ACCUPLACER Tests

ACCUPLACER TestsThe ACCUPLACER Tests are a series of placement exams that some colleges and universities may require you to take before you choose your classes. These exams, which are written by the College Board and administered by your school, are designed to help a school figure out exactly what you know and what you don't know, so the school can place you in classes that are more appropriate for you. Each of these exams includes 12 to 20 multiple-choice questions or one essay question that will test your basic reading, writing, or math skills. The exams included in the ACCUPLACER Test series include the Arithmetic Test, the College Level Mathematics Test, the Elementary Algebra Test, the English as a Second Language (ESL) Test (see the ACCUPLACER ESL Test article for more information about this test) the Reading Comprehension Test, the Sentence Skills Test, and the Written Essay Test.

The Arithmetic Test includes 17 multiple-choice questions that will test your ability to add, divide, estimate, multiply, and/or subtract decimals, fractions, percents, and whole numbers (or, in other words, positive numbers and zero.) In addition to the questions that ask you to simply solve an equation, the Arithmetic Test will also include a series of word problems that will require you to demonstrate your ability to use fractions, basic geometry, different units of measurement, percents, and rates. The College Level Mathematics Test includes 20 multiple-choice questions that will test your ability to expand polynomials; factor; simplify equations; solve algebraic equations, including linear and quadratic equations; solve geometry problems, including problems related to conics, the coordinate plane, graphing algebraic functions, plane geometry, two or more points on a plane, and straight lines; solve logarithmic and trigonometry problems; use complex numbers, roots, and exponents; and your ability to solve other similar problems. The Elementary Algebra Test includes 12 questions that will test your ability to add, divide, multiply, and/or subtract absolute values, integers (positive numbers, 0, and/or negative numbers), monomials, and polynomials; factor; order fractions; simplify equations; solve algebraic equations, including linear equations, graphing, and quadratic equations; and your ability to solve other similar problems.

The Reading Comprehension Test includes 20 multiple-choice questions that will test your ability to read a passage or a pair of sentences and apply the information in the passage, draw a conclusion based on the information in the passage, explain the relationship between the two sentences, explain the meaning or significance of a particular statement in the passage, identify the main idea of the passage, or analyze the sentences or passage in another similar way. The Sentence Skills Test includes 20 multiple-choice questions that will test your ability to correct the sentence problem that the question identifies and/or your ability to rewrite the entire sentence without changing the meaning of the sentence. The Written Essay Test, which is also known as the WritePlacer Plus Test, includes one essay question that will test your ability to create a well-organized essay that supports your answer to the question that the test poses.

The ACCUPLACER Tests are typically administered in a group, and you will usually be required to take more than one of the exams. However, it is important to note that the college or university that you are planning to attend will have the final say in which ACCUPLACER Tests you will be required to take. This means that, while most schools will require you to take two or more of the ACCUPLACER Tests, some schools may only require you to take a single test or only require you to take the tests that are related to the areas in which you appear to be weak. It is also important to note that the requirements that you will need to meet to take the ACCUPLACER Tests are set by the college or university that you are planning to attend, so the requirements that you need to meet may vary from school to school.

ACCUPLACER ESL Tests

ACCUPLACER ESL TestsThe ACCUPLACER English as a Second Language (ESL) Tests are a group of placement exams that you may need to take if English is not your native language. These exams, which are written by the College Board and administered by your school, are designed to help colleges and universities determine if you have the basic English language skills that you need to successfully complete your college education without additional assistance. Each of these exams includes 20 multiple-choice questions or one essay question that will test your basic reading, writing, or listening skills. The exams included in the ACCUPLACER ESL Test series include the ESL Language Use Test, the ESL Listening Test, the ESL Reading Skills Test, the ESL Sentence Meaning Test, and the WritePlacer ESL Test.

