At GSU, we strive to
ensure that students are successful in their courses and in their education. To
achieve this goal, undergraduate students are asked to complete placement
activities in both math and writing. These placement activities will help
determine which course options in math and English will best fit with students’
prior educational experiences and future educational goals.
All undergraduate students entering GSU who still need to
take ENGL 1000, Writing Studies 1 and/or ENGL 1010, Writing Studies 2, will be enrolled
in a companion course called ENGL 1090: Academic Writing Workshop, when they
register for Writing Studies 1 or 2. ENGL 1090 offers students additional time
and attention on writing processes associated with drafting, circulating, and
revising written work. You will meet with you academic to determine the
appropriate time to complete the writing placement exam.
Prior to registration, students wishing to enroll in a
stand-alone section of Writing Studies 1 or 2 may submit materials
demonstrating proficiency with foundational writing processes and rhetorical
Who May Wish to Place
into a Stand-Alone Section
ENGL 1090 has been designed so that it will be beneficial
for all writing students. We expect that this course will positively add to
your experience in Writing Studies 1 and 2 and will provide you with additional
experiences and strategies that will have a lasting influence on your success
as a writer—both during college and after you graduate.
ENGL 1090 is a college-level course that will count as an
elective toward graduation. However, there may be instances when students would
wish to enroll in a stand-alone section of their first-year writing courses.
For instance, placing out of the course may mean that you would have an
opportunity to enroll in a different 1-credit elective later in your academic
career. Of course, you may have other reasons for wanting to attempt placing
into a stand-alone section. It is recommended that you discuss these reasons
with your advisor as part of the orientation and registration process.
Students wishing to attempt placement into a stand-alone
section of ENGL 1000 and/or ENGL 1010 may do so by notifying their advisor of
their interest in attempting placement. Once their adviser has been notified,
students attempting placement must submit to the director of first-year writing
evidence that demonstrates familiarity with and expertise in foundational
writing processes and rhetorical knowledge.
Such evidence can include any of the following, but for
placement to be successful, students must meet the criteria for at least one of
- A minimum unweighted high school GPA of 3.40 on
a 4.0 scale or acceptance into GSU’s honor’s program at the honor’s program director’s
- Demonstrated achievement in high school English
classes by receiving an A in all four years.
- A grade of A in a college-level writing course
(such as ENGL 1000, ENGL 1010, or transferred credit in an equivalent course
from another institution) or writing-intensive course (such as HUM 1001).
- A portfolio of prior work that demonstrates
evidence of proficiency. When students petition for placement, they will
receive a list of materials to be included in the portfolio, evaluative
criteria, and an explanation of the process for submission. Briefly, the
portfolio will include a brief reflective statement describing the portfolio
contents and reflecting on one’s ability to succeed in the stand-alone
sections. In addition, the portfolio will include examples of writing that
demonstrate students’ uses of writing processes—especially revision in response
to readers’ commentary—and rhetorical knowledge.
When any of these materials are submitted, they will be
evaluated by GSU faculty and staff to determine whether the placement criteria
have been met.
For students who submit a portfolio as evidence of
achievement, English faculty will provide a formative assessment with
recommendations for continued development in the coming year, regardless of the
placement decision. The portfolio will be submitted via Governors State
University’s Blackboard system,. Students may
find the directions for submitting a portfolio for placement by logging on to
Blackboard and searching the “My Courses” navigation section for “Writing
Studies Placement.” If you do not see this course listed, or if you have
questions about the submission process, please speak to your advisor for more
information, or contact the Director of First-year Writing, Dr. Bradley Smith
via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The cutoff date for submitting a portfolio as evidence of
proficiency will be two weeks before the start of the semester. In the event
that no placement materials are submitted, students will be placed into the
paired sections of the first-year writing courses .
