ALEKS Program

Before Taking the Initial ALEKS Chemistry Assessment

• ALEKS (Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces) is an online artificial intelligence-based assessment tool that is used for General Chemistry I (CHEM 101) placement. This tool identifies critical prerequisite knowledge including foundational scientific concepts and chemistry-related mathematical skills.  Success in General Chemistry I is highly dependent upon students entering the course with the required skills.

• Students will take the initial placement assessment online, at a time and place convenient for them or in the Testing Center.

• Students are required to take the ALEKS chemistry placement assessment without any assistance whatsoever.  If students complete the assessment using assistance, they will not have the required skills to be successful in General Chemistry I.  Students who are not well prepared for General Chemistry I typically fail the course and will be required to pay tuition and fees to retake it.  Please be mindful of the Financial Aid Repeat Coursework Policy.

ALEKS initial Assessment should take between 50 min.and 90 min. to complete.  Before beginning the actual assessment, students will be directed to complete a short online tutorial so that they know how to enter answers in ALEKS.  At any point during the assessment you can log out of the system and all of your answers will be stored.  You can then log in at a later point in time and continue the assessment where you had previously stopped. Please complete the assessment as soon as possible so that you have plenty of time to remediate in ALEKS (if necessary) and secure a seat in CHEM 101.  CHEM 101 seats are first come, first served.

• Students will require a paper and pencil/pen to complete the placement assessment.  Personal calculators should not be used and a calculator will be provided by ALEKS when needed.

Taking the ALEKS Chemistry Placement Assessment

• All students who plan to enroll in General Chemistry I (CHEM 101) and did not pass the Chemistry Placement Test are required to complete the ALEKS Chemistry Placement Assessment (or complete CHEM 100 with a grade of B or better) in order to be eligible to register for CHEM 101.  Any students who does not obtain complete mastery of ALEKS topics (either through the passing of the initial placement assessment at 100% or through subsequent remediation using the ALEKS modules) by the first day of classes will not be allowed to register for CHEM 101.

To access the ALEKS Chemistry Placement Assessment, go to and use the Course Code: LCX99-9A93Y. This will take you to the Chemistry Placement/Prep Summer 2021_Fall 2021.  Be sure to enter your VCU V-number when asked for your ID number. The cost for the assessment is $ 35 payable online. You will have 11 weeks from the time that you log in to complete 100%.

What Happens After I Have Completed the ALEKS Chemistry Placement Assessment?

Once a student has completed the ALEKS Chemistry Placement Assessment they will be presented with one of two possibilities:

1. If they successfully complete the assessment (obtaining 100% mastery) on the first attempt, there is nothing more that they need to do and they are now ready for General Chemistry I (CHEM 101 and CHEZ 101). You will be able to register within 1 to2 days.

2. If, after taking the placement test, they are told that they still have topics to learn/refresh, a pie chart showing these topics will be visible and they can click on topics in the pie to learn these areas.  They will need to complete all topics in order to obtain the 100% mastery required to complete the ALEKS Chemistry placement and to subsequently be eligible to register for General Chemistry I.  Students will use the learning modules available on-line through ALEKS Chemistry to improve their mastery as needed. Videos are available in Instructor Resources. Students will be periodically reassessed until they obtain 100% mastery of the core topics. Once 100% is reached you will be able to register for CHEM 101 online (please allow 1-2 days for the system to update.)

Forgetting Topics as Students Proceed Through ALEKS Chemistry Remediation and Reassessment Process.

The ALEKS system will periodically re-assess students’ mastery of topics. If a student can no longer demonstrate mastery of a topic, the system will ask them to remediate in that area to regain mastery.  The piece of pie associated with this topic will disappear from the student’s mastery pie until mastery has been re-established. Do not pick “I don’t know” unless you truly don’t know.  Choosing this option to get through an assessment quickly, will set you back on those topics.

For questions please contact Prof. Polo at


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