Education is an important part of life. It often acts as the stepping stone for students to achieve the career of their dreams. While most students proceed to four-year universities, many settle for a two-year degree in a community college to graduate much quicker and start working or to buy time before committing to a four-year degree.
Post-secondary students who want to enter a community college are often required to take the AccuPlacer Test since they usually have a non-competitive admission policy. This test is used to gauge an incoming student’s proficiency in several academic areas, including writing, reading, mathematics, and English. Doing so will help administrators to assess students’ skills, from their strengths to their weaknesses. Through this assessment, students will be into classes that match their level.
The test helps determine whether students are ready for the more rigorous college coursework or need personalized remediation. Many times, students can overcome their subject areas of weakness by adapting the prescribed targeted studying.
Since its establishment more than 30 years ago, the AccuPlacer Test is said to be taken by an estimated 2.5 million individuals every year.
What can one expect from the AccuPlacer Test?
Traditionally, the test is divided into four main sections: Arithmetic, Elementary Algebra, Reading Comprehension, and Sentence Skills. The test is often in a multiple-choice format with the exception of the WritePlacer section which usually requires answering with essays.
Most of the time, the test is delivered online. In modern times, it is widely common to use computer-adaptive technology for the test. This means that one’s answers determine their skill level, and they get questions that match it.
An AccuPlacer Test does not designate a pass or fail verdict. An assessment exam helps both the administrators and takers gain an accurate measurement of one’s academic skills. As a result, anyone who takes the test is encouraged to take their time and give their best effort. After all, the test will assess how well they will do in different academic areas, establishing their skill level and accurately putting them in the appropriate class.
So, what can one expect from the test? Let us take a look at the different academic areas that it usually covers.
Passages are provided in the Reading Test, and students derive meaning from them. They will need to determine what particular words and phrases mean in both short and extended contexts. The content areas it covers include literature, social studies, humanities, literary nonfiction, and even science. After reading the passages, students will answer the multiple-choice questions to see how well they comprehend what they just read and draw conclusions from it.
Usually, it is formatted in a way students answer a question after every passage. However, another type of reading comprehension test gives a pair of sentences and a question that examines the relationship between the two. The latter aims to evaluate one’s skills, including critical thinking and understanding complex written materials.
AccuPlacer also gives out writing tests to determine how well a student would do when it comes to sentence skills. This will allow examiners to determine whether students are ready to start college-level courses or might need to take preparation courses to improve their college-level English skills.
In this test, students should demonstrate their ability to comprehend and organize information in a sentence. They must present the information clearly with proper word usage and technical know-how. It is important for them to know and understand the way sentences relate to each other and get the meaning out of them, whether they are dealing with a single statement or a group of sentences.
For the WritePlacer, students have to write essays. This particular test section evaluates their skill to organize information logically and effectively through clear sentences. They are also expected to use proper punctuation and observe correct grammar.
Mathematical skills are a must in most college degrees. In this test, students’ arithmetic skills are gauged through their ability to understand linear equations and apply them and understand and employ trigonometry concepts. They will be tested on how well they know the basic mathematical concepts and solve problems. This includes whole numbers, fractions, problem-solving, decimals and percentages, and many more.
With a focus on skills like computation, estimation, and rounding, the order of operations, and comparing and ordering values in different formats, the arithmetic test aims to assess a range of knowledge and skills integral to many college courses.
This test deals with operations that involve integers and rational numbers. Students are expected to use computation formula and absolute values and demonstrate their skills for ordering. They will also be tested with their knowledge of operations with algebraic expressions and translating written phrases into them. They should be able to evaluate simple formulas and expressions.
Who Administers the AccuPlacer Test?
Typically, the AccuPlacer Test is used by colleges and universities to see whether incoming students are ready for college. It is usually up to these educational institutions to decide and develop their placement policies, determining who will be tested and the factors that will be used for course placement and retesting parameters. Through these placement testing policies, they will help students retain information better and give them better opportunities to succeed academically.
They are allowed by the College Board, the same organization that administers the SAT, to create and develop their placement testing policies. The policies they develop often depends on the student population, faculty, and course content that composed their institution. As with the scores, each college or university must establish its course placement scores. This means they are the ones who should define the proficiency level necessary for a student to handle the course. They should also set the placement score that corresponds to that placement level.
