GCC Math & Computer Science >Placement Testing > Placement FAQs

Placement Testing Questions & Answers

Who is required to take the MCCCD ALEKS Math Placement Test?
To enroll in a math course above Basic Arithmetic, you must have either successfully completed the specified prerequisite course (C or better) or have a valid, qualifying score on an MCCCD Math Placement Test. An exisiting MCCCD ASSET, COMPASS or ACCUPLACER math placement score is valid for two years prior to the first day of class. An MCCCD ALEKS Math Placement score is valid for one year prior to the first day of class. An MCCCD ALEKS Math Placement score always supersedes all other Math Placement scores.

Exception : If you do not have a high school diploma or have not passed the GED then do NOT take the ALEKS Placement Test . Please speak to Testing Center staff in your college Testing Center who will help you determine the test that best meets your needs.

What is the MCCCD ALEKS Math Placement Test?
The MCCCD ALEKS Math Placement Test covers a broad spectrum of information. Two separate tests are used to accurately assess your current mathematical knowledge and to provide appropriate review topics. The ALEKS Level I Math Test can place into Basic Arithmetic, Introductory Algebra, and Intermediate Algebra. The ALEKS Level II Math Test can place into Intermediate Algebra, College Mathematics, College Algebra/Functions, and above.

The ALEKS system is fully automated and the ALEKS assessment is open response (not multiple choice) and adaptive. The first questions asked will be drawn from across the curriculum, and may be too easy or too hard. As the assessment proceeds your answers will be used to give the system an idea of your knowledge, and it will gradually focus the questioning in an individually appropriate way. By the end of the assessment you should find the questions generally challenging but reasonable for your individual level of knowledge. Because the test adapts to your answers, you will not be able to go back once you have answered a question.

The length of the assessment runs from 20-35 questions. The exact number of questions will vary due to the adaptive mechanism just described.

It is likely that you will be asked questions on material you have not yet learned. On such questions it is appropriate to answer, "I don't know." However, on any question that you have familiarity with it is important to do your best. "I don't know" is interpreted by ALEKS to mean that you do not know the topic, and this will be reflected in the assessment results. If you do not do your best on the assessment, ALEKS will underestimate your knowledge.

At the end of your test, you will be given the courses for which you have shown readiness to register. In addition, you will be given a list of topics that you currently know and a list of topics that would be helpful to review.

How do I know which test to take?
You should take the ALEKS Level II Math Test if ALL of the following apply to you:

  • You received a C or better in high school advanced math/ pre-calculus/ or college algebra AND
  • You completed the course within the past 12 months, AND
  • You are confident that you have retained your knowledge of algebra concepts and skills. For example, you can correctly solve quadratic, rational, and radical equations.

Otherwise, take the ALEKS Level I Math Test

If you feel more comfortable talking with an individual about your choice, you can talk to an advisor in the Advisement Center or to a member of the Math Department at your college.

Is a calculator allowed on the exam?
An online calculator will automatically be provided whenever it is okay to use one on a problem. Only the online calculator that is part of the ALEKS test will be allowed.

Where can I find sample test questions before I take the MCCCD ALEKS Math Placement Test?
The ALEKS website provides you the opportunity to take a practice test. You can try a free sample test by going to www.aleks.com/free_trial/consumer and click TRY ALEKS NOW under Explore STUDENT MODULE . Enter your personal information to set up a trial account and follow the instructions. You will be able to see and work sample questions, practice entering your answers, and see how your diagnostics will look when you finish your test. You will not be able to see which problems you answered correctly but you will be given additional test sample and explanations of the process to solve them.

After the plug-in has been loaded, close your browser (you do not need to restart your computer) - this allows the browser to better recognize the plug-in just loaded. Now go back to www.aleks.com/free_trial/consumer and you are ready to register for your free sample test.

While there are over twenty sample tests available at the ALEKS site, the free sample tests that will be most useful in preparing for the MCCCD ALEKS Placement Tests include the following:

Basic Arithmetic Intermediate Alegebra
Introductory Algebra College Mathematics
Intermediate Algebra College Algebra

If you neeed technical help please use the ALEKS help located at http://ww.aleks.com/faq.

I would like to review before I take the ALEKS Math Placement Test. Where should I begin?
ALEKS has tutorials that are aligned with our placement tests and are available for purchase. For more information on the review tutorials click here .

If you prefer to review on your own and have a text or exams from a previous class you can use them to guide your review.

How do I take the MCCCD ALEKS Math Placement Test?
All GCC students will take the MCCCD ALEKS Math Placement Test in the GCC Testing Center . Before going to the Testing Center, you must first complete a college application and be assigned an eight digit Student ID number. If you do not have one you can get one now by going to my.maricopa.edu and following the create an account link. At this site you will be assigned both the required Student ID number and a second id code called an MEID.
Is there a fee to take the ALEKS Math Placement Test?
No. There is no fee for placement testing.

What if I do not obtain the required minimum score for the math course I want to take?
If you do not reach the minimum score, you have two choices:

  • If you have taken the test once within the last year, review before taking the test again in an attempt to improve your score. It is strongly recommended that you use the suggested review topics that are part of your test results to guide your review before you take the test again.
    You can only take two ALEKS Placement Tests per year.

  • Enroll in the course suggested.
How long are my scores valid?
It is crucial that the scores are reflective of your current mathematical knowledge. Therefore, the scores are valid for 1 year prior to the first day of the semester.
How do I get my scores?
You will be given a copy of your scores when you complete your placement test - you should keep that copy for your records. You can also retrieve your scores by logging into My.Maricopa.edu .
How do I get math advising support?
For general academic advising, information on which classes are available, and those courses required for you particular degree or pathway contact your advisor. For specific questions about math courses contact the Mathematics Department office.


Visit GCC's Testing Services for general testing information. If you have any questions, please contact the Mathematics Department at 623.845.3655.