ACCUPLACER Practice Test

A Test Preparation for the Accuplacer

What is the Accuplacer Test?

The Accuplacer is a set of placement tests or diagnostic tests that help measure whether post-secondary students have the academic skills and knowledge required to begin with college-level courses. It is an integrated system that determines whether candidates have the basic core skills needed for any course. Also, compared to the other standardized tests, it is not part of the admissions process.

What is the Next Generation Accuplacer?

As of January 28, 2019, the Accuplacer test has been replaced with the Next Generation test. It redesigned a lot of the elements in the original Accuplacer assessments. The following are the significant changes made to the program:

  • The Reading Comprehension test has been replaced with Next Generation Reading. Additional questions, such as paired passages, vocabulary, and literary passages, were introduced. 
  • The Sentence Skills test has been replaced with Next Generation Writing. Improvements have been made, such as changing a discrete-question basis to a set basis. There was also more focus given on effective use of language, organization and development.0
  • The content of the Math placement tests has been aligned. Also, the Arithmetic test has been replaced with Next Generation Arithmetic. Elementary Algebra has been replaced with Next-Generation Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra, and Statistics. Lastly, College-Level Math has been replaced with Next Generation Advanced Algebra and Functions.

The Next Generation Accuplacer tests are created so that there would be better identification of the skill levels of the students. The purpose of redefining the tests is to make the program suit the requests of current and potential users. Moreover, all the changes that were made are based on active research. 

Format and Content Outline

What subjects are on the Accuplacer test?

The original Accuplacer has 10 computer-adaptive tests. All of them are in the multiple-choice format except for the WriterPlacer. Moreover, the level of difficulty of the questions will depend on the number of answers that will be correctly answered by the candidates.

Accuplacer Test Number of Questions
Arithmetic 17 questions
College-Level Math 20 questions
Elementary Algebra  12 questions
Reading Comprehension  20 questions
Sentence Skills  20 questions
WritePlacer  Written Essay
ESL-Language Use 20 questions
ESL-Listening 20 questions
ESL-Reading Skills  20 questions
ESL-Sentence Meaning  20 questions

1, Arithmetic – This test determines the students’ knowledge of basic arithmetic equations, concepts, and other operations. 

 Types of Accuplacer Arithmetic Questions:

  1. Operations with whole numbers – the topics contained are multiplication, subtraction, division and addition, and fractions.
  2. Operations with decimals and percents – the topics contained are decimals with multiplication, subtraction, division, and addition; recognizing decimals, problems involving percent and estimation; and percent and fraction equivalencies.
  3. Applications and problem solving – the topics contained are problems involving measurement, simple geometry, percent, fractional parts, and rate.

2. College-Level Math – This test determines the students’ knowledge of mathematical concepts at the college level.  

5 types of Accuplacer College-Level Math Questions:  

  1. Algebra operations – the topics contained are factoring, roots and exponents, rational algebraic expressions, and polynomials.
  2. Solutions of equations and inequalities – the topics contained are equation systems, linear and quadratic equations, inequalities, and other algebraic equations.
  3. Coordinate geometry – the topics contained are straight lines, graphs of algebraic functions, coordinated plane, conics, and plane geometry, among others.
  4. Applications and other algebra topics – the topics contained are permutations and combinations, complex numbers, word problems, and fractions.
  5. Functions and trigonometry – the topics contained are logarithmic and trigonometric functions, polynomials, and algebraic exponentials. 

3. Elementary Algebra – This test determines the students’ knowledge of problem-solving involving elementary algebraic concepts and other basic algebraic operations.

3 Types of Accuplacer Elementary Algebra Questions:

  1. Operations with integers and rational numbers – the topics contained are negative rationals, ordering, absolute values, and integers.
  2. Operations with algebraic expressions – the topics contained are division, multiplication, addition, and subtraction of monomials and polynomials; evaluation of exponents and positive rational roots; and simplification of algebraic fractions.
  3. Solution of equations, inequalities, and word problems – the topics contained are solving problems involving quadratic equations by factoring, geometric reasoning, and graphing, linear equations and inequalities, etc.