Universities need to ensure that they have proper placement policies in place to benefit both the school and the students. When students are placed in appropriate classes, they will be able to use their skills and shine in academic terms. It saves you time, money, and effort as it provides them with a successful start to their college journey.
Who Takes the AccuPlacer Test?
The AccuPlacer Test is administered for incoming college students to determine their readiness for post-secondary studies. They are mostly under 21 years old and have not yet taken the ACT examinations. They take the AccuPlacer Test to find out their strengths and weaknesses in specific subject areas. They are often offered remedial studies that will help them prepare for a retake. The test results can also be used as a tool to help them figure out their post-secondary options.
In some cases, high school students also use the AccuPlacer Test to identify areas of improvement in their academic performance. A school might administer this test to students so they will be able to give a better academic and career counseling to students based on the result.
Are students required to take the AccuPlacer Test? The answer is no. However, the downside will be ending up being forced by the students’ community college to take remedial courses that they have already mastered. This means additional time and effort spent on completing courses that they can do without. These non-credit courses can be avoided if they have taken the AccuPlacer Test and demonstrated their skills in the subject areas they are being tested for.
What You Need to Know When Taking the AccuPlacer Test
Before taking the AccuPlacer Test, students need to know the ins and outs. They should be aware that while it is not required, it helps them prepare for college and start earning credits right away instead of being waylaid by remedial courses.
Unlike other assessment tests, the AccuPlacer Test provides a personalized test content. This means each student will get customized test questions that match their skills and knowledge. There is no such thing as a time limit in an AccuPlacer Test, although each section can take as much as one hour to complete on average. Students can take their time to answer questions, ensuring that they answer to the best of their ability for an efficient assessment of their proficiency level.
The Where, When, and How
When students apply for a community college, they are often required to take the AccuPlacer Test. There are two ways to take the AccuPlacer Test – by appointment or walking in for specified testing hours. The college often has a designated office for such tests. In many cases, students can take it in approved testing locations where there is supervision throughout the examination duration. To be safe, students should ask their community college about the process of taking the AccuPlacer Test.
For those who are enrolling in an exam far from their home, they are allowed to take the test at a location most convenient for them. However, it pays to be sure, so contacting the school first and asking for advice is the best course of action. They should be able to know whether their community college approves the location near them.
The test is administered with supervision by authorized individuals. It is mostly taken on the computer. As mentioned before, the AccuPlacer Test is untimed. Students can use as long as it takes to complete it. For good measure, they are always cautioned not to rush the test and answer as carefully as possible.
Once students have answered a question, they would not be able to go back to review and change their answers. The test is governed by adaptive technology. Every answer to each question determines the difficulty level of the next question. Getting the correct answers would mean being presented with harder questions, but you can get more accurate scores in as few questions as possible.
Registering for an AccuPlacer Test
For the AccuPlacer Test, the community college or university requires it to take care of the test’s registration and administration. This differs from other standardized tests like SAT or ACT, where one needs to register online themselves. While there is an AccuPlacer account that students need to create, they will be guided by their school in the registration process. All they need to do after is to show up to the appointed date, time, and place to take the test.
Students do not have the option to take the AccuPlacer Test on their own. AccuPlacer tests can only be requested by the school and not the individuals.
What to Bring During the AccuPlacer Test
One thing that is certainly required during the test is the student ID. Most tests are done on the computer. Should there be a need for scrap paper, the school will duly provide. Otherwise, all the answers will be keyed to the computer. Calculators are not allowed to be brought inside the testing site. However, in the case of complex math questions, a calculator will appear on the computer screen.
Students cannot pass or fail the AccuPlacer Test, but they’ll know their score and get feedback right after. Most of the time, the test is scored anywhere between 200 and 300, particularly for arithmetic. If one’s score falls within a certain band, say 250-262, it means that they have demonstrated all the skills mastered by those who scored in the lower bands. They are also determined to have the ability to use the required skills for the subject.
