ALEKS® PPL Assessments

Your major may require completion of a math and/or chemistry assessment.  The results of each assessment are used to enroll you in an appropriate math and/or chemistry course best suited to support your overall success.

The assessments are completed using a web-based program called ALEKS® PPL, a McGraw-Hill product.  Each assessment includes up to 30 questions and generally takes 60 to 90 minutes to complete.  At the end of each ALEKS® PPL assessment, modules become available for you to refresh your knowledge of forgotten topics to improve your course placement. 

You will only have six weeks from your initial sign-in to complete the program.  For math, this includes an initial assessment, learning modules, and a second assessment.  For chemistry, this includes an initial knowledge check, learning modules, and, potentially, additional knowledge checks. 

The fee for the ALEKS® PPL for Math assessment is $25 and will be added to the invoice of your upcoming registration term.  The fee for the ALEKS® PPL for Chemistry assessment will be included in your lab fee.

For an overview of ALEKS® PPL, click here.

MUST Read before accessing ALEKS® PPL

Before You Take The Assessment

  • ALEKS® PPL presents a short tutorial on how to enter answers, how to use the graphing utilities, and how to use the built-in calculator.  TAKE YOUR TIME WITH THIS TUTORIAL.
  • Be sure to have scrap paper with you.
    • ALEKS® PPL is not a multiple-choice assessment.  It is open-response and requires you to work out solutions with a paper and pencil, and then enter them into ALEKS® PPL.
  • ALEKS® PPL provides an on-screen calculator if you need one to complete a particular question.  Otherwise, you may not use a calculator.  Calculators (other than the one ALEKS® PPL provides) are not permitted during the assessment.
  • It is always best to attempt each question in ALEKS® PPL if you have an idea of how to answer it.
  • ALEKS® PPL is adaptive; once you submit an answer, you cannot change it.  Be sure to carefully check your answer before submitting it.
    • If you do not know how to answer the question, click the “I don’t know” button. 
  • It is important that the assessment is taken seriously, as it will truly reflect your current level of knowledge in that subject.
  • There is no benefit to using any type of outside assistance while completing ALEKS® PPL.  Any assistance may result in inaccurate course placement (i.e., a course that is too difficult or not challenging enough), potentially costing time and money. Therefore, while taking each assessment, students should not consult any outside sources for help (e.g., friends/family, internet searches, textbooks, notes, etc.).

Technological (Computer) Requirements:

  • ALEKS® PPL requires a computer with Windows, an iPad, or a Mac computer (Chromebooks are not supported) that will allow you to install a LockDown Browser®.
  • If you have previously downloaded a LockDown Browser® for another course or assignment, you will still need to download this version as it is unique to ALEKS® PPL.  To download the LockDown Browser®, click here.
  • Once it is installed, go to the following link with a regular browser to test if the LockDown Browser® and your webcam are working properly.
  • Your computer must have a webcam with a functioning microphone.

Signing-in To ALEKS® PPL (for Incoming Students Only)

  • To access ALEKS® PPL, use the following link: https://signon.stjohns.edu
  • Username is your email address WITHOUT “@stjohns.edu” (for example, firstname.lastname20).
  • Password is “Sj” followed by your StormCard Number (for example, Sj99999999).
  • If you have changed your password, allow 5 to 15 minutes for the password change to become effective.
  • Please DO NOT change your password more than once in a given day.
  • First-time users are asked to set up the multifactor authentication.
    • After the initial authentication is completed, each future sign-in will take you to your Sign-On Portal.
  • Click on the ALEKS® PPL subject link to begin.
  • First-time users of ALEKS® PPL need to agree to the “User Agreement,” and then click “Continue” on the next two pages (i.e., "Account Paired" and "Welcome").
    • If you have previously set up your account, you will not be prompted for this again.
  • Click on the assessment to begin.
     

Technical Issues With Browsers

If your browser freezes, or your computer crashes while you are taking the assessment, simply close the browser, or log out and log back in.  ALEKS® PPL resumes the assessment exactly where you left off, with no loss of your previous answers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is ALEKS® PPL?

ALEKS® (Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces) Placement, Preparation and Learning (ALEKS® PPL) is a web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system.  ALEKS® PPL uses adaptive questioning to accurately assess a student’s knowledge on subject-related content.  Once the assessment is completed, ALEKS® PPL reports its findings, and, if necessary, provides learning modules to improve a student’s knowledge and skill.

Which majors are required to complete the ALEKS® PPL for Math and Chemistry Assessment?  

  • Majors within St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences:
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Environmental Science
    • Undecided (Bachelor of Science only)

Which majors are required to complete the ALEKS® PPL for Math Assessment?

  • Majors within St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences:
    • Economics
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
  • Majors within The Peter J. Tobin College of Business:
    • Accounting
    • Business
    • Business Analytics
    • Economics
    • Finance
    • International Management
    • Management
    • Marketing
    • Risk Management and Insurance*
    • Undecided

(*Note: Students in the Actuarial Science major and the Quantitative Risk and Insurance track within the Risk Management and Insurance major do not require ALEKS® PPL.)

