computer (Chromebooks are not supported).
- The Math Placement Assessment requires you to install a LockDown Browser®.
- If you have previously downloaded a LockDown Browser® for another course or assignment, you will still need to download this version as it is unique to ALEKS®. To download the LockDown Browser®, click here.
- Once it is installed, go to the following link with a regular browser to test if the LockDown Browser® and your webcam are working properly.
- Your computer must have a webcam with a functioning microphone.
- The Math Placement Assessment requires you to install a LockDown Browser®.
Signing-in To ALEKS® (for Incoming Students Only)
- Login through signon.stjohns.edu (for detailed instructions, click here)
- Click on the ALEKS® subject link to begin
- First-time users of ALEKS® need to agree to the “User Agreement” and then click “Continue” on the “Account Paired” page
- If you have previously set up your account, you will not be prompted for this again
- On the “Apply Access” page, select “No, I need to purchase an access code.”
- For the Chemistry assessment, you must choose your Access Length and then select the Course Type to continue
- Complete the registration page, review your order on the next page, and then submit payment to begin the assessment
Technical Issues With Browsers
If your browser freezes, or your computer crashes while you are taking the assessment, simply close the browser, or log out and log back in. ALEKS® resumes the assessment exactly where you left off, with no loss of your previous answers.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is ALEKS®?
ALEKS® (Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces) is a web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system. ALEKS® uses adaptive questioning to accurately assess a student’s knowledge on subject-related content. Once the assessment is completed, ALEKS® reports its findings, and, if necessary, provides learning modules to improve a student’s knowledge and skill.
The math assessment is called ALEKS® PPL (Placement, Preparation and Learning). The chemistry assessment is called ALEKS® Prep for General Chemistry.
Which majors are required to complete both the math and chemistry assessments?
- Majors within St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences:
- Biology
- Chemistry
- Undecided (Bachelor of Science only)
Which majors are required to complete only the chemistry assessment?
- Majors within St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences:
- Environmental Science
Which majors are required to complete only the math assessment?
- Majors within St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences:
- Economics
- Mathematics
- Physics
- Majors within The Peter J. Tobin College of Business:
- Accounting
- Business
- Business Analytics
- Economics
- Finance
- International Management
- Management
- Marketing
- Risk Management and Insurance*
- Undecided
(*Note: Students in the Actuarial Science major and the Quantitative Risk and Insurance track within the Risk Management and Insurance major do not require ALEKS®.)
- Majors within The Lesley H. and William L. Collins College of Professional Studies:
- Computer Science
- Cyber Security Systems
- Healthcare Informatics
- Information Technology
- Networking and Telecommunications
What is the fee for ALEKS®?
Payment will be required for each assessment to finalize your ALEKS® registration. The cost for ALEKS® PPL for Math is $25.26, which includes an initial Placement Assessment, a Prep and Learning Module, and a second Placement Assessment. The cost for ALEKS® Prep for General Chemistry depends on the length of your access, which you get to choose when you register (either 6 weeks for $30.25, 11 weeks for $38.25, or 18 weeks for $73.25), and includes an Initial Knowledge Check, a Learning Path, and, potentially, additional knowledge checks. Once you submit payment your access begins, so please take note of your expiration date when registering.
How does ALEKS® work?
A wide range of course-related topics are covered in the assessment. ALEKS® uses adaptive questioning, which means that the current question is based on the answer of the previous question. Each student, and therefore each set of assessment questions, is unique. It is impossible to predict the questions that will be presented in your assessment. By the time you have completed the assessment, ALEKS® will have developed a precise picture of your knowledge on topics presented, assessing which topics you have mastered and which topics you have not yet mastered (referred to as “ready to learn”).
Your score will be indicated to you numerically. This number corresponds to a college-level academic course specific to St. John’s University. This assessment is not meant to keep you out of courses; the goal is to enroll you in a course that is best suited to your knowledge level—and, more importantly, one you should be able to successfully complete.
Do I still have to take the assessment(s) if I have college credit that was completed in high school and/or have Advanced Placement credit?
Only students who have completed college-level math or chemistry courses through the St. John’s University College Advantage Program may be exempt from ALEKS®. Advanced Placement scores and transcripts for credits earned from other higher educational institutions will be evaluated upon receipt and schedules will be adjusted when necessary.
What happens if I do not complete the ALEKS® assessment(s)?