Since there is no passing and failing concept, it is up to the school to determine what score bands should students meet. Some schools set a specific score band in particular subjects to gauge the student’s preparedness for the classes. If they do not meet the set score bands for a specific subject, they would not be rejected from the college. Instead, they might be assigned non-credit classes that they should complete before moving to the credited courses.
At times, schools might factor in students’ GPA, standardized test scores, and the courses they took to know which course the student should enroll in.
What Happens After the AccuPlacer Test?
If students are deemed ready to take on credit courses, then they can enroll in those classes. They can skip the remedial, non-credit classes, which might take a semester or two to complete. Those who have weaknesses in certain areas will be required to take a remedial course before proceeding to a credit course. This ensures that they can take on the challenge when the time comes for them to enroll in credit classes.
Preparing for the AccuPlacer Test
Take the AccuPlacer Test seriously! Students are still encouraged to study the subject areas included in the test and take practice exercises. They need to demonstrate their skill level to be off to their college at a good start. This means enrolling in credit courses and starting planning their college journey right away.
The first thing students need to do is to read up on the AccuPlacer Test. They must know what it is all about and what the test proper entails. Knowing what they should expect can help them prepare better for the coming test.
Of course, the best advice is answering practice questions. Doing so helps you stay alert and find out the kind of test they will be taking. Many websites offer tools and resources to help students practice and prepare for the test, often for free. These practice test sites usually give sample questions with explanations for the correct answers. They are often in the real AccuPlacer format, which gives them a look and feel of the exam proper and sets their expectations.
Students who want to prepare for the test can do these practice tests to know what to expect in each subject area. They will know which subjects they should focus on and where to improve.
Check out these leading online sites for Accuplacer Practice Tests. Navigate our list with ease using these page jumps:
Top Online Sites for Accuplacer Practice Tests
The College Board has launched a web-based app that includes practice tests for subject areas like Elementary Algebra, Arithmetic, Sentence Skills, and Reading Comprehension. The site can be accessed across various devices such as computers, tablets, and even smartphones. This app allows them to familiarize themselves with the content areas covered by the AccuPlacer test.
The features of the site include:
- “Learn as You Go” tests
- Sample Tests
- The ability to save their work and process, which they can go back to later to resume their practice.
- Being able to review their score history so they will know their areas of strengths and weaknesses
The app is supported by the following browsers: Google Chrome 22.x or later, Safari 6.0.x, Firefox 16.0.x, and Internet Explorer 8.0.x or later. This app is also supported by IOS version 5.0 or later and Android 5.0 or later.
This app follows the format of the real AccuPlacer tests! Students can also get immediate feedback with answer explanations. If students find it cumbersome to install the app or access the site through their browsers, they can also download and use the free sample question from the College Board site. These documents are in PDF format.
A free resource from a group of educators, Test-Guide.com, gives out free AccuPlacer practice tests to help students do well on their assessment exam. Their practice tests feature questions and answers that show students the areas they need to give attention to. Their sample questions also follow the same format as the real AccuPlacer test, which comes in handy to give students the exam process’ feel.
Aside from the practice tests and practice questions, students can also avail of additional free AccuPlacer practice tests from other credible sources.
This site provides free practice questions to students preparing for the AccuPlacer test. These practice questions are categorized according to subject areas, which include Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra, and Statistics, and many more. All of these are free. However, those who need to review the material and understand the types of questions they will likely face on the real test can Accuplacer Practice Pack with a starting price of $69 for a premium subscription.
Mometrix’s Practice Test page contains links to the set of questions for each subject area. The site can be accessed through the browser. Just like other practice tests, it also gives out questions in multiple-choice format. While the practice tests are free, they are also quite short, with only 15 questions for some subject areas. Students who want to see what the exam will be like can certainly benefit from this. The site offers a chance to upgrade to their best study guide and flashcards, which gives a more in-depth take to questions.
Another site that offers free practice tests is the Varsity Tutors. Committed to personalized instructions, the company uses innovative learning technology to highly-credentialed experts to provide the best service. Their AccuPlacer practice tests are free. They provide a run-through of the most commonly asked questions and detailed scoring results at the end of the practice test. The scoring will help students identify their areas of strengths and weaknesses. Their practice tests are divided into four subject areas, namely Sentence Skills, Reading Comprehension, Arithmetic, and Elementary Algebra.