Quantitative Skills FAQ

There are two ways to demonstrate proficiency: (1) scoring 158 or higher (740 on the old scale) on the GRE's Quantitative Reasoning section or (2) demonstrating a mastery of 85% or higher on our departmental math review at ALEKS.com, a web-based assessment system.

If you do not meet the stated GRE Q requirement, you will need to register and complete the ALEKS math review as per the instructions below.

The ALEKS course starts with a diagnostic test, determining what topics you need to review.  ALEKS then creates a personalized mini-course to work through each topic over the summer. For each topic, it offers instruction, practice problems and worksheets.  As the core courses will re-acquaint you with math topics you may not have used for several years, or were not exposed to in the past, we encourage everyone to review these skills through the ALEKS course. 

ALEKS 2020 Registration Instructions/FAQs

What specific math skills are needed?

Basic principles from algebra and geometry, as outlined below.

  • Real Numbers (e.g. fractions, decimals, exponents and integers, order of operations, absolute value)

  • Equations and Inequalities (e.g. solving two-step equations, solving linear equations and inequalities)

  • Exponents and Polynomials (e.g. evaluating expressions with exponents, scientific notation)

  • Lines and Systems (e.g. plotting in the coordinate plane, graphing a line, writing the equation of a line)

  • Functions and Graphs (e.g. finding inputs and outputs of a function from its graph, graphing a parabola)

  • Radical Expressions (e.g. square root functions, rational exponents)

  • Geometry (e.g. area of a square, area of a triangle)

How do I access ALEKS?

To access the customized math preparatory course we’ve developed just for our students, please follow the instructions provided below.  Access to the ALEKS product is available for a cost of $40.00 for six weeks.  Trust us -- the time, money and effort you put in to this preparation will pay off when you begin the program this fall.  You will be expected to work through the course product and demonstrate an overall mastery level of at least 85% by August 21.

We encourage you to begin early (before July 10) with your initial assessment so that you have some idea of how much review will be required for you to reach proficiency and can pace yourself as needed.

To Access the Course

  1. Click on "Sign Up Now" on the left side of the ALEKS.com home page beneath the "Registered Users" box.
  2. Enter the following course code in the "Using ALEKS with a Class" box: N6A6P-Y9WRK.  
  3. The next page asks you to confirm that you're enrolling in the right class.  The top line in the box should say "Maxwell Summer Math Refresher".  If it's correct, click "Continue".
  4. You'll be asked whether you've used ALEKS before.
  5. On the subsequent screen, click "Purchase an Access Code".
  6. You'll see a screen that says you are registering for "ALEKS Prep for College Algebra (6 weeks)".  That's normal: our course is derived from a more general course on Algebra.  Fill in the requested information and follow the succeeding dialogues.

Student Registration Instructions [PDF] (step by step directions.  Use the course code above for actual registration.)

What if I feel my GRE score doesn’t accurately indicate my current math abilities and I feel I do not need this review?

Our experience has shown that the ALEKS math preparatory program is the most efficient and effective way to prepare for our courses. It is a requirement for those not exempted as above.