Two stars for remedial. Five stars for advanced.

Submitted 4 years ago
My Rating

My Take

Below are a few points I disagree with the common sense reviewer.

Reviewer: "However, many of the videos and Alcumus tasks are classic, straightforward math problems. These can be useful to all students who are learning basic math skills because they provide immediate feedback, but they may not be very exciting to a math superstar ready to get stumped"

"The site could be improved by adding more complex, interesting problems with multiple approaches and solutions."

Alcumus is an adaptive learning system. It gives you harder problems only if you have mastered a lower level. Alcumus contains challenging AMC problems like…, which the vast majority of students would not know how to approach. The video instruction to solve this problem is here: I will leave it to the reader to decide if this is a "basic" math problem for your students.

Reviewer: "Many teachers are looking for innovative ways to make math real for students; Art of Problem Solving, while helpful, is just another version of what's already available in standard math textbooks."

"Meant to challenge math whizzes, actually best for struggling students"

It depends on what the reviewer means by "real." There are limited resource on aops that is related to biology, which is the expertise of the reviewer (see profile here: However, the claim that aops offers materials that is already available in standard math textbooks is simply ignorant. I don't believe there is any standard middle or high school math textbook that contains problems like At the same time, recommending aops to struggling students is simply irresponsible. If you read the resume of AoPS staff, you will find none of them had the necessary academic or professional preparation to handle struggling students. Struggling students would not be served well by aops and are likely to be discouraged by problems on the website.

The biggest issue with aops is that it doesn't fit everyone's need. But it is a paradise for a particular group of students perhaps for the same reason. If you know a student who recently enrolled in MIT or Caltech, ask them where they get their math resource, and you will hear about aops. As a math educator, I would not make comments on biology curriculum due to my lack of knowledge. Misleading educational advice will hurt children and family.

How I Use It

The resources on are intended for advanced learners thus is unlikely to work in a regular or remedial math classroom.