The ESL Language Use Test includes 20 multiple-choice questions that will test your ability to choose the word that correctly completes a sentence or to choose the sentence that correctly combines two separate sentences. The ESL Listening Test includes 20 multiple-choice questions that will test your ability to understand the information that a single person or a group of people are talking about. The answer choices for the ESL Listening Test will each appear as text on your computer screen, but the questions and the information that you need to answer the questions on the ESL Listening Test will be read aloud. The ESL Reading Skills Test includes 20 multiple-choice questions that will test your ability to read, analyze, and understand a series of written passages. The ESL Sentence Meaning Test includes 20 multiple-choice questions that will test your ability to determine the meaning of a word based on the way that it is used in a sentence. The WritePlacer ESL Test, which is very similar to the ACCUPLACER Written Essay Test, includes one essay question that will test your ability to create a well-organized essay. The WritePlacer ESL Test, however, is primarily concerned with your ability to use English grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and vocabulary correctly while the Written Essay Test is primarily concerned with your ability to support your point of view.

The ACCUPLACER ESL Tests, like the standard ACCUPLACER Tests, are typically administered in a group, and you will usually be required to take the ESL Writing Test, the ESL Listening Test, and at least one of the other ESL Tests. However, it is important to note that different schools will require you to take different tests, and some schools may only require you to take a single ESL Test while other schools may require you to take all five Tests. It is also important to note that most schools will only administer the ESL Tests if you are a non-native English speaker and you fail to achieve the minimum score that the school has set for the Reading Test, the Sentence Skills Test, and/or the Written Essay Test that all of their students take. In other words, you may not be required to take the ESL Tests at all, even if English is not your native language, if your score is higher than the minimum score that your college or university has set for the ACCUPLACER Tests that are typically intended for native English speakers. The specific score that you will have to achieve to be exempt from the ACCUPLACER ESL Tests will vary from school to school, but the minimum score for most schools will typically fall somewhere between 54 and 60 points for the Reading Test and/or Sentence Skill Test and between 6 to 9 points for the Written Essay Test.

ACCUPLACER Essay Tips

The ACCUPLACER WritePlacer Tests are only intended for placement purposes, and there's no way that you can actually fail a WritePlacer Test. However, it is important to note that the fact that there is no way to fail doesn't necessarily mean that you should just write a bunch of garbage and submit it. This is because the school that you are planning to attend will use your score from the WritePlacer Test to figure out which English classes you need to take, and in some cases, which English classes you may be able to test out of. This means that if you want to make sure that you are actually taking classes that will teach you something that you need to know and that you're just not wasting your time and money on classes that you don't need, you need to know how to spruce up your essay.

In order to spruce up your essay, there are four main things that you will typically need to do.

  • First, read the essay question very carefully and try to get an idea of what the question is actually looking for. In other words, is the question looking for an answer that defends a certain point of a view or is it looking for an answer that explains what something means? This is important because different questions will have very different answers, and you need to make sure that you are writing the essay that the question is actually asking you to write in order to get a good score.
  • Secondly, try to do some brainstorming and come up with two or three major details that you can use to support the main idea that you are trying to discuss or the position that you are trying to defend. A large portion of the score that you will receive for the WritePlacer Plus or the Texas WritePlacer Plus will be based on your ability to support the main focus of your essay with details. This means that you need to come up with some details that you can use to convince the exam's administrators that you're not just stating something outright but that you are instead trying to prove something to your readers.
  • Third, once you have come up with some details that you can use to support your essay, write an introductory paragraph that explains the main idea that you are discussing or the position that you are trying to defend, two to three paragraphs that each explain a detail or a minor idea that supports the main idea that you are trying to discuss, and a concluding paragraph that sums up what you're trying to say. This format will not only make it easier for you to write the essay, but will also help you to create an essay that is well-structured and organized (as long as you place each of detail paragraphs in a logical order.) However, it is important to note that you may not always have time to write all of the paragraphs that you originally intended and, if you find yourself in a situation in which time is running out, try to make sure that you put a sentence or two at the end to sum up everything that you wrote.
  • Finally, once you have finished your essay, take a few minutes to read it over and look for grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and word usage mistakes. These mistakes can hurt your score on any of the WritePlacer Tests, but they can outright cripple you score on the WritePlacer ESL Test. This is because your entire score on the WritePlacer ESL Test is based on your ability to use the major components of the English language correctly and not on your ability to support an idea. This means that it is extremely important to avoid these mistakes whenever possible, especially if you are taking the WritePlacer ESL Test.

