ALEKS Math Courses
As always, be sure to check with your school if the ALEKS math courses will fill your requirement BEFORE signing up. If your school wants to review the ALEKS math courses that have been accredited by ACE, point them to this link.What is ALEKS?
Much like Straighterline, ALEKS provides an alternate means to satisfy requirements (in this case math) for a fraction of the cost of an actual college course. For those who have either failed one of the math CLEP/DSST's they need, or are unwilling to give them a try due to a lack of confidence (that would be me with PreCalc), ALEKS math courses may be just what you need.How does it work?
I really, really like the ALEKS math courses for actually learning math. As mentioned in a few hundred other areas on this site, I'm horrible at anything over the Pre-algebra level. I know just enough geometry to be dangerous, and calculus? Forget about it! ALEKS solves that by following a simple formula - You will not progress in the course until you know the material... forwards AND backwards.
It starts off with a quick evaluation. From there the program identifies what you're weak in, and starts you off at the level that corresponds with what it thinks you're ready for. The goal is to get 70% or higher (for ACE credit you'll need 70%). As you progress through each of the lessons, you're quizzed. At random times (it's not really random, but the program decides when) you're given assessments. If you pass, you move onto the next lesson. If you don't, it covers the lesson again until you do pass. Over, and over, and over.
Periodically through the exam it will ask questions about the material that you've already learned and been tested upon. If you miss too many, it will bring you back to that lesson and go over a few to refresh your memory. It's possible to spend a few weeks if not months on a single course if you're having trouble with it. The good news is that at the end of that course, you will know the subject.How much does it cost?
This is one of the areas where ALEKS math courses really shine. The total subscription cost for all of the ALEKS courses is only $20 a month. Now granted it may take you longer than a month to complete the course, but that's still a heck of a deal even at 2-3 months worth of subscription. They also have six month and annual rates, but I'd go month to month until you figure out how long you'll actually need it.What courses do they offer?
- Beginning Algebra
- Business Statistics
- College Algebra
- College Algebra w/ Trigonometry
- Intermediate Algebra
- Introduction to Statistics
- Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences
In case you want to check for updates (or if your school requires proof that they're accredited by ACE) you can point them here - ACE College Credit Recommendation ServiceHow do I get my credits afterwards?
To get the credits from ALEKS math courses, you'll need to run them through the ACE transcript system. They actually have a nice write-up of the process on the ALEKS website.
Read the above link and it's pretty self-explanatory. Nothing too tough once you hit that 70% marker.Summary
This is by far the cheapest way to get some of the math credits knocked out (unless you're taking exams for free of course). The pros are price and the concrete knowledge of the subject. The cons are the potential time it takes to complete a course. If you're pretty solid on the subject, just need a refresh and in a rush to get the credits, I'd suggest Straighterline simply because you can blow through the lessons and skip what you already know. If you're kind of shaky on the subject and time isn't that big of an issue, then ALEKS is the way to go.
Another tip - While taking the course, give the MathWay Tool a try. It's free to use as long as you don't need to see the explanations and is a great way to check your answers.
Go get those credits!