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ALEKS Assessment for MATH 150A and MATH 130

Beginning fall 2017, CSUF is offering the ALEKS PPL (Placement, Preparation, and Learning) system for the placement of first time freshmen into MATH 150A (Calculus I) and MATH 130 (A Short Course in Calculus).  Math 150A is required for engineering and computer science majors and most science and mathematics majors, while Math 130 is required for majors in Biological Science. 

What is ALEKS?

ALEKS PPL Assessment is Web-based and free to use once you sign up with us. It utilizes artificial intelligence to assess a student’s Calculus readiness. It then provides each student with a set of individualized online modules to complete prior to being reassessed for Calculus readiness.  In all there are four such assessments.  The first one, that you should take ASAP, assesses your current preparation for calculus, identifies any areas of weakness, and provides you with modules to work on prior to taking a second assessment.  This process is repeated three times.  Between any two ALEKS assessments, you will need to spend time on the ALEKS learning modules to refresh and improve your math skills.  The amount of time needed on these modules will vary depending on your math background, but you should expect to spend a few hours per day for about two weeks to complete all modules.  The first three assessments are not timed, but the fourth assessment has a two-hour time limit.  Note that there is a 48-hour waiting period between each assessment. Each Placement Assessment is up to 30 questions and generally takes 60-90 minutes to complete.  Therefore, the timeline is as follows:

  • Complete the initial ALEKS Placement Assessment, which is not timed.
  • Work through the first ALEKS Learning Module for at least five hours to refresh and improve your math skills.
  • Complete the 2nd ALEKS Placement Assessment, which is not timed.
  • Work through the next ALEKS Learning Module for at least five hours to refresh and improve your math skills.
  • Complete the 3rd ALEKS Placement Assessment, which is not timed.
  • Work through the next ALEKS Learning Module for at least five hours to refresh and improve your math skills.
  • Complete the 4th ALEKS Placement Assessment, which is timed for 2 hours. Your score on this assessment will be your official Math Placement score.
  • You must complete the 4th ALEKS Placement Assessment at least one week prior to your New Student Orientation date.
Preparation and Learning Modules

After you take an assessment, ALEKS will suggest which modules you should work on to improve your score.  It is important that you take the Placement Assessment seriously and give it an honest effort so that it truly reflects your current level of knowledge and math preparedness. There is no benefit to cheating on the Placement Assessment – the only result will be that you enroll in a class that you are not prepared for and set yourself up for a likely failure. Therefore, while taking the Placement Assessment, you should work on your own, without consulting any outside sources for help (friends/family, internet searches, textbooks, notes, etc.). CSUF's academic integrity policy ( applies to the ALEKS Assessment.

Frequently Asked Questions


Who should take the ALEKS PPL Assessment?

All first time freshman who plan to enroll in either MATH 130 or MATH 150A. 

You may also take the ALEKS PPL Assessment if you are a first time freshman majoring in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics or the College of Engineering and Computer Science who fails the Math Qualifying Exam.

Sorry, the test is NOT available to incoming freshmen who have not declared a major, non first time freshmen, or students outside the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics or the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

Why should I take the ALEKS PPL Assessment?

The Placement Assessment is used to determine the mathematics course in which you will have the greatest success. Upon completion of the Placement Assessments, your scores are sent to your academic advisor. Your advisor will review your scores and help make appropriate recommendations for course registration.

When do I take the ALEKS PPL Assessment? 

You should complete the fourth ALEKS Assessment at least one week before your New Student Orientation date.

How much does ALEKS PPL cost?

It's FREE for all first time freshmen who are qualified.

Do I need to install any software or plug-ins prior to taking the ALEKS Placement Assessment?

No. There are no required plug-ins or applets for you to use ALEKS PPL. As long as you have access to the Internet and are using an updated browser, you should not experience difficulties in taking your Placement Assessment.  For a list of preferred browsers, please review the ALEKS system requirements on their support site:

What topics are covered during the ALEKS PPL Assessment?  

The Calculus Placement Assessments consist of the following topics:

  • Rational Expressions and their Graphs
  • Exponents and Radicals
  • Polynomials
  • Geometric Applications
  • Functions
  • Linear Equations & Inequalities, Absolute Values
  • Logarithmic & Exponential Equations
  • Trigonometry

Can I practice using the ALEKS input tools before I begin the Placement Assessment?

ALEKS will begin with a brief tutorial to make sure you are comfortable with the math palette tools before your Placement Assessment begins. The tutorial shows you how to enter different types of answers, how to use the ALEKS calculator, and how to graph. If you aren’t sure how to input an answer, or need help while you are taking the ALEKS Placement Assessment, select the Help button below the answer pallet tools. Going to the tutorial during your Placement Assessment will NOT impact your Placement Assessment results.

Taking the Placement Assessment

What is the format of the questions on ALEKS?

ALEKS is not a multiple-choice Placement Assessment. It is open-response and requires you to work out solutions with a paper and pencil, then enter them into ALEKS. Be sure to have scratch paper with you.

May I use a calculator while using ALEKS?

ALEKS will provide an on-screen calculator if you need one to complete a particular problem. Otherwise, you may not use a calculator.

May I use any other resources during a Placement Assessment?

You may only use a pen or pencil, paper, and the resources provided within ALEKS. You should not receive assistance from friends, family, other websites, textbooks, or any other resource not provided by ALEKS. Using outside resources will lead to improper placement and potentially course failure. It is a violation of the university’s academic integrity policy (

Can I review a question after I've answered it?

Because ALEKS is adaptive, once you submit an answer, you cannot change it. Be sure to carefully check your answer before submitting your response.

What if I see questions I don’t know?  

It is likely that you will be asked questions on material you have not yet learned. On such questions it is appropriate to answer, I don't know. On any question that you have familiarity with, however, it is important to do your best. I don't know is interpreted by ALEKS to mean that you do not know how to solve the topic, and this will be reflected in the Placement Assessment results. There is no penalty for incorrectly answering a question on the Placement Assessment, it only helps ALEKS understand what you know and don’t know. 

Are Placement Assessments timed?

The first three assessments are not timed, but the fourth assessment has a two-hour time limit.

How do I register for ALEKS?

You should receive our ALEKS Placement Assessment information directly from CSUF enrollment service if you are qualified for the test. After you receive the test information, you may log into the ALEKS test site by clicking on the ALEKS icon or link on your student portal.  

How do I get my results? 

Your test result is available immediately through your ALEKS account, and the math course you can enroll in will be determined at your New Student Orientation registration. Your results are valid for one year (fall and then spring semesters).

What if I placed into the class I wanted?

Congratulations! Continue to use your Prep and Learning Module to improve your chances for success. The placement result required is the minimum preparation for your course. Take advantage of the individualized review and learning features in ALEKS to get a better grade in your class.

Can I retake the ALEKS Placement Assessment immediately?

You must wait 48 hours between Placement Assessments. There is generally no benefit to re-taking the Placement Assessment immediately after completing a prior attempt. You cannot improve your results by simply re-taking the Placement Assessment without spending time in the Prep and Learning Module to refresh material that you may have forgotten.

Prep and Learning Modules

How long do I have access to my Prep and Learning Module?

You will have six months of access to your Prep and Learning module. Access to the prep course will not begin until you select start on the top of your screen. DO NOT select into the Prep and Learning Module until you are ready to start working.

Is there an additional fee for my Prep and Learning Module?

Access to a Prep and Learning Module is included free along with all the Placement Assessments.

What are ALEKS Knowledge Checks?

While working in a Prep and Learning Module, you will periodically complete a Knowledge Check to make sure you have mastered the topics you gained in Learning Mode. If you do not show mastery during the Knowledge Check, the topics will be added back into your Learning Pie so you can review them again. 

Technical Support

What do I do if my web browser gets stuck or my computer crashes while I'm taking the Placement Assessment?

Simply close the browser, or log out and log back in. ALEKS will resume the Placement Assessment exactly where you left off, with no loss of your previous answers.

Where can I get help with ALEKS?

Student peer mentors:

Science or Mathematics Majors:  Ms. Jessica Sherman.  Email:; Phone: (657) 278-7081

Engineering or Computer Science Majors:  Mr. Brandon Mogi.  Email:; Phone: (657) 278-2554

Support for ALEKS System:

Welcome to GRAM (download PDF brochure)

The Graduate Readiness and Access in Mathematics (GRAM) program offers comprehensive training and preparation for undergraduate math majors aspiring to earn a graduate degree in the mathematical sciences (mathematics, mathematics education, and statistics).  Elements include rigorous content preparation aimed at mathematical readiness for graduate studies, training for general and subject GREs, training in problem-solving skills, undergraduate research, participation in a variety of professional conferences, cultural and family support, financial support for GRAM Scholars to decrease their work outside of academic activities, and professional development that includes guidance on graduate school applications and decisions, time and stress management, collaboration and networking skills, and skills tied to writing, reading, discussing, and exploring mathematics effectively.  Selected GRAM Scholars will be engaged in two years of intensive supplemental training to support their graduate school aspirations. This training will include a regular seminar, a research project guided by a faculty mentor in the CSUF Department of Mathematics, and a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) component that will advance mathematical research. The participants will present their results at conferences and publish them in appropriate venues.  They will also produce a GRAM thesis at the conclusion of the program. 


Application for pre-GRAM course Math 281 (download PDF brochure)

Please submit this completed application form by: Monday, November 27, 2017 at 5:00 pm

The application form should be returned to: Math Department Office, MH-154

Or return via email to: or

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GRAM Principal Investigators 

Annin Scott2   Verdugo

Dr. Scott Annin, Mathematics

Algebra, Noncommutative Ring Theory


Dr. Anael Verdugo, Applied Mathematics

Nonlinear Dynamics, Differential Equations, Systems Biology




GRAM Faculty


Nicholas Brubaker: Dr. Brubaker is an applied mathematician. He is interested in using mathematical modeling and tools of applied analysis to characterize phenomena arising in small-scale systems, especially those involving a unique interplay of fluids, electrostatics, and elasticity. 


Glesser Adam   

Adam Glesser: Dr. Glesser is an algebraist. He is interested in fusion systems, a categorical structure that unites aspects of group theory, representation theory, and algebraic topology. He is interested in issues related to college-level mathematics education. 


GRAM Jaynes

Jessica Jaynes: Dr. Jaynes is a statistician. Her primary research interests include statistical mehotds and applications, experimental design, and discrete choice experiments. Her recent projects include, the development of a new class of designs that provide higher efficiency, more in-depth analyses, and require a shorter time to run; applications of fractional factorial designs for Herpes Simplex Virus Type-1 and lipid accumulation for algae growth. Most recently, she has worked on the design of a discrete choice experiment for health care studies. 


Nichols 100 125   

Kevin Nichols: Dr. Nichols' research interests are spatial/temporal statistics and their applications to earthquake and wildfire data.



Reza Ramezan:  Dr. Ramezan is interested in interdisciplinary collaboration, conducting research in the juncture of statistics and neuroscience. He is especially interested in computational statistics, multivariate analysis, applied stochastic processes, multiscale modeling, neuroinformatics, and applications of statistics in neuroscience.



Laura Smith: Dr. Smith is interested in crime modeling, dynamical systems, complex networks, variational methods, image processing, and social media modeling. 



GRAM Scholars

Class of 2017-2019

GRAM Arredondo

Angelica Arredondo:  Angelica is currently pursuing a degree in applied mathematics. She is doing a research project with Dr. Nicholas Brubaker and Breanna. After getter her bachelors, she hopes to get accepted into a Ph.D. program and pursue her interest in research and teaching. In the future, she wants to be a college professor and help students get involved and informed about all the wonderful things mathematics has to offer. She wants to be a professor who can open doors to students wanting to major mathematics. She also wants to get more women involved being that this major is mostly dominated by men. In her free time, she enjoys going to the movies, going out to eat, and listening to music.

GRAM Hernandez  

Roberto Hernandez:  Roberto is currently pursuing his undergraduate degree in applied mathematics. He aspires to got to graduate school and eventually become a professor so that he can inspire future undergraduate students looking to engage in their own research. He is currently working on a new research project under the supervision of Dr. Laura Smith as a GRAM scholar. In his spare time he enjoys looking at mathematical patters, hiking, and playing soccer. 

GRAM Hooper 

Cameron Hooper:  Cameron is a computational applied mathematics major who works in Dr. Paula Hudson's analytical chemistry lab at CSUF studying prominent atmospheric compounds and their effects on the climate. He is an LSAMP and GRAM research scholar who is conducting two separate projects under the supervision of Dr. Laura Smith, one of which includes his work from Dr. Hudson's lab. His goal after receiving his undergraduate degree is to further his education in graduate school and study applied mathematics. In his downtime, Cameron can be found avidly lifting weights, hiking, singing, or playing with his dogs. 

 GRAM McBean

Breanna McBean: Breanna is pursuing an undergraduate degree in applied mathematics and is in the University Honors Program at CSUF. She is also on the executive board of the Math Club and S.M.A.R.T. Girls Club on campus and hopes to encourage more women to enter the field of mathematics through these organizations. She aspires to attend graduate school and become a professor. She is working in GRAM under the guidance of applied mathematician Dr. Nicholas Brubaker. In her free time, she enjoys long-distance running, weightlifting, and exploring new places. 

GRAM Palafox 

Ricardo Palafox:  Ricardo is double majoring in Psychology and Mathematics (Probability and Statistics concentration) with a minor in Computer Science. His interest in the use of quantitative data sparked early in his years as a psychology major, but the real catalyst was the exposure to actuarial sciences during his time as an insurance professional. This interest led to a shift in academic trajectory and the desire to pursue a career where he may employ statistical methods. He plans to pursue graduate studies in a Statistics or Biostatistics Ph.D. program. His current research under the mentorship of Dr. Jessica Jaynes focuses on applications of experimental designs. Outside of academics, Ricardo thoroughly enjoys spending the day at high performance driving events and other automotive enthusiast gatherings.

GRAM Toledo 

Jose Toledo:  Jose is a transfer student from Santa Ana College. After he finished his associate degree in the fall of 2016, he transferred to CSUF and became an undergraduate math major with a concentration in statistics. He wants to pursue graduate studies and eventually become a professor. His research mentor is Dr. Jessica Jaynes. In his spare time he likes to listen to music and hangout with friends.


Class of 2016-2018

GRAM Dahdoul

Thabat Dahdoul:  Thabat primary interests are in biostatistics and computational biology.  She has completed REUs at different universities, such as Harvard and Duke. Furthermore, she has served as a tutor and Supplemental Instruction leader in the Department of Mathematics at CSUF.  She is currently working in GRAM under the mentorship of Dr. Kevin Nichols and Dr. Reza Ramezan. Also, Thabat hopes to advocate for social equity as she sees the importance of having allies for social justice advocates in the scientific field to address such issues. When asked about her motivation to pursue her goals, she says "being a minority myself, I want to be a role model that my younger self did not have." 


Christian Do:  Christian has a love of both mathematics and music, especially theoretical aspects of both.  In GRAM, he is conducting research in abstract algebra under the guidance of mathematician Dr. Adam Glesser, and he plans to attend graduate school and become a professor.  His interests include not only mathematics, but also the art of teaching and learning math, and his graduate studies may include some emphasis on mathematics education.  On the musical side, Christian enjoys percussion, and has some experience in both teaching and composing music.


Thi Ho:  Thi transferred to Cal State Fullerton from Santa Ana College in 2015, and she is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree in mathematics, with an emphasis in statistics.  Ultimately, she aspires to attend graduate school and become a professor.  Her research in GRAM is under the mentorship of CSUF statistics professors Drs. Kevin Nichols and Reza Ramezan.  In her spare time, Thi enjoys reading and working on arts and crafts.

 GRAM Martinez

Gabriel Martinez: Gabriel earned as Associate of Science in Mathematics degree with Honors in December 2014, and then he transferred to Cal State Fullerton.  In addition to his classes, Gabriel has worked as a supplemental instruction leader for calculus, and he has also tutored K-12 students in Common Core mathematics. Inspired by Stephen Hawking, Gabriel is fascinated by many aspects of the mathematical world, including applied mathematics.  He is currently working under the GRAM mentorship of applied mathematician Dr. Laura Smith.

GRAM Nungaray 

Freddy Nungaray:  Freddy is pursuing his undergraduate degree in computational applied mathematics and has high aspirations for a future career either in academia or for an agency such as NASA or the CIA.  He also enjoys serving as a role model by assisting grade school children who are struggling to understand basic math.  He is working with Dr. Laura Smith in GRAM and aspires to pursue a graduate degree in applied mathematics.  He enjoys drawing landscapes and playing sports in his spare time.

GRAM Shade 

James Shade:  James is pursuing a double major in mathematics and computer science, and he is a President’s Scholar at CSUF.  He is a co-author of a research paper in geometry in the College Math Journal, and he aspires to continue his studies in pure mathematics and become a professor and mentor for others.  He already has ample formal experience as a tutor and as a role model for other students.  He is currently a GRAM Scholar working under the advisement of mathematician Dr. Adam Glesser.  James enjoys exploring mathematical patterns and is fascinated by such number-based games as Sudoku.  In his free time, James enjoys hiking and camping.


GRAM Assistant / Peer Mentor


Brian Jing:  Brian is a recent graduate from St. Olaf College with a B.A. in Chemistry. He is interested in serving underrepresented populations in the sciences, and he is volunteering with GRAM as an expression of that interest. Brian is a gifted communicator with many awards in debate tournaments through the years, and he is assisting our GRAM Scholars in their various writings, including personal statements, research and graduate applications, oral presentations, and more.


GRAM Assistant / Administration


Renee Bennett:  Renee is a staff member with many years of experience in the Math Department Office at Cal State Fullerton. She has graciously agreed to serve as a project assistant for GRAM, and her familiarity with the campus and its procedures and protocols has been invaluable. She has many roles for GRAM, including facilitator for travel arrangements for the GRAM students and administrators, organizer for GRAM campus events, leader for GRAM-related data acquisition, liaison between GRAM and related groups, and more.



Application for GRAM

Please submit this completed application form by: Monday, April 17, 2017 at 5:00 pm

The application form should be returned to: Math Department Office, MH-154

Or return via email to: or

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GRAM Contact Information

Further information about the program and application forms can be obtained from


Dr. Scott Annin, CSUF GRAM Program Co-Director

Department of Mathematics, MH-33C

California State University, Fullerton

Tel: (657) 278-7678



Dr. Anael Verdugo, CSUF GRAM Program Co-Director

Department of Mathematics, MH-104K

California State University, Fullerton

Tel: (657) 278-3670




*This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number (NSF Grant 1345012). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


Kyle Kishimoto is presented with the MAA Meritorious Poster Award at the Spring 2014 MAA SoCal Nevada Meeting, Concordia University, Irvine, April 12, 2014.The very idea of a mathematical circle is rather new to the U.S. and even less known in Orange County than in other parts of the country.  The concept of the Fullerton Mathematical Circle is inspired from similar activities done in Central Europe over the last century, with Universities offering enrichment programs to interested young gifted mathematicians. The project consists of offering mathematical sessions for gifted middle school and high school students.  Each session will begin with a mini-lecture, and then the students will be divided into small groups thereby enabling active engagement in the problem solving process. The CSUF undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in pursuing a career in teaching at the secondary level will support the Fullerton Mathematical Circle by delivering presentations in the Circle’s lectures, and by working as facilitators during the Circle’s workshop sessions. Our facilitators serve as role models for the participants in the Circle, while they enrich their own experience. Furthermore, our students / pre-service teachers are trained to develop effective strategies that engage and enrich the mathematical experiences of gifted students in the schools where they subsequently teach. For more information, contact Prof. Bogdan Suceava.



