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ALEKS Math Placement

Students can make an appointment to take a proctored assessment at the NIC Testing Center. There is no fee for NIC students to take a proctored placement assessment at the Testing Center.  Students who want to take a proctored assessment online must pay a $5 fee to use Respondus Monitor proctoring with ALEKS PPL. This is a one-time fee for all placement attempts. Payment is made during the monitor Startup Sequence and can be made via PayPal or credit card.

Take the ALEKS Assessment at Home

The ALEKS is not available in the Testing Center on Fridays.

  • Students who have an ALEKS Math Placement account may continue to access their ALEKS PPL account.

  • Students who do not have an ALEKS Math Placement account must complete the following initial steps before taking a proctored assessment:
    1. Use your MyNIC username and password to create your ALEKS PPL account.
    2. Complete the ALEKS survey and tools tutorial when you are ready to take your virtual proctored assessment. This will help you become familiar with the tools used to complete the assessment.

Please visit ALEKS Placement for more information about using the ALEKS Prep and Learning Modules.

ALEKS PPL Account Access

Students have 12 months to access their ALEKS PPL account. The 12-month period begins when a student registers for an ALEKS PPL account.

If you do not use all five proctored placement attempts within 12 months and want to continue using ALEKS for math placement and refreshment, you may request access to a new ALEKS PPL account. The fee for a new account is $20 and is paid directly to ALEKS via credit card or PayPal when you sign up for the new account. Purchase of a new account does not increase the number of placement attempts allowed for math placement at North Idaho College.

To request permission and to access instructions to open a new ALEKS PPL account, contact the NIC Math Education Center at (208) 676-7139 or

When you are ready to take a virtual proctored assessment, read through the following instructions carefully and then complete the steps to start your assessment.

Virtual Proctored Assessment Instructions

When you take a virtual proctored assessment you agree to abide by the following rules to maintain the academic integrity of your assessment.

  1. No outside assistance is permitted. Outside assistance includes getting help from others and from other materials. Other individuals are not to be in the room while you are taking the assessment.
  2. The webcam lens must not be covered up or otherwise obscured. The webcam and lockdown browser are how students are proctored so it should show the student's face at all times.
  3. No outside calculators are permitted. A calculator icon will appear on the screen when it is allowed to be used. Blank paper and a pen/pencil are allowed for students to work out problems.
  4. No use of cell phones or other electronic devices are permitted.

For information about student responsibilities and violations of academic integrity, please refer to NIC Academic Integrity Policy 5.06.01.

  1. Prepare your system 
    You will need a Windows, Macintosh or iPad computer that enables you to install software. Your computer will also need a functioning webcam and microphone since you will be recorded during the assessment. ALEKS will prompt you to download Respondus LockDown Browser when you start the assessment. Note that Chromebooks and smartphones are not supported by LockDown Browser.

    If you have any problems with LockDown Browser or webcam setup, contact the NIC Help Desk at (208) 769-3280 or or open a support ticket here

  2. Prepare yourself and your work area
    Please read and follow ALL steps. Failure to follow all steps may register a suspicious behavior flag and lead to review of your recording for academic dishonesty.
    • Avoid wearing sunglasses, baseball caps or hats that extend beyond the forehead. Hats and sunglasses make it difficult to confirm your identity.
    • If using a notebook computer, place it on a firm surface like a desk or table, not on your lap. 
    • If the webcam is built into the screen, avoid making screen adjustments after the assessment starts. A common mistake is to push the screen back, resulting in only the top portion of the face being recorded. 
    • Don’t cover the webcam or move around outside the camera’s video frame during the assessment. Make sure you have blank paper and pencils or pens within arm’s reach. 
    • Don't lie down on a couch or bed while taking an assessment. There is a greater chance you'll move out of the video frame or change your relative position to the webcam. 
    • Don't take an exam in a dark room. If the details of your face don't show clearly during the webcam check, the automated video analysis is more likely to flag you as missing. 
    • Avoid backlighting situations, such as sitting with your back to a window. The general rule is to have light in front of your face, not behind your head. 
    • Select a distraction-free environment for the exam. Televisions and other people in the room can draw your attention away from the screen. Other people that come into view of the webcam may also trigger flags by the automated system. 
    • You will have three hours to complete the assessment. You cannot save your place and come back to the test. You may take a short bathroom break if necessary, however the timer on your assessment will continue to run.

  3. Start the proctored assessment
    • Student ID - Hold your official ID up to the camera.
    • Environment video - Tilt your camera to show your desk workspace, slowly panning from right to left. Return camera to its normal placement.
    • Please note that you will need the proctor password CARDINALS1 to begin the assessment.
    • Click here to log back into your ALEKS PPL account and select START.
    • Enter the proctor password CARDINALS1 and select Submit Password.
    • Download the LockDown Browser.
    • Select Launch LockDown Browser + Webcam. Lockdown Browser will ask you to close any applications that you still have open.
    • Select "I want to use a webcam (Respondus Monitor)" and Continue.
    • Respondus LockDown Browser will begin the Startup Sequence for your assessment. 
    • Your assessment will begin once you complete the Startup Sequence.

If you have questions about taking the virtual proctored placement assessment, please check the Frequently Asked Questions or contact the Math Education Center at

Frequently Asked Questions

Technical Information:

Refer to LockDown Browser for ALEKS for information about the system requirements to use ALEKS PPL with the Respondus LockDown Browser.

You will need to install the Respondus LockDown Browser in order to take a virtual proctored placement assessment. Otherwise, there are no required plug-ins or applets to use ALEKS PPL.

ALEKS and the Respondus LockDown Browser run on several browsers. Refer to the System Requirements for Windows, Macintosh and iPad devices for the list of supported browsers.

Try another browser such as Chrome or Firefox, or clear the cache and cookies and try again. For assistance, contact the NIC Help Desk at (208) 769-3280 or or open a support ticket here

S Mode only allows you to install apps from the Microsoft Store unless you switch out of S Mode. Read Respondus LockDown Browser Information and Troubleshooting to learn more about switching out of S Mode.

Please email to request a loaner laptop. The Math Education Center will work with IT to determine if we have an available laptop to loan out. Once a loaner laptop is available and ready, IT will contact the student by their NIC email. Students will need to come to the NIC main campus to pick up the laptop and sign a Loaner Laptop Agreement.

Account Information:

Please call the IT Help Desk at (208) 769-3280.

Please contact the Math Education Center at or (208) 676-7139.

Taking the Assessment:

The password is in the virtual proctored assessment instructions under Step 3 Start the proctored assessment. Please read through the instructions carefully to avoid losing your work and having to retake the assessment.

The timer does not begin until you install the LockDown Browser, complete the LockDown Browser StartUp Sequence and then select Start to begin the assessment.

If your computer or internet stops working and then comes back online, try logging back into your ALEKS account and repeat the Startup Sequence. ALEKS will resume the placement assessment exactly where you left off with no loss of your previous answers.

If you are unable to restart due to a technical issue, record the issue and get help from the NIC Help Desk at (208) 769-3280 or or open a support ticket here