JMU uses the McGraw-Hill ALEKS Math Assessment to ensure student readiness for JMU mathematics courses. It is important for you to start with a firm foundation in your understanding. We use the ALEKS assessment system to place you into the math course that matches your incoming knowledge level. Attempts to inflate or deflate your math abilities will only impede your degree progress.

 The JMU Honor Code applies when taking the assessment.

  • All incoming first-year students, regardless of earned math credit and major, must take the assessment.
  • Transfer students should complete the Decision Tree Survey in their One Book to determine if the ALEKS Math Assessment is required for their major.
Get ready.

Before you take the assessment, ALEKS will present a short tutorial on how to enter answers, how to use the graphing utilities and the built-in calculator. Take your time with this tutorial so you understand how to use the system.

  • Allow about three hours of uninterrupted work time. The assessment is 25 questions. You may not need the three hours, but make certain you have set aside adequate time.
  • Have a pencil and paper available to work through solutions. These are not multiple-choice questions.
  • Prepare a space conducive to doing your best work with a reliable internet connection.
  • You may only use the calculator when presented by the ALEKS system. You are not allowed to use a personal calculator.
  • If you have questions before you begin the assessment, call 540-568-8925.
Disability Accommodations

If you are eligible for disability accommodations, please complete the two-question Request for ALEKS Math Assessment Accommodations survey. Upon submission of the survey, you will receive an email with a link to the ALEKS Accommodations Assessment. Do not use the link in the instructions section below. Remember, to receive accommodations in JMU classes, you must register with the Office of Disability Services.

LockDown Browser

We use a lockdown browser during access to the ALEKS assessment. You will need to download the lockdown browser, Respondus, through the ALEKS website. Follow the instructions below.

  1. Close all web-based programs and browsers before opening a new browser to this page.
  2. Log in using your eID and password. Complete the Duo authentication step, if prompted.
  3. Click on the Fall 2023 block.
  4. Click the GET STARTED button.
  5. Download LockDown Browser, by selecting the link and then the correct system (Windows, Mac, iPad). The assessment will not begin until you have downloaded Respondus.
  6. Once downloaded, save the .exe file, then complete the installation of Respondus.
  7. When the installation is complete, return to the ALEKS system tab and click the Launch LockDown Browser button to begin your assessment.
Take the Assessment.
  1. Utilize your One Book steps (unless you are requesting disability accommodations for the assessment) to access the ALEKS system. 
  2. Work through the tutorial until you are comfortable with how to operate the system.
  3. Upon completion of the assessment, you will see a score. The table below indicates your math course based on your score.
  4. Your score will populate in the JMU MyMadison portal within 24 hours. The enrollment system does not allow you to enroll in a course higher than your recommended placement. Check out the tutorial on locating your JMU placement scores.
Interpret your score.

Your placement result (overall score) is a number between 0 and 100. It represents the percentage of topics ALEKS has identified you have mastered. The scores are listed in the table below. Math course requirements vary by major.

Use the ALEKS Assessment Matrix by Major to determine which math course is required for your major. Refer to the enrollment worksheets in Module 3 of the Prepare for Class Enrollment step for information to determine if your selected major requires a math course for your first semester.

JMU Course vs. ALEKS Score
Course ALEKS Score
MATH 235 ≥ 81
MATH 231 Calculus with Functions I ≥ 66
MATH 231 + MATH 199 Calculus with Function s I+ Algebra/Precalculus Gateway 56 - 65
MATH 205 Introductory Calculus ≥ 66
MATH 205 + MATH 199 Introductory Calculus+ Algebra/Precalculus Gateway 56 - 65
MATH 229 Introduction to Applied Statistics Using R ≥ 61
MATH 220 Elementary Statistics ≥ 46
MATH 105 Quantitative Literacy and Reasoning  45
MATH 155 College Algebra ≤ 55
MATH 103 The Nature of Mathematics Any
Learning Modules and Retakes

One of the benefits of the ALEKS system is the opportunity to brush up on your math skills. The system recommends learning modules based on your score. If you wish to use the modules and retake the assessment to improve your placement, you must spend a total of three hours reviewing learning modules before retaking the assessment.

You are allowed up to two retakes with a 48 hour cooling-off period in between retakes.

Learning Module vs. ALEKS Score
Learning Module ALEKS Score
Calculus 55
Pre-Calculus 40-54
College Algebra 25-39
Intermediate Algebra 10-24
Beginning Algebra <10

To access the ALEKS system to use the learning modules or to retake the assessment, you must use the link in your One Book steps, or, if you requested disability accommodations for the assessment, you must use the link you received in your approval email.

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