Frequently Asked Questions About the Math Placement Advancer

1. Is this an online or face-to-face class?
The ALEKS Website is an online math review environment that is accessible from any computer with internet access. The ALEKS system is unique in assessing your math strengths and weaknesses, directing your review based on your individual math skills.
Your progress will be tracked by the instructor. If your progress stalls, you will be given options to make an appointment with an instructor or to visit a Student Achievement Center. Student Achievement Centers are staffed by math instructors and student tutors who can answer all of your math questions.

2. Can I get help with the course content that I do not understand?
Yes. You do have an instructor for the course whom you can contact for help. Your instructor can meet you in person at a pre-set time or you can visit a Student Achievement Center to get tutoring from math instructors and/or student tutors.

3. How much time will the MPA take?
The amount of time required will vary depending on how much math you remember. In general, most students complete the online requirements in 2 to 6 weeks or about 25-30 hours. Since the ALEKS system begins by assessing your math strengths and weaknesses, you will not waste time reviewing concepts and skills that you have mastered. Your time will be efficiently focused on strengthening your weak areas.

4. What happens if I score less than 75% on either of the written exams?
Students who score less than 75% on either test for the MPA may choose to re-take the COMPASS test (there is a $5 re-test fee). The review you did during the MPA may have had enough positive effect that your COMPASS score improves.

It should be noted that a score of less than 75% on either test for the MPA is a strong indication that you should take the full pre-requisite course that you tested into (i.e. Basic Algebra or Elementary Algebra w/ Apps).

5. Does passing the MPA mean that I will have tested out of the lower class and would be able to take courses that require the lower class as a pre-requisite?
No. The only result of successfully completing the MPA is an advisor issued override of your placement score that will allow you to enroll in higher mathematics class than your placement score indicated.

6. What if by the time I complete the review work and exams for the MPA, all of the sections of the math course I need are filled and have waiting lists?
Once you complete your first exam with 70% or better, you will be allowed to provisionally enroll in a section of the math course that you are preparing for. Provisional means that if you do not finish the MPA successfully by passing both of the proctored tests with 75% or better, your enrollment will be disallowed.


student writing algebra problems on a chalkboard

Contact Jodye Ryan at or (608)258-2378 with other questions or additional information