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New Research Shows McGraw-Hill ALEKS Prepares Students for General Chemistry Course Just as Effectively as a Full Semester Prep/Intro Course

Peer-reviewed study demonstrates that students can save significant money and time.

Tags: PreK-12, ALEKS, Higher Education, Press Release

NEW YORK (December 17, 2019) – New research published by The Internet and Higher Education Journal finds that students who used McGraw-Hill’s ALEKS Prep learning solution to prepare for their freshman-level general chemistry course were just as likely to succeed in the general chemistry course as were students who completed a traditional, semester-long preparatory chemistry course.

The results suggest that many students who would traditionally have placed into a preparatory chemistry course may instead be able to save money and time by advancing directly to their general chemistry course after using ALEKS.

The study compared the results of students who took the traditional, semester-long Introduction to Chemical Principles or Elementary Chemistry I (both known as Prep Chem) course with students who used ALEKS Prep for Chemistry in order to qualify to enroll in Principles of Chemistry and Biochemistry (Chem 117) at Indiana University – Bloomington. The researchers found that spending approximately 30 hours on the $30 ALEKS Prep for Chemistry technology was equally as effective as spending up to 225 hours and at least $3,500 on the three- or five-credit Prep Chem course, in terms of final grades in Principles of Chemistry and Biochemistry. These findings were true for the entire student population.

“In the past, if a student needed extra help before entering a general chemistry course, the only effective option was to enroll in a semester-long prep and review course first,” said Kathleen McMahon, Managing Director at McGraw-Hill. “That’s no longer the case. This study continues to build on a deep body of research demonstrating the powerful impact that adaptive solutions like ALEKS can have on student learning outcomes. It also underscores the potential that these solutions have to increase educational equity and accelerate learning.”

Based on the theory of “knowledge spaces” from cognitive science, ALEKS creates a personalized and dynamic learning path for K-20 students based on their unique needs. Since all students enter a course with varying levels of preparedness, ALEKS’s technology works by pinpointing what students already know, what they don’t and, most importantly, what they’re ready to learn next. Rooted in research and analytics and developed by Ph.D. chemists, ALEKS ensures improved student outcomes by fostering better preparation, increased motivation, and knowledge retention.

“One-on-one tutoring is widely believed to be the single most effective form of instruction, but the cost is often prohibitively expensive,” said Professor Daniel Hickey at Indiana University. “These findings, which demonstrate that intelligent, adaptive learning systems like ALEKS can have a similarly positive impact for underprepared students, have implications for any institution designing or evaluating programs for underprepared students, including students from under-represented groups.”

For more information on the study, please visit:

To learn more about ALEKS in higher education and read more success stories, visit:

McGraw Hill
McGraw Hill is a leading global education company that partners with millions of educators, learners and professionals around the world. Recognizing their diverse needs, we build trusted content, flexible tools and powerful digital platforms to help them achieve success on their own terms. Through our commitment to equity, accessibility and inclusion, we foster a culture of belonging that respects and reflects the diversity of the communities, learners and educators we serve. McGraw Hill has over 40 offices across North America, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and South America, and makes its learning solutions for PreK–12, higher education, professionals and others available in more than 80 languages. Visit us at or find us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter.

Tyler Reed
McGraw Hill
(914) 512-4853