Getting Started in ALEKS

Registering in ALEKS PPL

The following video will guide you through the registration process. You can also read the video script.


ALEKS PPL has an accessibility mode for blind persons using an assistive listening system (screen reader technology). JAWS 17+ is required. If you use screen reader technology, don't use the registration link on this page.  Contact the Disability Resource Center for additional information and instructions on registering in an ALEKS PPL cohort that supports the accessibility mode.  Our apologies for the extra step—ALEKS' artificial intelligence adaptively selects questions from a pool of tens of thousands of qualitatively different problems, which creates technical challenges in accessibility.

Your first ALEKS PPL session

After you register in ALEKS, you'll complete a one question survey, practice using the ALEKS input tools, and then start your first placement assessment. The ALEKS PPL First Assessment Walkthrough has more details.

Before beginning your assessment, read Set the Stage for Success and the Assessment Commandments

Once you've completed your initial assessment, you'll be able to select your Learning Module. Be sure to learn about the Modules in the Guide to Success before making your choice.

Two important warnings

Before you start, we want to head you off from two common and easily avoided sources of confusion and regret among assessment novices.

ALEKS login gateway

Use a UCSC login gateway

Only use UCSC ALEKS gateways to log in to ALEKS PPL, for both assessments and work in your Learning Module, and use your Gold password.

If you go directly to ALEKS Corp's website, they'll be happy to sign you up, but they'll want money from you and won't be able to share your results with UCSC. If you use a UCSC gateway to something other than ALEKS, you won't arrive at ALEKS.

Your first assessment shapes your ALEKS learning path

For peak learning efficiency, ALEKS recommends the Learning Module best matched to your current abilities, as demonstrated in your first placement assessment, and creates a custom-fit course covering only the material within the Module that you need to learn or review. To get the full benefit of ALEKS' adaptivity, help ALEKS form an accurate model of your current knowledge and skills by solving every problem in your assessment to the best of your ability.

If you rush through your initial assessment, ALEKS might recommend a Learning Module below your true abilities.  If you skip a problem when you're assessing because you don't like it—even though you could solve it—expect to see similar problems in your Learning Module; if you bite the bullet and show ALEKS that you can solve that kind of problem, ALEKS won't ask you to practice them, but will allow you to if you want to.

Now that you know what to do—and what not to do—you're ready to register and take your first assessment. Good luck!