Skip to content

Placement FAQ


We are pleased you decided to visit us, and hope you might come in person sometime soon. Our department is friendly and attentive to students' needs, and it is easy to get acquainted with other students, staff, and faculty.

Top Navigation

Main Navigation

  • EWU Home
  • College of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
  • Departments
  • Mathematics
  • Math Placement Assessment
  • Placement FAQ
  • Main Content

    Do I have to take the math placement assessment?

    All new students at EWU are highly encouraged to take the math placement assessment. It is the most accurate way to make sure you take classes appropriate for your abilities. However, students who meet at least one of the following criteria may opt out of the assessment:

    Note:  Students with a testing exception may be required to take the math placement assessment when an appropriate score is required to fulfill their "Lack of Course Prerequisite Hold" for registration in a specific course.

    How do I pay for the assessment?

    Students can pay the math placement fee by doing the following:

    1. Login in to myEWU Portal with your Eastern SSO
    2. Click on "Students" at the top of the page
    3. In the box "Student Financial Services," click the link "Make a Payment"
    4. Click on the "Pay Bill or Optional Charges" link at the top of the page
    5. Select "Testing fees"
    6. Add Math Placement Testing Fee to the shopping cart
    7. Pay the fee

    How often can I take the math placement assessment?

    We have two sessions available in which you may assess; one for Summer/Fall registration and the other for Winter/Spring registration. You can register once for each session, and you may take the assessment twice per session. The current session intended for Summer and Fall Quarter registration will end September 22, 2017. The next session for Winter and Spring Quarter will begin September 27, 2017.

    I need a password to retake the assessment.

    You are only given one practice assessment. All other assessments are to be taken for credit in a proctored environment. When you show up at one of the available proctoring sessions, the password will be given to you.

    What is required to retake the placement assessment?

    If you would like to retake the placement assessment, you must first work for an additional 10 hours in the Learning and Prep Module within the six months you have access to it. If you think you may need to retake the placement assessment, you should take the first assessment at least a week before your access has expired to ensure you have enough time to complete your additional hours. Once you have completed all of your hours, you may show up for any available proctoring session.

    The assessment session has ended, but I still have time left with my prep module. Can I still use it to take the assessment?

    No. Once the assessment session is over, you will have to purchase a new assessment package. The work done in the previous package will not count towards time spent in the new one.

    What happens if I score lower on my retake?

    If you score lower on the second placement assessment, we will use the higher of the two scores.

    How long is the placement assessment?

    ALEKS is an adaptive assessment tool. Generally, assessments are 30 questions and take 90 minutes. However, students may be done before or after that. You will have three hours to complete the assessment.

    Am I allowed to use a calculator on the assessment?

    A calculator will be provided by ALEKS when it is appropriate to use. You may not use any other calculator during an ALEKS placement assessment.

    Does my work in the Prep and Learning Module count towards placement?

    No. Working in the Prep and Learning Module will help prepare you for the placement assessments, but it does not count towards actual placement.

    How much time should I spend in the prep module?

    Typically, you should expect about a 1 point gain for every two hours' worth of work in the prep and learning module. For example, if you assess at 35, you should expect to spend 12 hours to receive a 41. However, your individual needs may require more time in the prep module.

    Do I have to work in the Learning and Prep Module?

    Currently, we require that students work a minimum of three hours in the Prep and Learning Module before they are allowed to take the proctored assessment. The strength of this placement program is in a student's mastery work following the initial assessment, students should plan to take advantage of the Prep and Learning Module to fully prepare for the placement assessment.  (Research shows that even 5 hours spent in the learning module can improve a student's placement one entire class.)

    What are ALEKS progress assessments?

    ALEKS gives frequent assessments to gauge how much of the material the student has mastered over the course of the learning and prep module. These assessments do not count towards your placement, but they track your progress in the learning and prep module.

    What math class do I need to place into?

    Please refer to Academic Advising for more information on your degree requirements.

    What are the system requirements for ALEKS?

    ALEKS should run in any browser with java enabled, and the ALEKS plug-in should install automatically.

    For more information visit the ALEKS Technical Support page.

    When is my score available for registration?

    Your score will be available the following day after completion of your proctored assessment.

    I took the old math placement test; are my scores still valid?

    No. Your APTP scores are no longer valid for registration at EWU. You will be required to take the ALEKS placement assessment.

    Why do I get an unauthorized user message?

    If you are receiving an unauthorized user message when trying to log into ALEKS, this means that you have not paid for the math placement assessment for the current assessment session. If you think that you have received this message in error, please contact the placement administrator or math department.

    I have another question not answered here.

    If you have any other questions that we did not answer here, feel free to contact the math department directly or the Director of ALEKS placement services.

    Tony Baraconi
    Phone: 509.359.2281

    Contact Information

    Mathematics Department
    316 Kingston Hall
    Cheney, WA 99004

    phone: 509.359.4315
    fax: 509.359.4700

    Footer Navigation

    Text Only Options

    View the desktop version of this page.