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ACCUPLACER Introduction for Students

An introduction to ACCUPLACER for Students will help you to practice and be prepared for the test.

Computer Delivered Testing

You will take the tests using a computer. You will communicate with the computer by using either the keyboard or the mouse to enter your answers to the tests and to supply other information. The test instructions are easy to understand. A Test Administrator will always be present should you have any questions or problems. The Test Administrator has the ability to resolve any difficulties that may occur.

Answering the Question

Because ACCUPLACER is an adaptive test; you don’t have to answer as many questions as on a traditional paper and pencil test. The number of questions on the eight tests ranges from 12-20. The questions will appear one at a time on the computer screen. Most questions are multiple-choice and all you will need to do is use the mouse to select the desired answer. When you have completed the question and verified your answer a new screen will appear with your next question.

Adaptive Testing

Each test is designed using adaptive techniques. This means that the computer automatically determines which questions are presented to you based on your responses to prior questions. This technique “zeroes-in” on just the right questions to fit your skills and abilities. The greater your demonstrated skill level, the more challenging will be the questions presented to you.

  • The reading, math and sentence skills tests are un-timed so that you can give each question as much thought as you wish. However, once you have verified your answer, you cannot return to that question.

After you answer each question, the computer calculates a score based on all of the answers you have given and use this to select the next question to display. Because the test works this way, you must answer every question when it is first given. You cannot omit any question or come back later to change an answer.
If you do not know the answer to a question, try to eliminate one or more of the choices. Then pick one of the remaining choices.

ACCUPLACER Reading Comprehension Test

ACCUPLACER Reading Comprehension Test

This test is designed to measure how well you understand what you read. It contains twenty (20) questions. Some are of the sentence relationship type in which you must choose how sentences are related. Other questions refer to reading passages of varying lengths.



There are three levels of math testing. You will take the Arithmetic and the Elementary Algebra. You may or may not take the College Level Math. The three levels of math testing are:

  • Arithmetic

    The arithmetic test measures your skills in three primary categories. The first is operations with whole numbers and fractions. This includes addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and recognizing equivalent fractions and mixed numbers. The second category involves operations with decimals and percents. It includes addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division as well as percent problems, decimal recognition, fraction and percent equivalences, and estimation problems. The last category tests applications and problem solving. Questions include rate, percent, and measurement problems, geometry problems, and distribution of a quantity into its fractional parts. A total of 17 questions are asked. Seventeen (17) questions are presented.

  • Elementary Algebra

    There are also three categories in the Elementary Algebra Test. The first category, operations with integers and rational numbers, includes computation with integers and negative rationals, the use of absolute values, and ordering. The second category is operations with algebraic expressions. It tests your skills in evaluating simple formulas and expressions, and in adding and subtracting monomials and polynomials. Both of these categories include questions about multiplying and dividing monomials and polynomials, evaluating positive rational roots and exponents, simplifying algebraic fractions, and factoring. The third category tests skill in solving equations, inequalities, and word problems. These questions include solving systems of linear equations, quadratic equations by factoring, verbal problems presented in algebraic context, geometric reasoning, the translation of written phrases into algebraic expressions, and graphing. Twelve (12) questions are presented.

  • College Level Mathematics

    The College-Level Mathematics test assesses proficiency from intermediate algebra through pre-calculus. Six categories are covered. The first category, algebraic operations, includes simplifying rational algebraic expressions, factoring, expanding polynomials, and manipulating roots and exponents. The category, solutions of equations and inequalities, includes the solution of linear and quadratic equations and inequalities, equation systems, and other algebraic equations. Coordinate geometry asks questions about plane geometry, the coordinate plane, straight lines, conics, sets of points in the plane, and graphs of algebraic functions. Applications and other algebra topics asks about complex numbers, series and sequences, determinants, permutations and combinations, fractions, and word problems. The last category, functions and trigonometry, presents questions about polynomial, algebraic, exponential, logarithmic and trigonometric functions. Twenty (20) questions are asked.

ACCUPLACER WritePlacer Test

ACCUPLACER WritePlacer Test

The writing assessment will involve a 50 minute typed essay on an assigned topic.

ACCUPLACER Sentence Skills Test

ACCUPLACER Sentence Skills Test

There are 20 Sentence Skills questions on 2 types. The first is sentence correction. These questions ask to choose the most appropriate word or phrase to substitute for the underlined portion of the sentence. The second is construction shift. These ask that a sentence be rewritten while maintaining essentially the same meaning as the original sentence.

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