Helps for Taking ACCUPLACER
From "collegeboard.com," maker of the ACCUPLACER exam:
You can also download the PDF of this information.
Computer Adaptive Testing
ACCUPLACER is an adaptive test. This means that the questions are chosen for you on
the basis of your answers to previous questions. This technique selects just the right
questions for your ability level. Because the test works this way, you must answer
every question when it is first given. Each test is untimed so that you can give each
question as much thought as you wish. You can change your answer to a particular question
before moving on to the next question, but you cannot leave a question out or come
back to it later to change your answer.
If you do not know the answer to a question, try to eliminate one or more of the choices.
Then pick from the remaining choices.
The multiple-choice tests are untimed
Tips for Taking ACCUPLACER
1. Relax! ACCUPLACER was designed to help you succeed in college. Your score helps
you and your advisor determine which courses are most appropriate for your current
level of knowledge and skills. Once you identify your academic strengths and needs,
you can get the help you need to improve underdeveloped skills before they can interfere
with your learning.
2. You will be able to concentrate better on the test if you get plenty of rest and
eat properly prior to the test. You should also arrive a few minutes early so you
can find the testing area, bathrooms, etc., and gather your thoughts before the test
3. Pay careful attention to directions, and be sure you understand the directions
before you begin each test.
4. You should understand that this is an adaptive test. Questions are chosen for you
on the basis of your answers to previous questions. Because the test works this way,
you must answer every question; you may change the answer on a particular question
before you have moved ahead to another question.
5. If you do not know the answer to a question, try to eliminate one or more of the
6. Remember to bring a picture I.D.
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
There are 20 Sentence Skills questions of two types.
- 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.
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,
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.
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.
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 positive and negative rational numbers, 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
College Level Math Test
There are 20 questions on the College-Level Mathematics.
The College-Level Mathematics test assesses from intermediate algebra through precalculus.
Algebraic operations include simplifying rational algebraic expressions, factoring,
expanding polynomials, and manipulating roots and exponents.
Solutions of equations and inequalities include the solution of linear and quadratic
equations and inequalities, equation systems and other algebraic equations.
Coordinate geometry includes plane geometry, the coordinate plane, straight lines,
conics, sets of points in the plane, and graphs of algebraic functions.
Applications and other algebra topics ask about complex numbers, series and sequences,
determinants, permutations and combinations, fractions, and word problems.
The last category, functions and trigonometry, presents questions about polynomials,
algebraic, exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions.
Cost: Cost is free the first time you take the exam and $10 per each section you retake.
You may retake it one week after the first time you have taken it. You may take it
only once a semester after that.
You may take each section separately, but you will have to ask to do so. Generally,
the Reading and Sentence Skills portion will be given together. You may opt to also
take the Math portion at the same time, or come back and take it later.
ACCUPLACER Exam Secrets, Study Guide: The Reserve Library (first floor of the library)
has 4 copies that may be checked out from 4 hours – 48 hours. There are copies inside
the Math Lab, our office (LC-405Q) that can be used inside the math/peer tutoring
lab or our office. There will soon be more. It can be purchased at UVU bookstore for
about $48 + tax.
The copy center: The copy center has materials for the old DRP and COMPASS writing
exams that are helpful.
- Free Download: 50-page study Guide: (We think this study guide is very helpful.)