If you do not complete the ALEKS® PPL for Math assessment, you will not be eligible to take a math course. This may slow your progression toward your degree. For incoming freshmen, a hold is placed on your account, requiring you to complete the assessment before you can register for the next semester.
If you do not complete the ALEKS® Prep for General Chemistry assessment, you are only eligible for College Chemistry, which is the entry-level course. This may or may not be the ideal chemistry depending upon your skill set. Therefore, it is important to complete the assessment to determine the most accurate placement. In addition, your chemistry progression may affect the timeline in which you may sit for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).
Can I review a question after I submit an answer?
Once you submit an answer, you cannot go back to review or change it. This is because ALEKS® uses adaptive questioning (i.e., the current question is based on how you answered the previous question). We recommend that you carefully check your answer before submitting your response.
What should I do if I see questions I do not know how to solve?
Due to the fact that ALEKS® covers a wide range of topics, it is likely that a question is presented that you may not have been taught in high school. For such questions, it is appropriate to answer, “I don’t know.” This answer is interpreted by ALEKS® to mean that you do not know how to solve the topic and this will be reflected in your assessment results. If you have any familiarity with a question, it is important to do your best and attempt to answer it.
Which topics are covered in the ALEKS® PPL for Math Assessment?
- Exponentials and logarithms
- Functions and graphing
- Integer exponents and factoring
- Lines and systems of linear equations
- Order of operation
- Percents, proportions, and geometry
- Quadratic and polynomial functions
- Radicals and rational exponents
- Rational expressions and functions
- Signed numbers, linear equations, and inequalities
- Simple word problems
- Trigonometry
Which topics are covered in the ALEKS® Prep for General Chemistry Assessment?
- Atomic structure
- Chemical and ionic compounds
- Chemical elements
- Chemical equations
- Elemental analysis
- Mass, volume, and density
- Math, algebra, graphing
- Measurement
- Moles and molar mass
- Quantitative problem-solving
- Scientific notation
How does the ALEKS® PPL for Math Assessment work?
Once you complete the ALEKS® PPL for Math assessment, your score is presented numerically, along with a recommended Prep and Learning Module to complete. This number corresponds to a college-level academic course that is specific to St. John’s University.
Here are the numeric values with the corresponding St. John’s University courses:
For majors in The Peter J. Tobin College of Business:
- 30 or lower: College Algebra
- Between 31 and 59: Pre-Calculus
- 60 or higher: Calculus
For majors in either St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences or The Lesley H. and William L. Collins College of Professional Studies:
- 45 or lower: College Math/College Algebra
- Between 46 and 69: College Algebra and Trigonometry
- 70 or higher: Calculus or Statistics (depending upon your major)
If you initially place into either College Math/College Algebra OR College Algebra and Trigonometry/Pre-Calculus, and after you complete the Prep and Learning Module, you have the option to complete a second assessment. If you initially place into Calculus or Statistics, you do not have to complete the second assessment. However, you may complete the suggested Prep and Learning Module as preparation for the upcoming semester.
How does the ALEKS® Prep for General Chemistry Assessment work?
Once you complete the ALEKS® Prep for General Chemistry Initial Knowledge Check, your score is presented as a percentage, along with a recommended Learning Path to complete. This percentage corresponds to a college-level academic course that is specific to St. John’s University.
Here are the numeric values with the corresponding SJU courses (effective Fall 2022):
- 69% or lower: College Chemistry
- 70% or higher: General Chemistry I
If you initially place into College Chemistry (score of 69% or lower), it is highly recommended that you complete the suggested Learning Path. If you complete the Learning Path, or demonstrate subject mastery at 90%, you are eligible for the higher-level chemistry course, General Chemistry I.
If your Initial Knowledge Check is 70% or higher, you place into General Chemistry I. This also means that you are on track for your program and there is no higher course for consideration. We still encourage you to complete the recommended Learning Path to solidify your knowledge base for the upcoming semester. Additionally, you will be eligible for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) in your junior year if you complete both General Chemistry I and General Chemistry II during your first academic year.
Who do I contact for technical issues?
All technical questions should be sent directly to ALEKS® by clicking on this link: https://mhedu.force.com/aleks/s/alekscontactsupport.
ALEKS® Support hours:
Sunday, 4 p.m.–1 a.m. EST
Monday–Thursday, 7 a.m.–1 a.m. EST
Friday, 7 a.m.–9 p.m. EST
Who do I contact for non-technical issues?
For all non-technical questions, including initial sign-in issues, please email the University Freshman Center at freshmancenter@stjohns.edu or call 718-990-5858.
