Placement Test Preparation FAQs
What should I expect during placement testing?
Please read this overview of what to expect during placement testing. Covered topics include: the purpose of the placement test, tips for preparing before the test, what to bring on testing day, how to navigate the test, how to get your results, and more.
What are the placement testing rules in the Testing Center?
Please determine what items you must bring to the testing center and learn the rules of the testing session. A valid, current photo ID will be required.
Why should I prepare for my placement test?
Research shows practicing sample questions and reviewing your math, writing, and reading materials in advance can significantly improve your performance on the test, and help you enter college at exactly the right course levels to match your abilities and goals. Preparing will also allow you to become familiar with the test, the computer or calculator, and reduce any test anxiety.
You cannot "fail" the placement test, but your scores are important and will determine which classes you will register for in your first semester. Taking the time to prepare for your placement test may result in a higher placement.
How many sections are there in the placement test?
If you're required to take all three parts, the placement test will consist of writing, reading, and math sections.
What can I expect in the writing part of the test?
The writing section is the only section that's timed. You'll receive a prompt and have 50 minutes to write between 300-600 words. The closer you write to 600 words the more likely you'll get a better score. There's a word counter at the bottom left of the screen.
How can I prepare for the writing placement test?
Learn and practice the basics of writing a good essay and other writing skills before taking the placement test with these documents:
- Writing FAQ - PDF
- ACCUPLACER Essay Guide - PDF
- WritePlacer Essay Online Guide - Download the PDF - PDF
What can I expect during the reading part of the test?
You'll have passages to read and answer questions about them. There are 20 multiple choice questions to answer.
Are there sample questions I can go over to prepare for the reading placement test?
- Reading - PDF
What can I expect during the math part of the test?
It will start with 20 multiple choice questions in basic algebra. Depending on your responses, the test could end at the end of the 20 questions. Or you can receive an additional 20 questions in either advanced algebra or arithmetic.
Are there sample questions I can go over to prepare for the math placement test?
- The math placement test will start with basic algebra so start with these practice questions: Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra, and Statistics - PDF
- To study advanced algebra: Advanced Algebra - PDF
- To study arithmetic go over: Arithmetic - PDF
Can I use a calculator or paper and pencil?
A calculator is available on the screen during portions of the math test. You can use paper and pencil during the math test or any other part of the test.
What if I'm an ESL student?
If English is your second language and you find some questions difficult, here are some sample ESL questions to practice:
- ESL Reading - PDF
Is there an app that I can use to help prepare?
Yes, you can download the ACCUPLACER Study App. This is an interactive practice test/study app available for your phone, tablet, or computer for a small fee, which will help you prepare for the test.