Math Assessment

What is ALEKS?

ALEKS (Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces) is a Web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system. Learn more about ALEKS at their website.

First-year Students Interested in Math, the Sciences, or Economics (MSE)

Incoming first-year students can take the test prior to coming to Colorado College to determine their proficiency in College Algebra and Precalculus. While Colorado College will not use the scores from the test as a placement test, it will help the student determine their "readiness" for Colorado College Math, Science, and Economics classes.

To interpret ALEKS test scores see Table 1. Students scoring below about 40-45 on ALEKS may be at a particular disadvantage when enrolling in quantitatively challenging courses. Courses that might help prepare students for challenging material in addition to those listed in Table 2 include:

CH104: The Mole and its Mathematical Role in Chemistry (Half Block, 0.5 credits). The course is designed to support success in CH107 (General Chem 1), and then CH108 (General Chem 2)

GS105: The Power of Data and Models (Blocks 3 & 4; 0.25 credits each). This adjunct is designed to support students who would benefit from reviewing College Algebra or Precalculus concepts (i.e., get back into "algebra shape") prior to enrolling in key gateway or required courses (e.g., MA126, CH107).

**Students should speak with their advisor about course placements. For course placement in Mathematics, advisees should also consult with the Mathematics Department about appropriate course placement. See Math Placement Package (Math & Comp Sci Department webpage).

**The information listed below is for informational purposes only.

Table 1. What the Math Assessment Score Means


(ACT/SAT math)

What the ALEKS Score Means

Example placement at other colleges, universities




Student demonstrated weak algebra skills and likely will be very challenged by intro math or quantitative courses.




Student scored at the lower end of the range (30-45) and may have very weak algebra skills.

Student scored at the upper end of the range (50-60) and may just be "rusty," but likely also has gaps in college algebra or Precalculus concepts (esp. exp/logs, trigonometry)

These students may really struggle with rigorous entry-level courses and requirements (MA126, CH107, PC141/241)

Intermediate or College Algebra



Student had some Calc or Precalculus in high school but may be "rusty" on algebra or Precalculus basics, or may have never learned the topics well.

Student would likely do well with a review of key college algebra and Precalculus concepts.

For those with AP Calc AB credit, without some focused review, it's not clear if starting at Calc 2 (MA129) will go well.



(≥ 28/620)

Student demonstrated understanding of many Algebra and Precalculus concepts, and is well-positioned for at Calc 1 or perhaps Calc 2 (e.g., if they have AP/IB credits)


Table 2
shows a sample of suggested courses that might help build students' confidence and skills prior to enrolling in rigorous gateway or required courses (e.g., MA126/MA125, CH107, MA117). These course suggestions have been recommended by departments based on student math assessment scores.

Table 2. Options for Confidence-building Courses in MSE

ALEKS Score #

(ACT/SAT math)

Confidence-building Courses in Math, Sciences, Economics


(≤22 /≤520)



CH:104 (if offered)

BE:100-level courses (intro, non-major courses)

PC:133, 129, 151


MA:110 (when offered)




EC:101,102,141,142, 205

CH:104 (if offered)

BE:105, 106, 107









Consider MA125 (if on low end) or MA117

MA126, CH107 (algebra review first)

EC201 (MA126 prerequisite)

EC: 205,220,221,225


MB:131 (prerequisite CH107 or equivalent)

BE:208 (prerequisite CH107 & one of BE105,106,107)



(≥ 28/620)

Ready to enroll in at least MA126, CH107, EC201 (e.g.)

EC: all other courses

MB:131 (prerequisite CH107 or equivalent)

BE:208 (prerequisite CH107 & one of BE105,106,107)

BE220 (with prerequisites)

More advanced students in this category (score >80) may also have appropriate course credits to place into MA129, MA217, PC242, or CH108. Credit for these placements needs to be confirmed with departments and the Registrar.

Report an issue - Last updated: 01/28/2022