Accuplacer – An online, computer-adaptive test

What kind of questions are on the test

Reading Comprehension (20 Questions of two types)

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.

Sentence Skills (20 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.

Essay (60 minutes to plan, write, review and revise a five paragraph, 400-600 word persuasive essay)

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 is 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

Arithmetic (17 Questions divided into three primary categories)

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 (12 Questions divided into three categories)

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.

College-Level Math (20 questions divided into five categories)

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, and logarithmic and trigonometric functions.