The ALEKS Assessment Commandments

Believe In Yourself

Before starting an assessment, take a few minutes to remind yourself of your personal strengths and silence any doubts you have about your math abilities. You’re intelligent, creative, insightful, and successful. You are a Slug.

Don't Worry

Brooding on the consequences of bombing an exam can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Your brain will work more efficiently if you push any distracting "what if"s out of your thoughts and rebrand anxiety as excitement.

Trust Your Instincts

ALEKS finds the boundaries of your current knowledge, so ALEKS may ask you about material you’re not entirely comfortable with. Take a shot at every question, even if you’re not sure what to do—you know more math than you may realize.

Don't Skip Problems

Only use the “I don’t know” button if you have no idea how to even start on a problem. ALEKS takes “I don’t know” seriously and will conclude that you don’t know any math that builds on the material covered in that problem.

Take Breaks

Solving problems is hard work! If you’re getting tired, anxious, or distracted, logout and come back later when you’re refreshed. Resist the temptation to power through just to get it over with.

Don't Rush

It’s crucial that you do your best on every problem, so that ALEKS creates an accurate model of your current abilities. You don’t need to beat the clock, so set aside any SAT-style exam-taking strategies you may have learned.

Check Your Answers

Proofread each answer, checking for typos or missing information, before you submit it. If you solved an equation, verify your solution by plugging it back into the equation. Beware the forgotten minus sign!

Don't Modify Problems

If you’re asked to factor x2 - 7x + 12, be sure to enter (x - 3)(x - 4) or (x - 4)(x - 3), not 3, 4. Read each problem again before submitting your answer, and verify that you've given the answer to exactly that problem.

Do It Yourself

Help ALEKS help you! You'll scramble ALEKS' sophisticated artificial intelligence if you create an assessment chimera that's half you and half your friend who got an A+ in Trigonometry.

Don't Use External Aids

No notes, texts, Googling, or calculators! 2 + 2 doesn't equal 3.9999. ALEKS will provide a virtual calculator for complicated calculations. If your solution involves a lot of messy arithmetic and ALEKS doesn't offer the calculator, check your work.

Getting help from someone or using external aids during an assessment, or having someone take your assessment for you, is cheating and violates paragraph 102.11 of the UCSC Student Code of Conduct.

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