College of Engineering, Computer Science & Construction Management

Get to know ALEKS PPL

Learn more about ALEKS PPL

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  • What is ALEKS PPL?

    Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces- Practice, Preparation, and Learning (ALEKS PPL) is an artificially intelligent assessment and learning system. ALEKS PPL uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine what a student may or may not know, resources to learn math topics, and reassessment to make sure that the material learned is being retained.

  • How does ALEKS PPL work?

    ALEKS PPL adapts questions based on responses to questions to identify areas that you have "mastered" and areas that may need more development. ALEKS PPL mimics how you solve math problems with a pencil and paper. Instead of using multiple-choice questions, ALEKS PPL shows you a tutorial of how to submit your answers and using the ALEKS PPL tools.

  • What steps do I take to complete the ALEKS PPL assessment?

    First, start with the initial knowledge check. Second, study and practice as you work through individualized course modules in learning mode. Third, take the proctored assessment for your placement score. With that score, we have a better idea of the MATH course to advise you into for fall. See ALEKS PPL: Proctored Assessment for more info about the proctored assessment.

  • Do I have to be a Chico State student to start ALEKS PPL?

    Since your ALEKS PPL code and score will only be used at Chico State, you should submit your intent to enroll before starting. Submit your decision today! ALEKS PPL is used at many campuses but assessment scores are not shared between schools. Start ALEKS PPL now!

  • When should I start ALEKS PPL?

    If you intend to be a Wildcat, the sooner you start, the more time you have to study, prepare, and practice before your proctored assessment. Your proctored assessment result is what is needed to determine appropriate courses to take your first semester.

    Aim for completing all three steps of ALEKS PPL at least three business days prior to your orientation session for priority MATH enrollment and course schedule options.

    The more time that you can dedicate in the coming months to utilizing the individualized learning modules in ALEKS PPL, the more likely you can increase your placement for MATH and move further in the MATH sequence for your major. This is especially important for majors that require coursework beyond MATH 120 Analytic Geometry & Calculus I.

  • I took the ALEKS PPL initial knowledge check, now what?

    Once you have completed the initial assessment (un-procotored), ALEKS PPL has a specialized understanding of your knowledge and the topics you have "mastered". You are given a pie chart representing your areas of knowledge and gain entry into the Learning Mode of ALEKS PPL. You can choose which topics you are ready to learn and work your way through the modules, providing practice problems to confirm your understanding of the core concepts and materials if you need further explanation. Once you consistently get the correct answers, ALEKS PPL considers the topic "mastered" and you move on to choose another topic. As you complete topic areas, ALEKS PPL continues to update your Learning Mode map.

    You need to complete at least three hours in the ALEKS PPL Learning mode before you can take a proctored ALEKS PPL assessment. You are strongly encouraged to spend as much time as you can with the material, take breaks, and spread the content over a period of time to help with mastery of the material. Remember, this is designed to help support what you know and identify areas to practice.

  • Will there be any resources or support beyond ALEKS PPL?

    Yes! This summer, we invite students to participate in the Math & Engineering Bootcamp, LSAMP, or Computer Science bootcamps (more info coming soon) to connect with incoming students, faculty in the college, and peer mentor support. We encourage you to participate in a summer experience to prepare for the fall.

  • I'm in the Learning Mode, do I really need to do this?

    The work you put in now will payoff. By working through the concepts, demonstrating your "mastery" of topics, and brushing up you may move further along in the MATH sequence of your major. This could save a semester or more of preparation and better advise your fall MATH and major courses. The effort you can dedicate now can save you frustration, money, and time later!

  • How long does an ALEKS PPL assessment take?

    You have up to two hours to complete an assessment. Usually, students need about 90 minutes to do so. Your assessment will have between 20-30 questions to answer.

  • How much does ALEKS PPL cost?

    The College of ECC covers the costs of the ALEKS PPL code for those that need to assess. 

    Utilizing Proctor U for the proctored assessment has a $10 proctoring fee. This allows for the convenience of scheduling a time that works best for you. However, the ESSC and Math Department will offer no-cost proctor sessions, dates/times coming soon. Contact the ESSC if interested in a free ALEKS PPL proctor session. 

  • What is covered on the ALEKS PPL assessment?

    ALEKS PPL covers a broad spectrum of math topics. You will solve no more than 30 problems during an assessment. After you respond to a question, ALEKS PPL refines its logic and algorithms to build future questions. You may come across topics that you have not seen before- that is ok! ALEKS PPL is assessing not only what you appear to know, but areas that may need additional study in the modules.

  • What are some examples of the MATH topics covered?

