Monday, December 15, 2008

Review: ALEKS.com





ALEKS, which stands for "Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces", is an extremely comprehensive Web-based math tutoring program.

I'd seen numerous ads for ALEKS, but never actually used their service. I was curious about it though as like I've said, I've got two daughters who struggle with the subject. So when we were given a free trial membership as part of the TOS Crew, I was very eager to see what ALEKS was all about.

The first thing ALEKS does is have your student(s) go through a lengthy assessment to pinpoint weaknesses and strengths. From there, they're given access to lessons via their own color-coded Pie Chart, which details how much they know in a particular area, and which concepts still need work. Students are able to increase the size of their slices of pie by mastering the various concepts.

By clicking on the pie, students can choose which lessons they want to cover that day. If your child comes across a problem that they absolutely cannot understand, you can click on the little "Explain" icon for a written explanation (not a visual demonstration, which may or may not be enough help, depending upon your child's needs).

Parents receive a detailed report each week via email about their student's progress, including length of time spent working on their lessons. (Ha!) Rather handy, wouldn't you say? :o)

In addition to online lessons, you can also print out worksheets for added reinforcement.

ALEKS.com offers courses for grades 3-12 including Algebra, Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, AP Calculus and Physics, Accounting, and Business Math. Course offerings for adults can be viewed on their website as well.

Subscriptions to ALEKS.com can be purchased at the following price levels:

$19.95 per month/student

$99.95 for 6 mos

$179.95 for 12 months


A family discount is also available at the 6 and 12 month levels, and can be found here.


Our time with ALEKS was less than perfect, I'm sorry to say. Yes, it is a great program, but it just wasn't the best fit for my children.


They each felt overwhelmed and agitated by the length of the initial assessment, and despite the accuracy of the Pie Chart (which made my oldest hungry each time she looked at it for some reason), they all struggled with their lessons. The written explanations weren't much help to them, as my kids learn best by seeing the problems done, in action (highly kinesthetic learners).

Individual preferences aside, I found ALEKS to be a well-structured, cost-effective alternative to the price of a "human" math tutor. This program would be ideal for those of a more visual/audio learning style, or those seeking higher level math help.

If you'd like to see if ALEKS is right for you, simply click here to sign up for a free 1 month trial, courtesy of ALEKS.com.

I give this program 1.5 thumbs up. :o)




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