4. Reading Comprehension – The test will determine the students’ knowledge of understanding text, distinguishing statements and ideas, identifying the main ideas, and making inferences.

5. Sentence Skills – The test will determine the students’ knowledge of sentence structure, and logic, and the relationship between sentences.

6. WriterPlacer – The test will determine the students’ knowledge of making a coherent, unified, and well-written essay. It must have the following characteristics:

  1. Focus – The essay must clearly show the main idea or point of view.
  2. Organization – The essay must clearly show the structure and logical sequence of the ideas.
  3. Development and Support – The essay must show the elaboration of ideas and presentation of supporting details.
  4. Sentence Structure – The essay must show how effective the sentence structure is.
  5. Mechanical Structure – The essay must show correct gramma,r and it is free of errors. 
  6. English-As-A-Second Language (ESL) Language Use – The test will determine the students’ proficiency in correct English grammar usage.

7. English-As-A-Second Language (ESL) Listening – The test will determine the students’ ability to listen and 8. comprehend English conversations.

9. English-As-A-Second Language (ESL) Reading Skills – The test will determine the students’ reading comprehension of English short passages.

10 English-As-A-Second Language (ESL) Sentence Meaning – The test will determine the students’ comprehension of the meaning of English sentences. 

What subjects are on the Next Generation Accuplacer test?

As previously mentioned, the Next Generation Accuplacer test is the redesigned version. It has a multiple-choice format, and it utilizes the computer-adaptive system. Moreover, the ELS tests are the only ones that remained unchanged and are similar to the original.   

Next Generation Reading Placement Test
Content Area Number of Questions
Information and Ideas  7 to 11 questions
Rhetoric 7 to 11 questions
Synthesis 2 questions
Vocabulary  2 to 4 questions
Next Generation Writing Placement Test
Content Area Number of Questions
Expression of Ideas 14 to 16 questions
Standard English Conventions 9 to 11 questions
Next Generation Arithmetic Placement Test
Content Area Number of Questions
Whole number operations  3 to 5 questions
Fraction operations 3 to 5 questions
Decimal operations 3 to 5 questions
Percent  3 to 5 questions
Number comparisons and equivalents  3 to 5 questions
Next Generation Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra, and Statistics Placement Test
Rational numbers 1 to 3 questions
Ratio and proportional relationships 3 to 4 questions
Exponents 2 to 3 questions
Algebraic expressions 2 to 3 questions
Linear equations 2 to 4 questions
Linear applications and graphs 2 to 4 questions
Probability and sets 1 to 3 questions
Descriptive statistics 1 to 3 questions
Geometry concepts for Pre-Algebra 1 to 2 questions
Geometry concepts for Algebra 1  1 to 2 questions
Next Generation Advanced Algebra and Functions Placement Test
Linear equations 2 to 3 questions
Linear applications and graphs 2 to 3 questions
Factoring 1 to 2 questions
Quadratics  2 to 3 questions
Functions  2 to 4 questions
Radical and rational equations 1 to 3 questions
Polynomial equations 1 to 3 questions
Exponential and logarithmic equations 1 to 3 questions
Geometry concepts for Algebra 1 1 to 2 questions
Geometry concepts for Algebra 2 1 to 2 questions
Trigonometry  1 to 3 questions

What is a good score on the Accuplacer test?

For the Accuplacer, the scoring system for each test is the same. You cannot necessarily pass or fail the test. But, your Accuplacer scores are used so that universities can measure your academic skills and place you in the appropriate college-level course. Also, all of the tests have a scaled score range of 20 to 120. Except for the WriterPlacer, which has a 1 to 8.    

How long is the Accuplacer test? 

