The Accuplacer is a computerized, adaptive assessment that many colleges use for placement purposes. There are either 4 or 5 sections, depending on the institution. They include:  reading comprehension, sentence skills, arithmetic, algebra, and writing (optional).  The results are immediate, and the test is un-timed.  This test is often used to determine whether students are placed in credit bearing courses or developmental courses (required but not counted for credit) at the college level. Check with individual institutions for cut-off scores and placement policies.


Study Guide:

Please access the Accuplacer Study Guide here (also available as an app through iTunes).

Accuplacer Sample Questions for Students.

Additional Accuplacer Study Tool. 

ACCUPLACER Tests...Taken directly from the College Board Website.

The placement tests may consist of:

  • Answering questions covering reading, mathematics, writing and language use skills
  • Writing an essay on a familiar topic
  • All questions are multiple choice, except the essay

Sentence Skills:

There are 20 Sentence Skills questions of two types.

  • The first type is sentence correction questions that require an understanding of sentence structure. These questions ask you to choose the most appropriate word or phrase to substitute for the underlined portion of the sentence.
  • The second type is construction shift questions. These questions ask that a sentence be rewritten according to the criteria shown while maintaining essentially the same meaning as the original sentence.

Within these two primary categories, the questions are also classified according to the skills being tested. Some questions deal with the logic of the sentence, others with whether or not the answer is a complete sentence, and still others with the relationship between coordination and subordination.

Reading Comprehension:

There are 20 questions of two primary types on the Reading Comprehension test.

  • The first type consists of a reading passage followed by a question based on the text. Both short and long passages are provided. The reading passages can also be classified according to the kind of information processing required including explicit statements related to the main idea, explicit statements related to a secondary idea, application, and inference.
  • The second type of question, sentence relationships, presents two sentences followed by a question about the relationship between these two sentences. The question may ask, for example, if the statement in the second sentence supports that in the first, if it contradicts it, or if it repeats the same information.

Arithmetic Test:

This test measures your ability to perform basic arithmetic operations and to solve problems that involve fundamental arithmetic concepts. There are 17 questions on the Arithmetic tests divided into three types.

  • Operations with whole numbers and fractions: topics included in this category are addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, recognizing equivalent fractions and mixed numbers, and estimating.
  • Operations with decimals and percents: topics include addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division with decimals. Percent problems, recognition of decimals, fraction and percent equivalencies, and problems involving estimation are also given.
  • Applications and problem solving: topics include rate, percent, and measurement problems, simple geometry problems, and distribution of a quantity into its fractional parts.

Elementary Algebra:

A total of 12 questions are administered in this test.

  • The first type involves operations with integers and rational numbers, and includes computation with integers and negative rationals, the use of absolute values, and ordering.
  • A second type involves operations with algebraic expressions using evaluation of simple formulas and expressions, and adding and subtracting monomials and polynomials. Questions involve multiplying and dividing monomials and polynomials, the evaluation of positive rational roots and exponents, simplifying algebraic fractions, and factoring.
  • The third type of question involves the solution of equations, inequalities, word problems. solving linear equations and inequalities, the solution of quadratic equations by factoring, solving verbal problems presented in an algebraic context, including geometric reasoning and graphing, and the translation of written phrases into algebraic expressions.

Written Essay:

This test measures your ability to write effectively, which is critical to academic success.

Your writing sample will be scored on the basis of how effectively it communicates a whole message to the readers for the stated purpose. Your score will based on your ability to express, organize, and support your opinions and ideas, not the position you take on the essay topic. The following five characteristics of writing will be considered:

  • Focus—The clarity with which you maintain your main idea or point of view
  • Organization—The clarity with which you structure your response and present a logical sequence of ideas
  • Development and Support—The extent to which you elaborate on your ideas and the extent to which you present supporting details
  • Sentence Structure—The effectiveness of your sentence structure
  • Mechanical Conventions—The extent to which your writing is free of errors in usage and mechanics


The ACCUPLACER Web-Based Study App

ACCUPLACER Web-Based Study AppAccess hundreds of questions to familiarize yourself with the ACCUPLACER basic content and experience.

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Kara Sprague,
Sep 19, 2016, 9:53 AM