Skip To Content


Your First Step to Success!

Accurate math placement and course preparedness are key factors for achievement in any STEM field. Students who are successful in their first math course are three-times more likely to complete their degree. At Florida Southern College, we want to provide every opportunity for your success, which is why we offer Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces: Placement, Preparation and Learning (ALEKS PPL).

If you are a STEM major, you are required to take the ALEKS Mathematics Placement Assessment. This assessment will assess your math skills and help place you into appropriate college mathematics and science courses for the best chance of success. Through appropriate placement, you will be on the right learning path, which will ultimately save time and money and allow you achieve more from your academics.

Once the ALEKS Mathematics Placement accurately measures your math foundation, it creates personalized Learning Modules to review and refresh knowledge that may have grown stale. You can then retake the assessment tests to potentially achieve higher placement results.

You cannot be enrolled in courses for your first semester until you have taken the Placement Assessment.

Watch this brief video as an introduction to what you can expect while taking ALEKS Mathematics Placement Assessment.


Who is required to take the Placement Assessment?

If you are interested in a STEM career, your first semester science and math classes are critical to your success, so your enrollment in the appropriate courses will help you on your journey. If you are a first-year or transfer student entering FSC in the 2023-24 academic year and have chosen any of the following majors, you must take the ALEKS PPL Placement Assessment. You will not be enrolled in courses until you take the Placement Assessment.

  • Applied Mathematics and Statistics
  • Biochemistry Molecular Biology
  • Biology
  • Biotechnology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Data Analytics
  • Environmental Studies
  • Integrative Biology
  • Marine Biology
  • Mathematics
  • Medical Laboratory Sciences

Should I study for the Placement Assessment?

Your ALEKS Placement Assessment is designed to determine what you know and what you need to work on; we do NOT encourage reviewing or studying for the assessment. This will allow for you to be accurately placed in math and science courses where you have the highest chance of success.

At the end of the assessment, you will have a much better sense of your strengths and weaknesses. If you continue with the Learning Modules, you will have a chance to brush up on topics that you may have forgotten or you haven't practiced for some time. The Learning Modules are matched to your current abilities, as demonstrated in your first placement assessment.

ALEKS creates a custom-fit course covering only the material within the Learning Modules that you need to learn or review. To get the full benefit of ALEKS' adaptivity, it is important that you try your best on the Placement Assessment. ALEKS will be able to form an accurate model of your current knowledge and skills if you solve every problem in your assessment to the best of your ability.

You will be proctored during the Placement Assessment. We do this to reduce the chances of cheating, which causes an inaccurate assessment of your skills and reduces your chances for success in your academics.

What topics are covered during the Placement Assessment?

ALEX PPL is designed to assess knowledge up to calculus, so there are no calculus questions on the Placement Assessment. There are 314 math topics commonly covered in high school curriculum, including:

  • Real numbers (including fractions, integers, and percentages)
  • Equations and inequalities (including linear equations, linear inequalities, systems of linear equations, and quadratic equations)
  • Linear and quadratic functions (including graphs and functions, linear functions, and parabolas), exponents and polynomials (including integer exponents, polynomial arithmetic, factoring, and polynomial equations), rational expressions (including rational equations and rational functions
  • Radical expressions (including higher roots and rational exponents)
  • Exponentials and logarithms (including function compositions and inverse functions, properties of logarithms, and logarithmic equations)
  • Geometry and trigonometry (including perimeter, area, and volume, coordinate geometry, trigonometric functions, and identities and equations).

Are there any accommodations available for the Placement Assessment?

The placement test is offered in English and Spanish, so students can choose whichever option works better for them.

Students have three hours to take the Placement Assessment. As the average time to take the assessment is 75 minutes, additional test time has already been built into the administration of the assessment. Additional time cannot be provided.

If you need disability accommodations please contact

When do I take the Placement Assessment?

First year students entering in the fall 2023 semester must have the Placement Assessment completed by no later than June 16, 2023. Transfer students should complete the Placement Assessment by July 1, 2023. You will not be provided with a class schedule until you have taken the Placement Assessment.

Where can I take the Placement Assessment?

You can take the Placement Assessment from any computer with a good internet connection, a web camera and a microphone. The Placement Assessment will be proctored by Respondus Monitor on-line. You do not need to be in any special location to take the assessment or for proctoring purposes.

What do I need to take the Placement Assessment?

  • A device (preferably a computer or laptop) with a reliable internet connection and one of the following browsers:
    • Windows running 10+
    • Mac running OS X 10.15+
    • Recommended browser: Chrome 90+, Firefox 90+
    • Note: Chromebooks are not compatible.
  • Microphone and webcam
  • LockDown Browser for proctoring (also see the FAQ How does proctoring work). View the ALEKS Respondus Monitor Student Startup Guide for help in getting started. Lockdown Browser Respondus Student Startup Guide
  • Photo ID (Driver’s license, State ID, passport)
    • IMPORTANT: A photo ID that is not in the English language is not an acceptable form of identification.
    • The name on your photo ID must match your name as shown in ALEKS.
    • If you do not have an acceptable form of ID, email
  • Blank paper and pencil
  • A distraction free environment for up to three hours

Personal calculators are prohibited. An onscreen calculator will be provided, when needed to complete a particular problem.