The Accuplacer is untimed, but most often, it can be done in approximately 90 minutes. The WriterPlacer test may also be timed. It all depends on your school’s policies.

How to prepare for college placement tests such as the Accuplacer?

According to the Accuplacer Secrets Study Guide, there are study strategies you can follow that can help you get good Accuplacer test scores:

Study Strategy #1: You need to scan your study materials and rate the most important ones. You need to cover a lot of content, so you need to prioritize. You need to prepare in advance, but if your time is constricted, it is crucial that you make the most out of what you have. You can make study plans that’ll help you go over the materials by dividing the chapters and allocating a time limit. 

Study Strategy #2: You need to prepare the tools that you use for studying, such as highlighters, notes, laptops, and flashcards. All students have their own way of studying. That’s why you need to make use of tools that’ll make learning easier for you. There are also different types of learners, so if you are visual learners, you need to jot down your summary of what you have learned. On the other hand, if you are an auditory learner, you can record yourself and listen to it for review.

Study Strategy #3: You need to stay as far away from distractions as you can. It can be tempting to lay in bed or use your phone, but as much as possible, avoid those. You can try to study in an environment that will help you concentrate. You can go to the library or a cafe, for example. You can also leave your phone behind or turn it off. You mustn’t risk getting distracted; otherwise, you won’t get anything done.

Study Strategy #4: You should take Accuplacer practice tests such as Accuplacer Math practice tests and Accuplacer Reading practice tests. This a repeating advice for test-takers, but it is vital nonetheless. With its help, you’ll know the test format and the exam structure. You’ll also know what type of questions will be asked. Lastly, you’ll be able to gauge what your strengths and weaknesses are. 

You can try some of these Accuplacer practice questions derived from the book mentioned as a sample exercise:

Reading Comprehension

You must choose the best answer to the question or the best statement to complete it.

  • Coffee is the most popular beverage in the entire world, and it is estimated that about 80% of Americans drink coffee. 

According to a recent study, about 85% of North Americans drink soda, making it the most popular drink worldwide.

 What does the second sentence do?

  1. It makes a contrast.
  2. It gives an example.
  3. It supports the first.
  4. It contradicts the first.

College-Level Math

  • One root of a certain real polynomial is ? − ??. Which of the following must also be a root of this polynomial?
  1. 0
  2. −2? 
  3. 3 + 2? 
  4. −3 + 2?
  5. 2 − 3?

Sentence Skills

You must choose the best version of the part of the sentence that is underlined. 

  • Although most persons prefer traditional pets like cats and dogs, others gravitate towards exotic animals like snakes and lizards.
  1. Although most persons
  2. Because most people
  3. While most people
  4. Maybe some persons


  • Which of the following is the best estimate for ??. ????? ÷ ?. ????
  1. 16
  2. 20

Study Strategy #5: You should use or make your own Accuplacer study guide. You should have your summarized notes or study materials so you can have something to review. Study guides are convenient because everything that you need to know is there. It contains all the main information, and you can just scan it when you need to remember a certain topic.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is TSI and Accuplacer the same thing?   

No. The TSI or the Texas Success Initiative is a state-required test, unlike the Accuplacer, where you can opt not to take it. Although both can be similar since they are also used for placement and diagnostic tests, they differ in the format and the exam structure. 

How many questions are on the Accuplacer?

The number of questions varies, but it can have at least 12 to 40 questions for each Accuplacer test. 

How many times can I take the Accuplacer placement tests?

It depends. You can take the test in high school and college. Also, depending on the institution, some only allow one retake while others allow more. 

How long do the Accuplacer results take?

Since it is a computer-adaptive test, you can receive your score reports after the exam. 

Can you fail the Accuplacer test?

No, you cannot. The College Board developed the Accuplacer for the purpose of helping schools and colleges assess students’ academic skill levels and knowledge. 

Can I use a calculator on the math portion of the ACCUPLACER test?

No, you cannot. But on-screen calculators would be provided in certain questions.

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