All undergraduate students entering GSU that need to take
Math 2100: Elementary Statistics will be required to take the ALEKS
Placement, Preparation, and Learning assessment. Students that need extra support to be
successful in the course will be enrolled in the companion course Math 2101:
Elementary Statistics Laboratory when they register for Math 2100. The statistics laboratory is designed to give
students the opportunity to apply the statistics techniques discussed in Math
2100 to real-world application problems, to further develop foundational
mathematical skills, and to promote growth mindset and self-efficacy as a
mathematics student. Math 2101 is college-level course that count as general
elective credit towards graduation requirement.
Students may choose to take Math 2100 without the companion
laboratory if they demonstrate mathematical proficiency by attaining an ALEKS
placement score of 46 or higher.
Students having earned credit for a college-level mathematics course
prior to registering for Math 2100 are exempt from the ALEKS assessment requirement.
ALEKS Placement Assessment
The ALEKS Placement Assessment covers material from
pre-algebra, geometry, algebra I &II, and trigonometry. Since the level of
difficulty of each question is determined based on the student’s answers to
previous questions, some students never advance beyond the Algebra II test
questions. The assessment will take approximately 60–90 minutes to complete.
After the assessment, an individualized, targeted Preparation and Learning
Module is available for you to review and practice the material, as well as to
improve placement and eventual course outcomes. You will work your academic
advisor to determine the appropriate time to complete your math placement based
on your class schedule.
The cost of the ALEKS Placement assessment and Preparation
and Learning module is included in your GSU student fees. After your first proctored placement attempt,
you may log into the account you created to practice the ALEKS exam (up to
three times) from any computer with internet access. However, the only scores
from assessments proctored on-campus at Governors State University will be
considered for placement decisions.
Contact the Testing Center to schedule your proctored ALEKS Placement
Assessment. You may attempt the ALEKS
Placement Assessment a total of five times. However, to make each attempt
worthwhile, you must spend time working in your ALEKS Preparation and Learning
Module in between placement assessments to improve your skills. You must wait
at least 48 hours between attempts.
Free ALEKS Practice Exams
The ALEKS website provides
you the opportunity to take a practice test.
The actual placement test will have up to 30 questions. In the practice version it will stop at 20
questions, then ask you to choose a level of understanding. For 48 hours, you’ll be able to practice
questions with feedback in two modes: 1. Review of questions that the placement
and your choice of level gave you credit for knowing found in the main menu
(three lines at the top left on the home page); and 2. Learning new topics that
you are ready to learn that will automatically be presented at the left of the
Here are the steps to get to the practice test and after
completion, the review and learning modes:
Go to www.aleks.com
and click on Free Trial in the upper right of
the screen, the second of four choices from left to right.
On this page, under Independent Use,
Here under Explore Student Module, click
TRY ALEKS NOW.
as desired, then check the box next to I have read
Next complete the short form Enter Your Personal
Information. You fill in your first
name, last name, email and verify email (please use a personal email account
here—not a school account), then choose College or K-12 Student in the first
drop-down menu, then Higher Ed | Math in the middle one, and Beginning and
Intermediate Algebra Combined for the last choice, then click CONTINUE.
A Guest Account will then be
created with a username and password. Write them down if you want to come
back and access ALEKS again for more practice before the placement exam. Then click CONTINUE TO FREE TRIAL.
There are a couple of pages of explanation, then
you will go through a Tools Tutorial that shows you briefly how to enter
various types of answers in the ALEKS platform.
After that, it will give you an initial knowledge
check that will be similar to the placement test. When you are finished, you
will be asked what level of math you want to practice. Choose one of the first two options, unless
your math skills are very strong.
have access for 48 hours. Time your practice so that you do it in the two or
three days before you take your first proctored placement assessment.
Access Services for Students with Disabilities
Governors State University believes education should be
accessible to everyone. If you have a temporary health issue or a permanent
disability, please contact Access
Services for Students with Disabilities at 708.235.3968.
If you have additional questions, please contact your
academic advisor or the Undergraduate Academic Advising Center at email@example.com.