ACCUPLACER Multiple-Choice Question Tips

ACCUPLACER Multiple-Choice Question TipsThe ACCUPLACER Tests are only intended for placement purposes, and there's no way that you can actually fail an ACCUPLACER Test. However, it is important to note that this doesn't necessarily mean that you should just choose a bunch of random answers for all of the multiple-choice questions and call it a day. In fact, choosing a bunch of random answers on the ACCUPLACER is usually a very bad idea because the scores that you get on the ACCUPLACER Tests are the scores that your college or university will ultimately use when they're trying to figure out whether they should put you in this English class or that one, whether they should let you test out of the math classes that are normally required or not, and whether you need more help than a typical class can provide or not. This means that if you want to make sure that you are getting into the classes that you want to get into and that you're actually on the path that you need to be on to earn your degree in a reasonable length of time, you need to know how to handle the multiple-choice questions on each of the tests.

  • First, before you answer any of the questions, read all of the directions for the test that you are about to take. This is important because the multiple-choice questions on each of the ACCUPLACER Tests are a little bit different, and you may accidently choose the wrong answer to some of the questions if you think the test is looking for something other than what is actually looking for. This is especially important for all of the English language tests, including the Sentence Skills Test, the Reading Comprehension Test, the ESL Reading Skills Test, the ESL Language Use Test, and the ESL Sentence Meaning Test because these tests all have blanks or underlined sections in some of their questions, but each test will want you to do something different with the blanks or underlined information.
  • Secondly, if you're trying to answer a math question, read the question very carefully, make the appropriate calculations, and ignore the answer choices until you have come up with your own answer. This will help you to avoid some of the errors that people commonly make when they jump to the first answer that seems to make sense even though there's no way to actually tell if that answer is correct until you actually do the math. If, on the other hand, you're trying to answer an English question, read the question and the answer choices that are available for that question very carefully before you select an answer. Reading the question and all of the answer choices for the English questions first will make it easier to choose the answer that "best" corrects the sentence, "best" completes the sentence, or "best" answers the question about the passage.
  • Third, as you're answering the questions, try to ignore the clock and take your time. The average exam-taker will complete each test in 30 to 45 minutes, but there's no time limit on the multiple-choice questions for the ACCUPLACER Tests. In fact, the ACCUPLACER Tests are part of the very small group of exams out there that will actually let you have as much time as you want (within reason.) This means that you can take as much time as you need to answer each question, and there's really no reason to rush because there's no penalty for taking too long.
  • Finally, if you spend a good five to ten minutes on a question and you still can't come up with an answer, try to get rid of some of the answers that are obviously wrong and make your best guess. There's no penalty for guessing on the ACCUPLACER, and chances are, if you can't come up with anything after five to ten minutes, you probably aren't going to.

ACCUPLACER Test Scoring

The multiple-choice questions on the ACCUPLACER Tests are all scored on a scale of 0 to 120, and the score that you receive is based on the total number of responses that you get correct with an adjustment for the difficulty of the questions that you answer. The essay questions that are included on the Written Essay Test, which is also known as the WritePlacer Plus Test, are scored on a scale of 2 to 12 or a scale of 2 to 8 if you are taking the Texas version of the exam. The specific score that you will receive for the essay on the WritePlacer Plus Test is based on your ability to write a well-organized and well-structured essay that clearly defends your point of view. The essay questions that are included on the WritePlacer ESL Test are scored on a scale of 0 to 6, and the score that you receive is based on your ability to write a well-organized essay that clearly states your point of view and demonstrates your grasp of English grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and vocabulary.

