We would like to think that students understand the content from all their high school mathematics classes. In reality, the material students actually know covers a wide range of levels and this makes placement challenging. The best that we can hope is that the Math Placement Test (MPT) will start a student in a class for which he/she has seen all of the prerequisite material and actually knows most of it, but probably not all of it. Start any higher and the student will be missing too much to be successful. Start low enough that the student actually knows all of the prerequisite material and they will be wasting their time repeating too much that they already understand. As a result, even with an ideal placement, a student is at risk because of the prerequisite material they never mastered.
One solution is to solidify the mathematical foundations by filling in the holes starting where a student has some basic understanding. This makes it possible for a student to begin their math curriculum with an improved chance of success. The online course powered by ALEKS (Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces) has done this for many students. ALEKS is a web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system. ALEKS uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine exactly what a student knows and doesn't know and then guides the student to the topics he/she is most ready to learn. As a student works through a review module, ALEKS periodically reassesses the student to ensure that topics learned are also retained. ALEKS is a very efficient platform for those students needing to review their math, because it allows students to focus their effort exactly where it is needed.
ALEKS is an optional, fee-based service charged at a monthly rate for as long as the service is needed. (See www.aleks.com for current rates.) These are self-paced courses that a student can work on, according to his/her own schedule, from virtually any internet-connected computer. It is generally expected that a student who is working steadily should be able to finish an ALEKS "Prep" course in 6 weeks (typically 30-60 hours actually working in ALEKS). The motivated student who finishes one course may go on to the next. Once a student has used ALEKS to review his/her prior mathematics, he/she can re-take the Math Placement Test (MPT).
For more information and to sign up, please visit: http://www.aleks.com.
See below for the recommended ALEKS Prep courses by MPT score:
|If you need this course…||... and your MPT score is in this range…||... then use this ALEKS product:|
|MATH0034||290-370||Prep for Intermediate Algebra|
|MATH0039||290-370||Prep for Intermediate Algebra|
|MATH1021||370-430||Prep for College Algebra|
|MATH1022||430-550||Prep for Precalculus|
|MATH1026||430-550||Prep for Precalculus|
|MATH1044||430-570||Prep for Calculus (ignore Trig content)|
|MATH1061||550-700||Prep for Calculus with Limits|
|MATH1061||700-750||none -- take MATH1060|
|STAT1031||below 420||Prep for Statistics|
|STAT1034||below 420||Prep for Statistics|