ALEKS Helpline and LSU Virtual Math Ready Program

Aurora Wallace This year, a Virtual ALEKS Helpline will assist students with working through the Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces (ALEKS) Placement, Preparation, and Learning (PPL) program. The Helpline is a partnership of the LSU Department of Mathematics with the LSU Gordon A. Cain Center for STEM Literacy (Cain  Center) and the Center for Academic Success (CAS) and received Student Tech Fee support. 

The Virtual ALEKS Helpline is a free live tutoring service, which offers drop‐in assistance and support using a virtual whiteboard for sessions for students to have questions answered from a tutor on a specific concept from the ALEKS learning modules. This service launched this summer to enhance student preparation for and placement in college‐level mathematics. The ALEKS exam offers an alternative to ACT/SAT or other placement and credit exams by providing more student control in education through opportunities for growth and mathematical understanding. The exam is required for students taking any introductory calculus courses.

The ALEKS PPL exam assesses knowledge across 314 topics from numeric manipulation, algebra, geometry, and trigonometry, through 30 questions or less and uses an adaptive learning system. Personalized learning modules are provided after the initial exam that include problems, and instructional material that students can use to practice and review for improvement. The ALEKS exam is proctored and provides opportunity for multiple attempts to achieve the highest score to improve placement or earn credit at LSU. Students who do not have an ALEKS PPL qualifying score who provisionally placed in MATH 1530, 1550, and 1551 will be purged after July 7, 2021, but can reenroll in the course provided there is a qualifying ALEKS score.

The ALEKS PPL proctored exam scores are an alternative placement method for the LSU mathematics courses MATH 1021 (College Algebra), MATH 1022 (Trigonometry), and MATH 1431 (Business Calculus). They are prerequisites for MATH 1530 (Differential Calculus), MATH 1550 (Differential and Integral Calculus), MATH 1551 (Honors Differential and Integral Calculus)

No ALEKS PPL score is required for Math 1029 or MATH 1100.

The Virtual ALEKS Helpline service offers support Sunday through Thursday from April to August during the hours of 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. to ensure students have access to tutors during peak need times.

Students must use their myLSU account for registration and take the initial placement exam to access the Prep and Learning Modules. The PPL exam proctored through Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor costs 25 dollars for ALEKS PPL and 5 dollars for Respondus. Unproctored scores are not accepted for placement and credit. The exam provides an online calculator when allowed. The placement exam allows up to five attempts with minimum three hours between attempts to allow for study time in the Prep and Learning Modules.

For more information and details about ALEKS and Math Placement and Credit, please visit:

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Photo: Bogdan Oporowski 

LSU Virtual Math Ready Program

The Cain Center is offering the LSU Virtual Math Ready Program this year as a summer bridge program designed to increase participant’s scores on the ALEKS PPL placement exam. Instructors and academic mentors will guide participants through the online ALEKS PPL precalculus modules over three weeks. In addition to the development of the conceptual understanding necessary for calculus, participants will also enhance their mathematical reasoning skills, problem‐solving skills, and effective study habits.

Duration: 3 weeks 

Cost: $295 (added to student's fall fee bill)

Type: Virtual

Dates: June 7 to June 25, 2021

Meeting Times: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Requirements: Incoming LSU freshman for fall 2021, ALEKS score of 75 or below, and digital writing tablet or mechanism to communicate math virtually over a digital whiteboard.

Classes will be held over Zoom daily, and the course will be hosted on Moodle. During class, students will participate in short lectures given by instructors and work in small groups to complete ALEKS learning modules. Each group will be assigned an academic mentor who will help maximize the learning experience. By the end of the program, students will be better prepared to increase their placement scores and successfully navigate the rigors of college mathematics! Please note, the cost of the program will be added to students’ fall fee bill.

For more information and to register for the LSU Virtual Math Ready Program, please visit: