The essentials about Math Essentials

The Penn State World Campus Math Essentials course can help you build your math confidence and learn the technology and processes to be successful in your upcoming math course(s). By participating in Math Essentials, you’ll also increase your potential for improving your Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces (ALEKS) placement score.

Math Essentials is a noncredit, tuition-free, two-week course that won’t impact your GPA. The course covers the math materials you need to know going into your intended class — MATH 004, MATH 021, MATH 022, or MATH 110. You will need to purchase an ALEKS subscription, but the subscription you purchase for the Math Essentials experience can also be used for the course. By purchasing the 52-week access to ALEKS 360, you gain access to ALEKS, as well as the eBook and textbook resources for all Math 004, MATH 021, and MATH 022 courses. And it’s possible to take those three courses with a 52-week access to ALEKS 360. (MATH 110 is not an ALEKS 360 product, so it is recommended that if you plan to take MATH 110, you should purchase the 6-week access to ALEKS.)

The Math Essentials course also addresses additional skills necessary for math course success, such as study strategies, terminology, time management, and test anxiety. It will also introduce you to Blackboard Collaborate, which is an online learning, live classroom environment.

Tutoring support via is available for Math Essentials’ students. Our instructors want to help you become an independent learner who can plan ahead using a syllabus and course schedule, and know when to ask for and where to seek help when needed.

You’ll need to commit at least 10 hours per week for the Math Essentials course, but it’s an important investment in yourself. Since it is a noncredit course, your participation does not increase your semester credit load.

Consider enrolling in Math Essentials for an upcoming semester, if you:

  • have taken the ALEKS Math Placement Test prep and learning module
  • haven’t taken your first Penn State World Campus math course
  • want to review prior math course material learned years ago

Talk with your academic adviser, or contact Betsy Esposito at or 814-863-1575.

Important dates

If you are scheduling, MATH 004, 021, 022, or 110 for the spring 2017 semester, the next Math Essentials course runs December 9-23.


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