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ALEKS® Placement, Preparation, and Learning
Achieve accurate math placement

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Math Placement
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ALEKS PPL empowers students to be prepared and successful in their proper math course, expediting their path to completion.

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Evaluating Math Placement
Best Practices

A student’s path to graduation begin with accurate course placement. How can institutions design a math placement approach that supports student retention, promotes equity, and creates value? This whitepaper evaluates emerging placement initiatives and their effectiveness in expediting degree completion.

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Efficacy and Case Studies

Utah Valley University

ALEKS PPL has saved students approximately $1,000,000 in tuition by helping them to skip math courses that would otherwise have impeded their academic track.

UVU uses ALEKS PPL for all students and also offers a guided placement preparation 1 credit hour course taught by full-time faculty.

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Iowa Central Community College

Iowa Central increases STEM enrollments by 21% and also sees a correlation to overall course success rates with ALEKS PPL.

Prior to ALEKS PPL, College Algebra courses had a success rate of 34% and now with the accuracy of PPL, success rates are at 74%. Non-traditional students are also succeeding at higher rates.

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University of Kentucky

The Prep and Learning Modules in ALEKS PPL help students accelerate their course sequence where only 11% of students need developmental math, compared to 20% prior.

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Harper College

Harper students using ALEKS PPL are 22.5% more likely to return next term.

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Oklahoma State University

Overall DFW rates decrease by 15% after implementing PPL and by 10% for Calculus. 

Oklahoma State has also used the diagnostics to inform which topics are critical to review in Calculus as well.

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California State Univ - Long Beach

With ALEKS PPL, Early Start Math students save at least one semester of developmental math and increase throughput by 37.5%.

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City College of San Francisco

In 2017, Latinx Summer Bridge students using PPL beat the average course success rate for new students and had a 12% increase in success rates compared to all Latinx students in Math.

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Research and Efficacy

Independent research validates the mission of ALEKS PPL to improve student success in math and beyond.

University of Illinois

ALEKS PPL scores are a statistically significant measure of course success at University of Illinois.

A re-designed approach to placing students in Calculus reduces failure and withdrawal rates dramatically for two consistent years, and benefits courses campus-wide that rely heavily on PreCalculus and Calculus.


Ahlgren, A., and Harper, M. 2011. Assessment and Placement through Calculus I at the University of Illinois. Notices of the American Mathematical Society, 58, 1460–1461.

Ahlgren, A., and Harper, M. 2013. ALEKS-based Placement at the University of Illinois. Pages 51–68 of: Falmagne, J.-Cl., Albert, D., Doble, C.W., Eppstein, D., and Hu, X. (eds), Knowledge Spaces: Applications in Education. Berlin: Springer.

Marc Harper, Alison Ahlgren Reddy. Mathematics Placement at the University of Illinois. PRIMUS, August 2013

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Harper College

Students who work in PPL's prep and learning module are 19% more likely to successfully pass college-level math.

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University of California System

With PPL, UC Santa Cruz sees more students taking advanced math classes while maintaining course success rates 84% of students who re-take the PPL assessment improve their placement by at least one course.

Read the Univ of California adaptive learning pilot study

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San Diego State Univ

82% of students placed into Calculus earn an A or B.

Students’ scores on the PPL assessment correlate closely with their grades in Calculus. A one-point increase on the PPL assessment improves students’ likelihood of receiving an A in Calculus by two percentage points.

Predictors of Student Success in Calculus and Precalculus at SDSU
Michael E. O’Sullivan, Chair, Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Janet Bowers, Director, Mathematics Learning Center

Read the San Diego State University Research Study

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University of Colorado-Boulder

Incorporating PPL in a precalculus for engineers course increases the percentage of students passing with A's and B's by 10 percentage points.

Additionally, students who used PPL scored 5% higher on a Calculus exam in the following term.

Prof. Tanya D Ennis, University of Colorado Boulder
Dr. Jacquelyn F. Sullivan, University of Colorado, Boulder
Dr. Beverly Louie, University of Colorado, Boulder
Dr. Daniel Knight, University of Colorado, Boulder
Read the UC- Boulder paper

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