# Preparing for ALEKS PPL

## Frequently Asked Questions

- What is ALEKS PPL?
**A**ssessment and**LE**arning in**K**nowledge**S**paces-**P**ractice,**P**reparation, and**L**earning (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 walks you through a tutorial on how to submit your answers using the ALEKS PPL tools.

- How does ALEKS PPL assess?
ALEKS PPL covers a broad spectrum of math topics from arithmetic through precalculus. You will solve around 25 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 examples of math topics assessed??
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 (trigonometric functions, identities, and equations).

- When should I begin ALEKS PPL?
**A proctored assessment score is needed for timely enrollment and schedule options.**If you are a current Chico State student, complete all three steps of

**ALEKS PPL no later than the day**(day/time of registration access).*before*your enrollment appointmentIf you are an incoming Wildcat, complete all three steps of

**ALEKS PPL no later than the day**Your first chance to register for is during Orientation.*before*your orientation session.The more time you study with the learning modules, the more likely to improve your placement or calculus readiness, so giving yourself enough time to practice and prepare and not rush is recommended.

- How do I complete ALEKS PPL?
First, start with the

**initial knowledge check**to determine what you already know and identify areas to practice. Next, study and practice for a minimum of three hours in**individualized lessons and course modules**. Lastly, take the**proctored assessment**to determine your readiness in math and/or calculus. A proctored assessment score allows Chico State to accurately advise you about what to take for your first year. If you are using ALEKS PPL to prepare for your first year, you are not required to assess with ALEKS PPL. Instead, you can study in the personalized learning modules to get a sense of what math courses will cover in your first course. - Do I have to be a Chico State student to start?
Yes, you need to have your Chico State Portal log in/single sign on (SSO and Duo) account set up. Your ALEKS PPL code and proctored assessment score can only be used for Chico State, so you should commit to being a Wildcat (submit your Intent to Enroll)

*before*starting ALEKS PPL. ALEKS PPL is used at many campuses but assessment scores are not shared between them. - What can I use during an ALEKS PPL assessment?ALEKS PPL will provide an on screen calculator for solutions or calculations. The assessment 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 and take your time. You may also need a webcam and computer capable of running Zoom, ProctorU, and/or ALEKS PPL. Google Chrome or Firefox browsers are recommended.
- How long is the initial knowledge check?
On average, the initial knowledge check takes around 90 minutes but, you will have up to 120 minutes to complete. You will answer about 30 questions depending on your responses. 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. Once you start the initial knowledge check, you have 24 hours to complete that first step and you can log in and out during that time.

- I did the initial knowledge check, now what?
Once you have completed the initial assessment, ALEKS PPL has an understanding of your math reasoning, topics you have "mastered", and those you need to review. From there, you are given a personalized pie chart representing your areas of knowledge and gain entry into the Prep and Learning Path of ALEKS PPL. You can begin with any topics you are ready to learn. As you work your way through the modules, practice problems are provided to confirm your understanding of the core concepts and materials. Once you consistently get the correct answers, ALEKS PPL considers the topic "mastered" and you move on to choosing another topic. As you complete topic areas, ALEKS PPL continues to update your learning path.

- I've been studying, do I really need ALEKS PPL?
The work you put in now will pay off. By working through the concepts, demonstrating your "mastery" of topics, and brushing up you may move further along in the math. This could save a semester or more of preparation, allow you to progress in your maojr. ALEKS PPL allows for better advising and preparation for first year courses. This is especially important for students pursuing STEM majors that may require a sequence of courses prior to precalculus or calculus in your major, or qualifying placement level before sciences.

You will not be permitted to take a proctored assessment without completing a minimum of three hours studying. Only proctored assessment scores are considered official and used for placement/advising/enrollment.

- How long does a proctored ALEKS PPL assessment take?
On average, an assessment takes around 90 minutes but, you will have up to 120 minutes to complete. Students answer around 25 questions depending on your responses.

- What score do I need on the assessment?
Depending on your major and ALEKS PPL assessment result, you will be advised into one of the following:

**ALEKS PPL Result- Non-STEM: 0-45***GE B4 Ready with Support (MATH 101, 105+005L, 107+007L, or 110+010L)***ALEKS PPL Result- Non-STEM: 46+***GE B4 Ready (FINA 101, MATH 101, 105, 107, 108, 110, or 185 without support)***ALEKS PPL Result- STEM: 0-45***GE B4 Ready with Support (MATH 116+016L)***ALEKS PPL Result- STEM: 46-60***GE B4 Ready MATH 118 Trigonometry***ALEKS PPL Result- STEM: 61-75***GE B4 Ready MATH 119 Precalculus***ALEKS PPL Result- STEM: 76+***GE B4 Ready MATH 109 Survey of Calculus or MATH 120 Analytic Geometry & Calculus*Consult the Math for My Major page for more specifics.

- 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 of and what areas may need some additional development. The initial assessment gives an accurate sense of where you are and tailors modules to prepare for what is to come in the math courses ahead 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 first year courses.

- Can I take more than one proctored assessment?
You are welcome to take a proctored assessment more than once. You have a total of four attempts however, we typically do not recommend more than two. If you hoped to place further ahead in math than your results indicated, take the time to revisit the ALEKS PPL modules, practice, practice, practice, and attempt another proctored assessment. Final scores will be accepted thru the week

*prior*to the term starting. - How long do I have access to ALEKS PPL?
You have access to ALEKS PPL for a year. Even as you begin coursework, you can log back in and continue to study. Use ALEKS PPL to go back over topics and review the learning modules for more support, explanations, and resources.

- Are there any resources or support besides ALEKS PPL?Yes! For STEM students especially, we offer summer bootcamps for students to prepare for major and math. The College of Engineering, Computer Science, & Construction Management (ECC) has various summer programs and the Department of Mathematics & Statistics hosts the LSAMP Summer Calculus Bootcamp. If you are a current student, you can use resources in the Math Learning Lab for alternative support in math courses.