ACCUPLACER® Next Generation Math Tests: Very Different Animals

In January 2019, the classic version of the ACCUPLACER tests was phased out and all test-takers were required to take the Next Generation version.

The classic ACCUPLACER® math tests were:

  • Arithmetic
  • Elementary Algebra
  • College-level Math

The Next Generation ACCUPLACER®* math tests are:

What Are the Major Differences?

The Next Generation tests are computer-based and the use of hand-held calculators is not allowed. The test screen will provide a calculator for the questions that require one. The College Board provides alternative tests called COMPANION for cases and individuals where computer testing cannot be used. The use of calculators on these varies depending on which test is taken.

The content covered in each of these new tests is targeted for students with varying choices of career path. From the Next Generation Arithmetic test, which covers very basic math abilities that would be required of someone in just about any occupation, to the Next Generation AAF test, that covers the most advanced math content that would be required of someone majoring in a math field. Let’s take a look at each of these new tests.

The Next Generation Arithmetic Test

This one measures the most basic math skills that might be required in just about any job and in daily life. It assesses a person’s ability to do arithmetic computations and solve problems in a real-world context. One of the objectives of this test is to assess the ability to perform calculations without a calculator, so students should be prepared to do simple calculations manually and be familiar with multiplication and other basic math facts. The test covers computation, order of operations, equivalent values, comparing values, ordering values, and problem-solving in the following topic areas:

  • Whole number operations
  • Fraction operations
  • Decimal operations
  • Percent
  • Number comparisons and equivalents

The Next-Generation Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra, and Statistics (QAS) Test

The QAS test is designed for students who are entering a non-STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) major and those who have not chosen a definite major. Calculators will be available on-screen for selected questions. It assesses fluency with skills, understanding of concepts, and reasoning in real-world applications in the following subject areas:

  • Rational numbers
  • Ratio and proportional relationships
  • Exponents
  • Algebraic expressions
  • Linear equations
  • Linear applications and graphs
  • Probability and sets
  • Descriptive statistics
  • Geometry concepts for Pre-Algebra
  • Geometry concepts for Algebra I

The Next-Generation Advanced Algebra and Functions (AAF) Test

The AAF test is designed for students who are majoring in a STEM field or in certain other fields where advanced mathematics is needed, such as medicine, economics, and accounting. Calculators are available on-screen for selected questions. The test covers understanding of concepts, fluency with skills, and real-world problem-solving in the following topic areas:

  • Linear equations
  • Linear applications and graphs
  • Factoring
  • Quadratics
  • Functions
  • Radical and rational equations
  • Polynomial equations
  • Exponential and logarithmic equations
  • Geometry concepts for Algebra I
  • Geometry concepts for Algebra II
  • Trigonometry

So, before you prepare for an ACCUPLACER® math test, be sure you’re studying the latest version–older preparation materials that are labeled with the old test names won’t give you appropriate practice. Look for “Next Generation” and the right test name and you’ll be on course to a more successful exam day!

ACCUPLACER Next Gen Math Change

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