ALEKS Math Skills Assessment

NOTE: We will no longer be using the ALEKS platform to determine math placement. If you already took the ALEKS math placement test, your score can be used. Stay tuned for additional details! 

You should only complete the ALEKS math skills assessment if you will be enrolling in one of the following classes: 

APPM 1235, APPM 1340, APPM 1350, ECON 1078, ECON 1088, MATH 1081, MATH 1150, MATH 1300, MATH 1310, PHYS 1110. See  ALEKS Classes and Minimum Scores for a list of these courses and their corresponding minimum required ALEKS scores.

  • There are no classes other than those listed above that require you to complete ALEKS.

  • In order to get an accurate assessment of your math skills, you must not use books, search engines or other websites, a calculator, or consult with anyone else when completing ALEKS. The ALEKS assessment aims only to be helpful for you. It only works if you follow these guidelines.

  • ALEKS will provide you with a calculator on screen when one is allowed. 

  • You should have pencils and paper ready to use.

  • The ALEKS assessment will take approximately two hours to complete. Once you begin the assessment you may pause and resume the assessment at any time and you have a full week to work on it.

  • The ALEKS assessment is structured as an open-answer test and is individualized for each student.

  • We recommend that you complete the ALEKS assessment within four months of the start date of the math class you will take. This insures the ALEKS assessment provides you with an up-to-date, unbiased report on your mathematical readiness for these classes.

  • New this year: Only the score on your first ALEKS assessment will be considered for placement. Failure to obtain the minimum score will disqualify you from enrolling in the class. You may take the ALEKS assessment two additional times, but your score on the second or third assessment will not be consider

  • Consult your advisor for scheduling options if your score is below the minimum required for enrollment in the math class.

  • It will take about 48 hours after completion for your ALEKS score to post to your records. Once it has posted you will be able to register for your math class.

An inaccurate ALEKS score will place you into a class for which you are unlikely to be able to do well. These policies have been put in place to help you be successful at CU Boulder.

Goals and Purpose of ALEKS

In response to a high percentage of students earning grades of D or F, or having to withdraw from specific classes, CU Boulder implemented use of the ALEKS math skills assessment. CU Boulder uses ALEKS to make sure students enroll in classes where they have the appropriate mathematical background and should be able to earn a C- grade or better. Students typically over-estimate their readiness. ALEKS will provide you with an objective reality check when done properly.

Using any form of outside resources including the Internet, books, friends, etc., greatly decreases the value to you of the ALEKS assessment.  Using additional resources while taking the test may artificially improve your ALEKS score, but enrolling in a class you aren't truly prepared for will dramatically increase the likelihood you will earn a D, F, or W grade. These grades can have significant negative impacts on your educational experience at CU Boulder including possibly delaying graduation.

Earning a passing grade in a class for which you have the appropriate knowledge is much better for your progress toward your degree at CU than failing in a class for which you are  not adequately prepared.

The classes that require a minimum ALEKS score to enroll are especially challenging and move much more quickly than even the most rigorous high school classes that cover similar topics. You need to have mastered the appropriate foundation of math skills as honestly measured by ALEKS to be able to earn an acceptable grade.

CU Boulder uses ALEKS in order to help students be successful! We want you to do well in your classes! When you enroll in classes where you can be successful, it is the best outcome for you, the other students in the class, the instructor, and the university. Please keep this in mind as you are completing the ALEKS assessment and when choosing classes in which to enroll.

  • Only students enrolling in these classes need to complete ALEKS.

Contact ALEKS


  • If you need disability accommodations or have any other questions, please contact Elizabeth Garfield, 303-492-9031 or, and cc: Email is preferred and will generally receive a faster response. Please include your student ID and all relevant information. We will assist you in making appropriate arrangements.