How do I register for ALEKS?

Your first step is to make sure you have the software loaded on your computer for proctoring.

Lockdown BrowserRespondus Student Startup Guide

Then you will set up an account with ALEKS. Be sure to save your login information!

Registration PDF

How does proctoring work?

ALEKS Placement Assessments are remotely proctored using LockDown Browser and Respondus Monitor.

LockDown Browser is a custom browser that secures the testing environment by preventing access to other applications, copying, printing, or visiting other websites while taking assessments in ALEKS PPL.

Respondus Monitor is an automated “remote proctoring” companion application for LockDown Browser that uses webcam and video technology to record you during your online placement assessment. Faculty members monitor the recordings to ensure the integrity of the proctored assessment.

Lockdown BrowserRespondus Student Startup Guide

What are the guidelines I need to follow for the webcam video?

  • Do not wear baseball caps or hats with brims.
  • Ensure your computer is on a firm surface (a desk or table). Do NOT have the computer on your lap, a bed, or other surface where the device (or you) are likely to move.
  • If using a built-in webcam, avoid tilting the screen after the webcam setup is complete.
  • Take the assessment in a well-lit room and avoid backlighting, such as sitting with your back to a window.
  • Use the Respondus Monitor Live chat for any pre-assessment issues related to your webcam and microphone.

Personal calculators are prohibited. An onscreen calculator will be provided, when needed to complete a particular problem.

Do I need to report my ALEKS Placement Assessment score?

ALEKS Placement Assessment scores are automatically sent by ALEKS to FSC. You do not need to report your score.

How will the results be used?

Upon completion of the Placement Assessment, your score will be used as one piece in a holistic process to place you into the right courses for your first semester. The faculty and staff at FSC will schedule your first semester science and math courses based on the ALEKS results as well as information about your other academic accomplishments and goals and the responses to survey questions you have provided. Schedules are arranged to ensure students have an excellent chance at success not only in their first semester at FSC, but throughout their time as an undergraduate.

Is there a fee for using ALEKS PPL?

Once you complete the Placement Assessment, there will be a $20 charge added as a course fee to your tuition. This fee will cover the Placement Assessment, the twelve-month access to the PPL, and four additional Placement Assessments that could allow you to place into higher level math courses. You will not have to pay a fee directly to ALEKS, and you will not be charged before you take the Placement Assessment.

How do I work in the Preparation and Learning Modules?

You can start working through your Learning Modules any time after your initial Placement Assessment. You have access to ALEX PPL for twelve months, and you have up to four more Placement Assessments.

You’ll sign into ALEX and start working through your customized Learning Modules at your own pace to refresh and improve your mathematics skills. To be able to attempt another Placement Assessment, you will need to spend a minimum of 5 hours working in the Learning Modules. The more time you spend on the Prep and Learning Module, the better your score will be on the next assessment. After you have spent at least 5 hours, you can take another assessment to obtain a new ALEKS Placement Assessment score.

Please be aware, there is a 72-hour “cool-off” period between any two consecutive Placement Assessments. This will encourage you to spend adequate time in the Learning Modules before taking another Placement Assessment.

After taking the Placement Assessment, do I have to continue on with the Preparation and Learning Modules?

ALEKS will use your results from the initial Placement Assessment to determine what topics you need to learn in the Prep and Learning Module in order for you to improve your mathematics knowledge. Based on your major, you may be enrolled in a course that requires you to continue through the Learning Modules. Or you may want to continue on your own, to improve your math skills and possibly place into higher level math and science courses.

NOTE: The ALEKS PPL Placement Assessments are assessments of prior knowledge and are not a substitute for coursework. No college credits will be awarded for courses that a student places out of through the use of these assessments.

What are ALEKS Knowledge Checks?

While working in the Prep and Learning Module, you will periodically complete a Knowledge Check to ensure you are on the optimal learning path. A Knowledge Check determines what you’ve mastered and what you’re ready to learn.

A Knowledge Check does NOT qualify as a Placement Assessment.

Does progress in the ALEKS Prep and Learning Module count toward placement?

No. You must complete and earn an appropriate score on a new ALEKS Placement Assessment to become eligible to enroll in specific math and science classes. You will consult with your academic advisor regarding your scores and placement.

What other institutions use ALEKS?

More and more colleges and universities have adopted ALEKS to help students achieve. Many schools in Florida use ALEKS, including:

  • Florida Atlantic University
  • Florida International University
  • Florida Polytechnic
  • Florida State University
  • Rollins College
  • University of Florida
  • University of Miami
  • University of Tampa

Ready to Take the Placement Assessment?

Once you have read the FAQs, made sure your computer has an appropriate browser, and confirmed that LockDown browser was installed successfully, you are ready to begin the Placement Assessment.

Remember you cannot be enrolled in courses for your first semester until you have taken the Placement Assessment

You must take the Placement Assessment by June 16, 2023.

Only FSC students are allowed to take the Placement Assessment. Your ID will be verified before you take the assessment.

Access to the Placement Assessment:
Password: ALEKS123