    Examples include: Real Numbers (fractions, integers, and percentages). Equations and Inequalities (linear equations, linear inequalities, systems of linear equations, and quadratic equations). Linear and Quadratic Functions (graphs and functions, linear functions, and parabolas). Exponents and Polynomials (integer components, polynomial arithmetic, factoring, and polynomial equations). Rational and Radical Expressions (rational equations and functions, higher roots, and rational exponents). Geometry (perimeter, area, volume, coordinate geometry). Exponentials and Logarithms (function composites and inverses, logarithmic identities, and equations). Trigonometry (trigonomic functions, identities, and equations).

  • Can I fail the ALEKS PPL assessment?

    No! This is not a pass/fail or even an exam. ALEKS PPL is meant to determine what MATH concepts you have a good understanding for and what areas may need some additional development. The initial assessment gives a good sense of where you are and tailors modules to prepare for what is to come in the MATH courses ahead of you in your major. By taking the time to study and practice after the assessment, you can develop or brush up on topics that you may not have learned about or remember. The proctored assessment provides better insight on how to advise you for your Fall 2022 MATH course. 

  • What if I am not happy with me proctored assessment results?

    You are welcome to take a proctored assessment more than once. You have a total of four attempts however, we typically would not recommend more than two. If you hoped to place further ahead in MATH for fall, take the time to revisit the ALEKS PPL modules, practice, practice, practice and attempt another proctored assessment.

  • What if I do not start or complete ALEKS PPL?

    ALEKS PPL is not mandated. However, placement is still based on the multiple measures determined during Admission that determine what MATH course you are eligible to start with in the fall. The hope is that ALEKS better prepares you for the coursework ahead, or may enhance your MATH understanding to place you further along the MATH sequence of your major. Students have to follow MATH prerequisites for courses in their major, so students may end up with multiple additional preparatory MATH courses before getting into MATH in the major or associated coursework.

  • Can I use a calculator, textbook, notes, or other study aides during the ALEKS PPL assessment?

    ALEKS PPL will provide an on-screen calculator for complicated calculations. The assessment is open response and requires you to work out solutions with paper and pencil and then enter into ALEKS PPL. That means no Google, calculators, notes, texts, or group solving. ALEKS PPL is meant to help, so give an answer a try, take your time, and take breaks if needed.

  • How much time do I have to complete the initial assessment?

    Once you start the initial assessment, you have 24 hours to complete. Take your time, proofread your answers, check your work, and trust your instincts. We recommend attempting all of the math problems and only using the "I don't know" button if you don't know where to start.

  • How long do I have access to ALEKS?

    You have access and can continue to use ALEKS PPL for a year. Even as you begin coursework in the fall, if you need to go back over topics, you can log back into the Learning Mode to get more support, explanations, and resources. This is a great tool to refer back to in future courses as there are many build upon math concepts. 

  • What if I take a course this summer?

    If you would prefer to take community college courses this summer to prepare for MATH in the fall, contact the ESSC for suggestions based on your ALEKS PPL assessment. Review California Community College options, utilize California Virtual Campus to find online courses offered in CA, to confirm units transfer, and send an official transcript when completed.

  • I scored a 3 or higher on an AP MATH or CSCI Exam, now what?

    If you scored a 3 or higher on the AP Statistics exam, you earned credit for MATH 105 Statistics (B4 requirement). This course is required for AMAR, CIMT, and CINS majors. However, you still need to complete ALEKS PPL to assess for MATH 119 required in AMAR & CIMT and MATH 217 & CSCI 111 required in CINS. MATH 105 is not used in the other ECC majors and therefore earns B4/college elective units. 

    If you scored a 3 or higher on the AP Calculus AB or BC exam, you earned credit for the GE Quantitative Reasoning (B4 requirement). However, this does not accurately determine your readiness for MATH 119, MATH 109/120 or 121+ (if required in your ECC major). Assessing with ALEKS PPL allows for more accurate placement, the ability to review content areas, and provide better advising. Contact the ESSC for further advising before beginning ALEKS PPL.

    If you scored a 3 or higher on the AP Computer Science A or A&B exam, you earned credit for CSCI 111.

    If you scored a 3 or higher on the AP Computer Science Principles exam, you earned credit for CSCI 101.

    If you scored a 3 or higher on other AP exams, you earn college credit and the potential for additional requirements in your major (such as CHEM 107 or 111, ECON 103, ECON 102, PHYS 202A&B or 204A&B). See the Credit by Examination Chart(opens in new window) for units and college credit info. Also includes IB and CLEP credit.