  • Majors within The Lesley H. and William L. Collins College of Professional Studies:
    • Computer Science
    • Cyber Security Systems
    • Healthcare Informatics
    • Information Technology
    • Networking and Telecommunications

What is the fee for ALEKS® PPL?

The fee for the ALEKS® PPL for Math Assessment is $25 and will be added to the invoice of your upcoming registration term.  The fee for the ALEKS® PPL for Chemistry Assessment is included in your lab fee.

How does ALEKS® PPL work?

A wide range of course-related topics are covered in the assessment.  ALEKS® PPL uses adaptive questioning, which means that the current question is based on the answer of the previous question.  Each student, and therefore each set of assessment questions, is unique. It is impossible to predict the questions that will be presented in your assessment.  By the time you have completed the assessment, ALEKS® PPL will have developed a precise picture of your knowledge on topics presented, assessing which topics you have mastered and which topics you have not yet mastered (referred to as “ready to learn”).

Your score will be indicated to you numerically.  This number corresponds to a college-level academic course specific to St. John’s University.  This assessment is not meant to keep you out of courses; the goal is to enroll you in a course that is best suited to your knowledge level—and, more importantly, one you should be able to successfully complete.  

Do I still have to take the assessment(s) if I have college credit that was completed in high school and/or have Advanced Placement credit?

Only students who have completed college-level math or chemistry courses through the St. John’s University College Advantage Program may be exempt from ALEKS® PPL.  Advanced Placement scores and transcripts for credits earned from other higher educational institutions will be evaluated upon receipt and schedules will be adjusted when necessary.

What happens if I do not complete the ALEKS® PPL assessment(s)?

If you do not complete the ALEKS® PPL for Math assessment, you will not be eligible to take a math course.  This may slow your progression toward your degree.  For incoming freshmen, a hold is placed on your account, requiring you to complete the assessment before you can register for the next semester.

If you do not complete the ALEKS® PPL for Chemistry assessment, you are only eligible for College Chemistry, which is the entry-level course.  This may or may not be the ideal chemistry depending upon your skill set.  Therefore, it is important to complete the assessment to determine the most accurate placement.  In addition, your chemistry progression may affect the timeline in which you may sit for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).

Can I review a question after I submit an answer?

Once you submit an answer, you cannot go back to review or change it.  This is because ALEKS® PPL uses adaptive questioning (i.e., the current question is based on how you answered the previous question).  We recommend that you carefully check your answer before submitting your response.

What should I do if I see questions I do not know how to solve?

Due to the fact that ALEKS® PPL covers a wide range of topics, it is likely that a question is presented that you may not have been taught in high school.  For such questions, it is appropriate to answer, “I don’t know.”  This answer is interpreted by ALEKS® PPL to mean that you do not know how to solve the topic and this will be reflected in your assessment results.  If you have any familiarity with a question, it is important to do your best and attempt to answer it.

Which topics are covered in the ALEKS® PPL for Math Assessment?

  • Exponentials and logarithms
  • Functions and graphing
  • Integer exponents and factoring
  • Lines and systems of linear equations
  • Order of operation
  • Percents, proportions, and geometry
  • Quadratic and polynomial functions
  • Radicals and rational exponents
  • Rational expressions and functions
  • Signed numbers, linear equations, and inequalities
  • Simple word problems
  • Trigonometry

Which topics are covered in the ALEKS® PPL for Chemistry Assessment?

  • Atomic structure
  • Chemical and ionic compounds
  • Chemical elements
  • Chemical equations
  • Elemental analysis
  • Mass, volume, and density
  • Math, algebra, graphing
  • Measurement
  • Moles and molar mass
  • Quantitative problem-solving
  • Scientific notation

How does the ALEKS® PPL for Math Assessment work? 

Once you complete the ALEKS® PPL for Math assessment, your score is presented numerically, along with recommended learning modules to complete.  This number corresponds to a college-level academic course that is specific to St. John’s University.   

Here are the numeric values with the corresponding St. John’s University courses:

  • 45 or lower: College Math/Algebra
  • Between 46 and 69: College Algebra and Trigonometry/Precalculus
  • 70 or higher: Calculus or Statistics (depending upon your major)

If you initially place into either College Math/Algebra OR College Algebra and Trigonometry/Precalculus, and after you complete the learning modules, you have the option to complete a second assessment.  If you initially place into Calculus or Statistics, you do not have to complete the second assessment.  However, you may complete the suggested modules as preparation for the upcoming semester.

How does the ALEKS® PPL for Chemistry Assessment work?

Once you complete the ALEKS® PPL for Chemistry Initial Knowledge Check, your score is presented as a percentage, along with recommended learning modules to complete.  This percentage corresponds to a college-level academic course that is specific to St. John’s University.

