4-Year Degree Programs
Now you're ready to take the ALEKS online math placement test.
Go to http://www.aleks.com/sign_up. The first screen you see will be...
Students: Sign Up In the Using ALEKS with a class? box, enter the ten-letter ALEKS Course Code you received from UM. Continue to...
Confirm Enrollment Information This screen will ask you to confirm you want to take a Math Placement exam for the University of Montana. Continue to...
Enter Your Personal Information The third screen asks you to enter your personal information. You will be asked for your name, email address, and Student ID # — use your nine digit 790XXXXXX UM Student ID# here.
Continue following the instruction screens. You will need to complete a short tutorial (5 minutes) to teach you how to enter responses in ALEKS using the keyboard. The exam itself will consist of no more than 25-28 questions, after which you will receive your ALEKS placement level.
I am having technical difficulties starting the ALEKS placement. What should I do?
If you are experiencing issues accessing the ALEKS exam after following the above instructions, you may be able to resolve the issue using this troubleshooting document.
- I've taken the ALEKS exam, and I know my Placement level. How do I decide which math course to take?
The University of Montana offers four distinct math tracks to follow, based on your choice of major:
(1) Majors requiring Calculus,
(2) Elementary Education Majors,
(3) Majors requiring Statistics, and
(4) Majors without specific math requirements.
Each major's math requirements are listed in the Course Catalog at http://www.umt.edu/catalog/.
Most majors will require you to follow only one math track. However, there are a few (such as Economics and Wildlife Biology) that require study of two tracks; check the Course Catalog to be sure.
Once you know:
(1) your ALEKS placement level (LEVEL 1,2,3,4,or 5),
(2) which math track is right for you, considering your major or interest areas,
you and your advisor, using the chart below, can select the appropriate math course:
If your ALEKS Placement is You may enroll in Comments LEVEL 1
M 065 Prealgebra
If you need advice about your specific situation after taking the ALEKS placement test, contact The Office for Student Success via email at OfficeForStudentSuccess@umontana.edu.
M 90 Intro Algebra
M 111 Technical Mathematics
M 095 Intermed Algebra
M 105 Contemp. Math
M 115 Prob.& Lin Math
M 121 College Algebra
M 122 Trigonometry
M 151 Precalculus
M 162 Applied Calculus
M 171 Calculus I
You are strongly encouraged to register for a math course that is at or below your placement level.
- My ALEKS score places me below where I think I should start. Can I re-take the exam?
If you've always struggled with algebra and arithmetic, perhaps your best option is to sharpen your mathematics fundamentals at the very start of your college career. Taking one or more of the University's developmental math courses (M065, M090, M095) may form the foundation for your success not just in college mathematics, but in courses from all academic disciplines that require quantitative reasoning.
On the other hand, there may be other reasons why your ALEKS score is lower than you expect. If it has been a while since you have been in a math classroom, your arithmetic and algebra skills may be a bit rusty. In that case, you may want to try to brush up those skills and re-take the ALEKS Placement exam.
You are allowed to re-take the exam; contact the Office for Student Success at OfficeForStudentSuccess@umontana.edu for instructions.
- May I disregard my ALEKS placement level, and just plan on getting a private tutor for math?
Many students assume that getting a private tutor will compensate for lacking the necessary mathematical background for success in the course — and there are instances where private tutoring is appropriate, such as when a student has a learning or physical disability.
However, in mathematics, the acquisition of knowledge is usually sequential: what is introduced in Week Ten is based on material learned in all previous weeks. If you are not ready to learn the Week One material, you immediately fall behind. Private tutoring rarely bridges that Week One readiness gap.
- I haven't decided on a major yet. Should I postpone taking math until I decide?
Don't worry about not knowing your major — about one in four students enter the University not decided (called "Undeclared" in University-speak). Your first two or three semesters are a great time for you to explore your interests through the courses you select.
But there's no reason not to move forward on your math studies. Putting off math until you decide on a major is a risky strategy; math skills, like muscles, grow flabby without exercise! And the best way to exercise them is to use them.
- So, even if my major is "Undeclared", I should plan on taking a math course. But how do I know which one?
First, ask yourself the following questions:
Do any of the majors I'm interested in require Calculus?
Am I interested in taking Precalculus or Calculus in college?
If your answer to either question is YES, use your ALEKS placement level to help you select the appropriate math course for you along the "Majors Requiring Calculus" track.
If your answer is NO to both, then take a look at the math requirements for some of the fields that sound interesting to you.
For example, Homer Firstyear is thinking about Psychology, Business, and Criminal Justice as possible majors. Looking through the Catalog, he discovers that all three majors suggest or require M115 (Probability and Linear Math). Since Homer placed into Level 3, he's shown he's ready for M115, and so he registers for it.
Marge, on the other hand, is absolutely, positively sure she wants to major in History, Political Science, or English. She finds out (again, by researching the Catalog) that none of these majors have a specific math requirement, other than meeting the University's General Education requirement for mathematical literacy. If her ALEKS placement level is 3, she's may choose either M115 or M105 (Contemporary Mathematics). Before registering, she decides to ask an advisor about the two courses.