Alvin Kim is the 2013-2014 champion for both AMC 8 and AMC 10 at Cal State Fullerton. Although he was at that time just in the 7th grade, Alvin presents his research during the Undergraduate Poster Session at the Spring 2014 MAA SoCal Nevada Meeting, Concordia University, Irvine, April 12, 2014.Math Circle Sessions for Spring 2017 and Fall 2017

For the next academic year we plan to work with two sections:
(1) students in the age group of grades 7-8
(2) students in high-school, grades 9-12
We will focus on the programs of the Mathematical Association of America, including the American Mathematical Competitions and the local conferences taking place in California. To support our students' participations in these conferences, we plan to inspire our projects from various sources, including the London-based Mathematical Gazette, as well as the Romanian Gazeta matematică. 
All Math Circle sessions meet at CSUF's main campus, in McCarthy Hall rooms MH 476 and MH 480:
(all events take place Saturday, from 10:00 am to noon, unless specified otherwise)
Spring 2017
  • Wednesday, February 15, at 6:00 pm – hosting AMC 10 B and 12 B
  • February 25: MAA Golden Section Meeting at Santa Clara University
  • March 4: two sections – grades 7-8 and grades 9-12; focus on AIME
  • Tuesday, March 7, from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm hosting AIME I
  • March 18: two sections – grades 7-8 and grades 9-12; focus on Gazeta matematică problems
  • Wednesday, March 22, from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm hosting AIME II
  • April 15: two sections – grades 7-8 and grades 9-12
  • Wednesday and Thursday, April 19 and April 20: We are ready to host USAMO at CSUF
  • April 29: MAA So Cal Nevada Meeting at Cal State Northridge: we prepare student posters
  • May 6: Students Colloquium and Gazeta matematica Award Presentations: we train before, then host student presentations

Fall 2017

  • September 16: two sections - grades 7-8 and grades 9-12
  • September 30: two sections - grades 7-8 and grades 9-12
  • October 14: two sections - grades 7-8 and grades 9-12
  • Saturday, October 21 at Chapman University: delivering presentations at the Fall 2017 MAA Meeting SoCal-Nev Section. Link:
  • Saturday and Sunday, November 4 and November 5 at UC Riverside: presenting in the AMS Special Session on Preparing Students for American Mathematical Competitions. Link:
  • Tuesday, November 14: hosting AMC 8
  • December 9: two sections - grades 7-8 and grades 9-12
AMC = American Mathematical Competitions

AIME = American Invitational Mathematics Exam


Fullerton Mathematical Circle in the News:

Bryan Brzycki presenting his research on taxicab geometry at the Fall 2013 MAA SoCal Nevada Meeting, October 12, 2013, at Cal State Dominguez Hills.

 Photo Gallery

A collection of highlights and accomplishments resulting from the excellence of the Fullerton Mathematical Circle!

Kyle Kishimoto and the CSUF undergraduate student Christina Tran delivered a joint presentation at the Fall 2013 MAA SoCal Nevada Meeting, October 12, 2013, where they discussed in front of interested specialists Kyle's solutions to problems from Gazeta matematică.















Dr. Scott Annin, vice-chair of the Department of Mathematics, presents our Math Circle's recognition for Abhinav Ganesh's outstanding performance of solving 14 problems from Gazeta matematică during the academic year 2013-2014. Fullerton Mathematical Circle presents recognitions for our students' excellence in solving problems proposed in four programs: American Mathematical Competitions, Math Kangaroo, Abacus International Challenge and Gazeta matematică.

Tenure Track Position

The Department of Mathematics invites applications for a tenure-track faculty position in Statistics at the Assistant Professor level beginning August 2018. Please see this link for a full job position and application directions.

Part Time Lecturer Positions

The Math Department will be reviewing part time lecturer applications for fall beginning in March.  Application information can be found here.

Teaching Associate Positions

Teaching Associate Positions are available for students currently enrolled or admitted to the a Mathematics Master's Degree program.  For a job description click here.