Here are the numeric values with the corresponding SJU courses:

  • 89% or lower: College Chemistry
  • 90% or higher: General Chemistry I

If you initially place into College Chemistry (score of 89% or lower), it is highly recommended that you complete the suggested modules.  If you complete them, or demonstrate subject mastery at 96%, you are eligible for the higher-level chemistry course, General Chemistry I.

If your Initial Knowledge Check is 90% or higher, you place into General Chemistry I.  This also means that you are on track for your program and there is no higher course for consideration. We still encourage you to complete the recommended ALEKS® PPL modules to solidify your knowledge base for the upcoming semester.  Additionally, you will be eligible for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) in your junior year if you complete both General Chemistry I and General Chemistry II during your first academic year.

Who do I contact for technical issues?

All technical questions should be sent directly to ALEKS® PPL by clicking on this link:    https://mhedu.force.com/aleks/s/alekscontactsupport.

ALEKS® PPL Support hours:
Sunday, 4 p.m.–1 a.m. EST
Monday–Thursday, 7 a.m.–1 a.m. EST
Friday, 7 a.m.–9 p.m. EST

Who do I contact for non-technical issues?

For all non-technical questions, including initial sign-in issues, please email the University Freshman Center at [email protected] or call 718-990-5858.

The University Freshman Center hours are:
Monday – Thursday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. EST
Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. EST

ALEKS® PPL for Math Assessment

  • Once you complete the ALEKS® PPL for Math assessment, your score is presented numerically, along with recommended learning modules to complete.  This number corresponds to a college–level academic course that is specific to St. John’s University.
  • Here are the numeric values with the corresponding St. John’s University courses:
    • 45 or lower: College Math/Algebra
    • Between 46 and 69: College Algebra and Trigonometry/Precalculus
    • 70 or higher:  Calculus or Statistics (depending upon your major)

Upon completion of the assessment, your score places you in the appropriate level math course.  You then have the option to complete the learning modules and take a second assessment.

ALEKS® Math Placement Results

Assessment
between
0-45

Assessment
between
46-69

Assessment
70+

First Semester

College
Math/Algebra

College Algebra and Trigonometry/
Precalculus

Calculus or Statistics
(depending on major)

Second Semester

College Algebra and Trigonometry/
Precalculus

Calculus

Calculus or Statistics
(depending on major)

Third Semester

Calculus or Statistics

Additional Math (only if required for major)

Additional Math (only if required for major)

 

ALEKS® PPL for Chemistry Assessment

  • Once you complete the ALEKS® PPL for Chemistry Initial Knowledge Check, your score is presented as a percentage, along with recommended learning modules.  This percentage corresponds to a college–level academic course that is specific to St. John’s University.
  • Here are the numeric values with the corresponding St. John’s University courses:
    • 89% or lower: College Chemistry
    • 90% or higher: General Chemistry I
  • If your Initial Knowledge Check is 89% or lower, it is highly recommended that you complete the suggested modules. 
    • Once completed, or if you demonstrate subject mastery at 96%, you are eligible for the higher-level course, General Chemistry I. 
  • If your Initial Knowledge Check is 90% or higher, you place int0 General Chemistry I. 
    • You are on track for your program and there is no higher-level course for consideration.  We still encourage you to complete the recommended ALEKS® PPL modules to solidify your knowledge base for the upcoming semester.
    • Additionally, you will be eligible for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) in your junior year if you complete General Chemistry I and General Chemistry II during your first academic year.

Results

Assessment
89% or lower

Assessment
89% or lower

Assessment 90% or higher 

Summer Before First Semester

Do not complete ALEKS® PPL modules

OR

do not achieve a 96% mastery

Complete ALEKS® PPL modules AND achieve a 96% mastery

N/A

First Semester

College Chemistry

General Chemistry I

General Chemistry I

Second Semester

General Chemistry I

General Chemistry II

General Chemistry II

Third Semester

General Chemistry II

Organic Chemistry (if required)

Organic Chemistry (if required)

 

Exemptions to ALEKS® PPL Assessment

    Only students who have completed college-level math or chemistry courses through the St. John’s University College Advantage Program may be exempt from ALEKS® PPL.  Advanced Placement scores and transcripts for credits earned from other higher educational institutions will be evaluated upon receipt.

    Assistance

    All technical questions should be sent directly to ALEKS® PPL by clicking on this link: https://mhedu.force.com/aleks/s/alekscontactsupport

    ALEKS® PPL support hours are:
    Sunday, 4 p.m.–1 a.m. EST
    Monday–Thursday, 7 a.m.–1 a.m. EST
    Friday, 7 a.m.–9 p.m. EST

    For non-technical related questions (including initial sign-in issues):
    Please email the University Freshman Center at [email protected] or call 718-990-5858.

    The University Freshman Center hours are:
    Monday–Thursday, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. EST
    Friday, 8:30 a.m.–3 p.m. EST