What is ALEKS?

APU helps you to strengthen your mathematics skills even before you arrive on campus by providing a six-month subscription to ALEKS PPL (Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces—Placement, Preparation, Learning) software to all incoming students who have not already completed their math requirements. ALEKS assesses your current skill level, tailors an adaptive online learning experience to your personal strengths and weaknesses, and then allows you to take the assessment again (up to four times, if you desire) in order to determine the best math course placement for you. ALEKS is designed to set you up for success.

The ALEKS process consists of the following steps:

  1. Determine whether you are required to use ALEKS.
  2. Take your first ALEKS assessment at home as soon as possible.
  3. Choose and Use a Prep and Learning Module.
  4. Retake the ALEKS assessment up to four times to attempt to raise your score.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I study before I begin to use ALEKS?

No, just dive right in and take your initial ALEKS assessment as soon as you can! Then use the Prep and Learning Module to review and to learn new material.

How long does an ALEKS assessment take?

An assessment typically takes 60-120 minutes. Students have up to two hours to complete an assessment. Finish and submit your work before two hours are up in order to receive an assessment score.

What topics are covered by the ALEKS assessment?

The ALEKS assessment covers a variety of topics from high school mathematics:

  • Real numbers (including fractions, integers, and percentages)
  • Equations and inequalities (including linear equations, linear inequalities, systems of linear equations, and quadratic equations)
  • Linear and quadratic functions (including graphs and functions, linear functions, and parabolas)
  • Exponents and polynomials (including integer exponents, polynomial arithmetic, factoring, and polynomial equations)
  • Rational expressions (including rational equations and rational functions)
  • Radical expressions (including higher roots and rational exponents)
  • Exponentials and logarithms (including function compositions and inverse functions, properties of logarithms, and logarithmic equations)
  • Geometry and trigonometry (including perimeter, area, volume, coordinate geometry, trigonometric functions, and identities and equations).

What is the format of the questions on the ALEKS assessment?

ALEKS questions are open-response (not multiple choice) and require you to work out solutions with a paper and pencil and then enter them into ALEKS. Before you begin an assessment, a tutorial will show you how to enter your answers.

Can I review a question after I've answered it?

Because ALEKS is adaptive, once you submit an answer, you cannot change it. Be sure to carefully check your answer before submitting your response.

What resources may I use during an ALEKS assessment?

You may only use a writing instrument and paper. ALEKS will provide an on-screen calculator if you need one to complete a particular problem. You may not use any other calculator.

How long is my placement result valid?

ALEKS placement scores expire after one year, to ensure that they reflect students’ current preparation level. You are expected to enroll in a math course during your first semester at APU (unless you have already completed all of your math requirements).

Do I have to pay for ALEKS?

If you are a new student to APU, you do not have to pay for your initial ALEKS subscription; APU covers the full cost of ALEKS for new students. Returning students who have allowed their initial ALEKS placement result to expire without completing their first math course will need to purchase a new ALEKS subscription for $20 in order to repeat the placement process.

What are ALEKS Knowledge Checks?

While working in your Prep and Learning Module, you will periodically complete a Knowledge Check assessment to make sure you have retained your mastery of the topics you have studied in Learning Mode. If you do not show mastery during the Knowledge Check, the topics will be added back into your Learning Pie so you can review them again. Knowledge Checks do not count for placement purposes; their purpose is simply to make the Learning Mode as effective as possible.

Where can I get help with ALEKS?

For ALEKS technical support, call (714) 619-7090 or visit the following websites:

You may also contact the Academic Success Center at (626) 815-3886.

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