The University Freshman Center hours are:
Monday–Thursday, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. EST
Friday, 8:30 a.m.–3 p.m. EST (Please note that St. John’s University will be closed on the last Friday in May, all Fridays in June and July, and the first Friday in August)
ALEKS® PPL for Math Assessment
Once you complete the ALEKS® PPL for Math assessment, your score is presented numerically, along with a recommended Prep and Learning module to complete. This number corresponds to a college–level academic course that is specific to St. John’s University.
Here are the numeric values with the corresponding St. John’s University courses:
- For majors in The Peter J. Tobin College of Business:
- 30 or lower: College Algebra
- Between 31 and 59: Pre-Calculus
- 60 or higher: Calculus
- For majors in either St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences or The Lesley H. and William L. Collins College of Professional Studies:
- 45 or lower: College Math/College Algebra
- Between 46 and 69: College Algebra and Trigonometry
- 70 or higher: Calculus or Statistics (depending upon your major)
Upon completion of the assessment, your score places you in the appropriate level math course. You then have the option to complete a Prep and Learning Module and take a second assessment.
For majors in The Peter J. Tobin College of Business:
ALEKS® Math Placement Results | Assessment | Assessment | Assessment |
First Semester | College Algebra | Pre-Calculus | Calculus |
Second Semester | Pre-Calculus | Calculus | Additional Math (only if required for major) |
Third Semester | Calculus | Additional Math (only if required for major) | Additional Math (only if required for major) |
For majors in either St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences or The Lesley H. and William L. Collins College of Professional Studies:
ALEKS® Math Placement Results | Assessment | Assessment | Assessment |
First Semester | College | College Algebra and Trigonometry | Calculus or Statistics |
Second Semester | College Algebra and Trigonometry | Calculus or Statistics | Calculus or Statistics |
Third Semester | Calculus or Statistics | Additional Math (only if required for major) | Additional Math (only if required for major) |
ALEKS® Prep for General Chemistry Assessment
(effective Fall 2022)
- Once you complete the ALEKS® Prep for General Chemistry Initial Knowledge Check, your score is presented as a percentage, along with a recommended Learning Path. This percentage corresponds to a college–level academic course that is specific to St. John’s University.
- Here are the numeric values with the corresponding St. John’s University courses:
- 69% or lower: College Chemistry
- 70% or higher: General Chemistry I
- If your Initial Knowledge Check is 69% or lower, it is highly recommended that you complete the suggested Learning Path.
- Once completed, or if you demonstrate subject mastery at 90%, you are eligible for the higher-level course, General Chemistry I.
- If your Initial Knowledge Check is 70% or higher, you place int0 General Chemistry I.
- You are on track for your program and there is no higher-level course for consideration. We still encourage you to complete the recommended Learning Path to solidify your knowledge base for the upcoming semester.
- Additionally, you will be eligible for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) in your junior year if you complete General Chemistry I and General Chemistry II during your first academic year.
Results | Assessment | Assessment | Assessment 70% or higher |
Summer Before First Semester | Do not complete ALEKS® Learning Path OR do not achieve a 90% mastery | Complete ALEKS® Learning Path AND achieve a 90% mastery | N/A |
First Semester | College Chemistry | General Chemistry I | General Chemistry I |
Second Semester | General Chemistry I | General Chemistry II | General Chemistry II |
Third Semester | General Chemistry II | Organic Chemistry (if required) | Organic Chemistry (if required) |
Exemptions to ALEKS® Assessment(s)
Only students who have completed college-level math or chemistry courses through the St. John’s University College Advantage Program may be exempt from ALEKS®. Advanced Placement scores and transcripts for credits earned from other higher educational institutions will be evaluated upon receipt.
Assistance
All technical questions should be sent directly to ALEKS® by clicking on this link: https://mhedu.force.com/aleks/s/alekscontactsupport
ALEKS® support hours are:
Sunday, 4 p.m.–1 a.m. EST
Monday–Thursday, 7 a.m.–1 a.m. EST
Friday, 7 a.m.–9 p.m. EST
For non-technical related questions (including initial sign-in issues):
Please email the University Freshman Center at freshmancenter@stjohns.edu or call 718-990-5858.
The University Freshman Center hours are:
Monday–Thursday, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. EST
Friday, 8:30 a.m.–3 p.m. EST (Please note that St. John’s University will be closed on the last Friday in May, all Fridays in June and July, and the first Friday in August)