Self Study

For a variety of reasons, you might be interested in taking a mathematics course beyond the course into which you were placed. Some students have been away from school for a while and need to brush up, some never quite solidified their understanding of basic concepts, and some would need to take several semesters to reach the math course they need for their major.

You might find that it would be helpful to study mathematics on your own, at least for a little while. If you can learn some mathematics independently or refresh your skills, you can re-take the placement test and maybe place into a higher course, saving yourself a semester of mathematics course work. Or, you may find it useful to study mathematics in order to do better in a course you are planning to take soon.  We have an entire page of information about the Math Placement test.

There are a number of ways to study mathematics on your own. You are welcome to come and borrow a mathematics textbook, read it, and work on exercises. In addition to this, or instead of this, you can use a computer-based system that provides exercises to work on and adjusts the difficulty of the exercises to best help you learn.

ALEKS is one such system. For $20 a month, you can buy a subscription to an online system that will assess what mathematics you know and work with you to prepare for the mathematics course you would like to be ready to take. 

If you want to place into College Algebra, consider the ALEKS College Algebra Prep course. See the topic list here, but omit Applications of Trigonometry, Matrices, Sequences, Series, and Probability, and Conic Sections.

If you want to place into Pre-calculus, consider the ALEKS Pre-calculus Prep course. See the topic list here, but omit Applications of Trigonometry, Matrices, Sequences, Series, and Probability, and Conic Sections.

If you want to place into Calculus, consider the ALEKS Calculus Prep course. See the topic list here, but omit Applications of Trigonometry, Matrices, Sequences, Series, and Probability, and Conic Sections.

Here is how to get access to these courses:

Go to: http://www.aleks.com/ and choose Independent Use, Buy ALEKS Now, Buy ALEKS Now, which should bring you to:  http://www.aleks.com/alekscgi/x/Isl.exe/home/consumer/LP/login

Now enter your name and such. For Market, choose Higher Education | Math, and for Course choose College Algebra, or Pre-calculus, or Calculus Prep.

You can get a free short trial of ALEKS before you buy. 

Start by going to:  http://www.aleks.com/plugin

Click on FREE TRIAL and follow the instructions. When you are entering Personal Information, choose "Prep for Pre-calculus" or some other such course. Don't enter a password, just click to start the free trial. It will give you some training on how to use ALEKS, and then ask about 15 assessment questions. After that, you see a pie chart showing the relevant topics and how much of each topic ALEKS thinks you know. In the prep courses, you will be able to select a portion of the pie to work on. ALEKS will give you exercises to solve, and adjust according to whether you solve them correctly or not. It provides instant feedback on your work, just like sitting with a tutor beside you.