In most cases, you will receive a score of 0 to 2 if your essay is extremely difficult to understand, written in a language other than English, is nowhere close to complete, and/or is filled with a number of different errors; a score of 3 to 7 on the WritePlacer Plus, a score of 3 to 5 on the Texas WritePlacer Plus, or a score of 3 to 4 on the WritePlacer ESL if your essay is difficult to understand, but the people grading your essay can sort of figure out what you're trying to say; an 8 on the WritePlacer Plus, a 6 on the Texas WritePlacer Plus, or a 4 on the WritePlacer ESL if your essay clearly states your point of view, but there are some errors present and/or some key supporting details missing; a 9 to 11 on the WritePlacer Plus, a 7 on the Texas WritePlacer Plus, or a 5 on the WritePlacer ESL if your essay has a few errors, but it clearly states your point of view and supports you point of view with a number of different details; and a 12 on the WritePlacer Plus, an 8 on the Texas WritePlacer Plus, or a 6 on the WritePlacer ESL if your essay supports your point of view in an effective fashion with very few, if any, errors.

It is important to note that the scores that you receive on the ACCUPLACER Tests are only intended to help a school place you in classes that suit your educational needs, and they are not designed to help a school determine your eligibility for any specific program. In fact, there is no way to actually fail an ACCUPLACER Test and there aren't any minimum scores that you officially have to achieve. It is also important to note that there is no time limit for the multiple-choice questions on the ACCUPLACER Tests, and you will be able to take as much time as you need to complete each exam. However, the WritePlacer Plus, the Texas WritePlacer Plus, and the WritePlacer ESL will all have a time limit, and the specific amount of time that you will have to complete each of these exams will be set by the school that you are planning to attend. This means that the time limit for each exam will vary from school to school, but most schools will give you somewhere between 45 minutes and one hour to complete each of the essay exams.

How Do the ACCUPLACER Tests Work?

How Do the ACCUPLACER Tests Work?If you're planning to attend a college or a university that uses the ACCUPLACER Tests, you probably already have some questions. In fact, one of the questions that you may already have is how do the ACCUPLACER Tests actually work? Well, if you are wondering how the ACCUPLACER Tests work, it is important to note that the ACCUPLACER Tests are not like most of the other tests that you may be required to take. This is because the ACCUPLACER Tests are not intended to help a college or university make decisions in regards to who they accept or who they don't, but are instead designed to help colleges identify the academic areas in which an individual may be weak. This means that each of the schools that use the ACCUPLACER Tests are more concerned with tailoring your education to your specific needs than they are in determining what you know. However, tailoring your education to your specific needs is not as simple as it may seem, and there's usually a whole process that most schools will go through in order to figure out which classes make the most sense for you.

  • First, most schools will send you a letter if you are required to take an ACCUPLACER Test. This letter will usually tell you where you need to go to take the exam, how to schedule your testing date, which ACCUPLACER Tests you will be required to take, how much time you will be given to complete each essay, the minimum score that you need to achieve on a particular test to test out of the ACCUPLACER ESL Tests if you are a non-native English speaker, and other similar information. However, it is important to note that there are a number of schools that do not use the ACCUPLACER Tests and a number of schools that will only require certain students to take the tests. This means that you may not need to take the test at every school, and even schools that require most of their students to take the exams may allow you to opt out of some, or all, of the ACCUPLACER Tests if your GPA is above a certain point, if all of your grades in your English and math classes are above a certain point, if the test is only required for you to test out of certain classes and you want to take those classes, or if you meet other similar requirements. It is also important to note that some schools will require you to take the ACCUPLACER Tests during your college orientation or at another specific time, and you may need to talk to your academic advisor to find out more about the test.
  • Secondly, once you have received the information that you need to take the exam and you have set up your testing date, you will have to take each of the tests that your school requires. These tests will each be administered one at a time by an online computer program that the College Board has setup. This program, which is a computer adaptive testing (CAT) program known as ACCUPLACER Online, will display each of the questions that you need to answer with four answer choices beneath each question if the question is a multiple-choice question or a text box beneath each question if it is an essay question. As you select your answer to each of the questions, the program will make sure that the next question is easier if your answer was incorrect or is more difficult if your answer was correct.
  • Finally, after you're done with the test, your school will print out a score report that indicates exactly how well you did on each exam and how your score compares to the score that other students have achieved. Your academic advisor can then use this information along with your high school GPA, your SAT or ACT scores, and other similar information to figure out your classes.

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Last Updated: 06/12/2014

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