How to Get the Most Out of ALEKS

See below for the Academic Learning & Tutoring Center's tips to apply during the ALEKS (Assessment & Learning in Knowledge Spaces) assessment.

Be Honest on the Assessment

There is no pass/fail for the assessment, and you owe it to yourself to get an accurate picture of your abilities.  Do the work yourself without asking for outside help or Googling, and do the absolute best you can.  Try to avoid the 'I don't know' button if you can.  The problems are not multiple choice- you will be working out actual problems in the program, so unless you are completely stumped, try to give some sort of answer.

If you are working in the Prep & Learning Course, ALEKS will keep coming back to concepts and checking your mastery.  If it determines that you don't actually know the concept, it will add those topics back to your pie.  The fastest way to work through ALEKS is to cooperate and work with the program.

Pay Attention to Details & Work Intentionally 

Make sure you understand the notation system ALEKS uses.  ALEKS is a computer and can be very stubborn about its entry requirements.  This is always a little difficult at first, but it will become second nature and will build good habits that will serve you later in your coursework.

ALEKS will check regularly throughout the Prep & Learn Course that you have mastered and are remembering the concepts.  If you rush through the Assessments and make careless errors, ALEKS will assume you have not mastered the concept and may add those topics back into your pie.  ALEKS will check for common errors and give you a chance to try again, but if you keep making the same error the topic will end up back in your pie. 

Work in Regularly Scheduled Sessions

The scientist who created ALEKS knew that waiting until the last minute and trying to cram in everything over a short period of time is not a good way to learn.  ALEKS takes advantage of the study cycle to maximize your learning capacity.  Work in ALEX a little every day, and limit your sessions to 30-45 minutes.  If you work in ALEKS more than 2 hours, you will be more prone to making careless mistakes and less likely to remember the concepts you are working on. You will learn more efficiently if you study in shorter, more frequent sessions, and give your brain regular breaks to rest and process information. 

Use the Review Function

The review function is optional, but ALEKS will notice if you are reviewing topics and will be less likely to ask about them during progress assessments.  Regular review is also a great way to master concepts that you will be using frequently and committing them to long-term memory.  Many of the concepts you will learn in your gateway classes will be fundamental to succeeding in your higher-level coursework or lab internships, so mastering them now will help you immensely later.