How are students placed into English 0890 or 1000?

Like with math classes, your English placement depends on either your ACT or SAT scores, your transfer credits, or the score you receive on the Accuplacer Test. Many of our students need to take the Accuplacer but are often confused about why they need to take it, how to take it, what their score means, and how to get a better score. Below are answers to the questions we frequently receive about the Accuplacer test.


Below are answers to the following commonly asked questions about the Accuplacer Test:

  1. What is the Accuplacer?
  2. Do I Need to Take the Accuplacer?
  3. How Do I Take the Accuplacer?
  4. What Knowledge Does the Accuplacer Test Assess?
  5. Should I Study for the Accuplacer?
  6. What Does My Score Mean?
  7. What if I Think My Placement is Incorrect?

 Logo for the college board accuplacer

What is the Accuplacer?

The Accuplacer Test is one of the tools that Utah Valley University uses to place students in the best starting writing and math courses.

The Department of Literacies and Composition does not administer or have control of Accuplacer testing. If you have specific questions about the test, follow the links below or contact Testing Services.

You can learn more about UVU's placement testing and the Accuplacer itself by visiting Testing Services' Placement Testing Webpage and/or Accuplacer Webpage.


Do I Need to Take the Accuplacer?

In order to register for your first writing and math courses at UVU, you will need either:
a) ACT or SAT scores (usually submitted as part of your application
b) Transfer credit for college level Math and English
c) An Accuplacer score
So, if you have never taken the ACT or SAT, and don't have transfer credit for both Math and English, you will need to take the Accuplacer before registering for classes.


How Do I Take the Accuplacer?

For the most up-to-date information on when, where, and how to take the Accuplacer, visit the Testing Services website.


What Knowledge Does the Accuplacer Test Assess?

Take a look at the following web page, "Help for Taking the Accuplacer," developed by Academic Standards, to learn more about what kinds of questions you'll see on the Accuplacer and how to prepare for them.


Should I Study for the Accuplacer?

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! Especially since the Accuplacer determines how many Math and English classes you will need to take, getting the best score possible can save you A LOT of time and money.

Academic advisers must follow UVU's guidelines in placing you into courses based on your Accuplacer score, so only getting a better score can change your placement. And, since the Accuplacer can be re-taken multiple times (for an additional fee), studying can make a big difference in getting the score that best reflects your abilities.


Luckily, Testing Services has developed a list of resources to help you prepare for the Accuplacer. Two of the most commonly used resources are:


 In addition, here is some of the most important things you should know about the Accuplacer before taking it:

  • The entire Accuplacer test is taken on a computer. Your typical paper/pencil test taking strategies are not applicable on a computer. Plan multiple strategies to deal with this difference.
  • You cannot return to previous problems, so take your time on every problem.
  • The tests are not timed, so go at your own pace and allow at least an hour to take the each section.
  • Read every problem carefully. Some questions have multiple parts. Do not go on to the next question until you’re sure about the answer.
  • You cannot skip questions, so make sure to answer every question carefully.
  • The Accuplacer placement tests are adaptive tests. Therefore, your next questions are based on your previous answers.  The tests adapt to your answers to give you harder or easier questions. You actually want harder questions because that means you are scoring into a higher class and saving time and money.
  • If you require test accommodations due to a documented disability, please contact the testing center for information concerning your needs. Appropriate and current documentation are required.


What Does My Score Mean?

Your score on the Accuplacer test will determine which English and Math classes you can register for (this happens automatically). Here is a chart that explains how your Accuplacer score translates into your course placement.

In terms of English classes, it will determine whether you start in one of Literacies and Composition's courses (ENGH 0890 or ENGH 1000) or The English Department's beginner course: ENGH 1010.

You should not take your score as a statement about how smart, capable, or prepared you are as a college student. The Accuplacer only tests a very specific set of skills and knowledge, and all students test differently. Your experience in your first Writing Course will give you a much better idea of where you knowledge and abilities stand.


What if I Think My Placement is Incorrect?

Standardized tests like the ACT or the Accuplacer, can’t always fully assess what a student really knows.  If the ACT and/or Accuplacer places you in English 0890, but you believe you should be in English 1000, you have two options:  you can retake the Accuplacer tests, hoping to get better scores, or you can take the departmental “challenge” test that consists of reading an article and writing an essay in response to that article. 

If you wish to challenge your English placement, you must do so before a semester starts or within the first week of a semester.  If you retake the Accuplacer tests and get higher scores, you may have to wait until the following semester to get into the higher class.