The Arithmetic section contains 17 questions and measures your ability to perform basic mathematical operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. You may be doing these operations with whole numbers, fractions, mixed numbers, and decimals. There are problems involving percents and estimation. Other problems deal with rate, percent, equivalent fractions, measurement, simple geometry, and dividing a group of things into fractional parts. Some problems involve the application of these concepts (think “story problem”).
The College-Level Mathematics section has 20 questions falling into five categories. Algebraic operation questions deal with simplifying rational expressions, factoring, expanding polynomials, and working with roots and exponents. Questions about equations and inequalities cover finding the solution for linear and quadratic types of each, equation systems, and other algebraic equations. Coordinate geometry areas include plane, the coordinate plane, lines, conics, sets of points in a plane, and graphs of functions. There are questions and word problems about other algebraic concepts, such as complex numbers, series, sequences, permutations, combinations, determinants, and fractions. Lastly, some questions concern polynomials as well as the various types of functions.
The Elementary Algebra section of the ACCUPLACER test contains 12 questions and assesses how well you can do basic operations in algebra with integers, rational numbers, monomials, and polynomials. Also included are questions concerning absolute values, ordering, positive rational roots and exponents, simplifying algebraic fractions, and factoring. Finally, there are problems in which you need to solve linear equations and inequalities, solve verbal problems that are shown in algebraic terms, use geometric reasoning and graphing, and write algebraic expressions for written phrases.
ESL Language Use
The ESL Language Use section measures how well you can use correct grammar in English sentences. There are 20 questions of two different types. The first type requires you to choose the correct form of a word, or words, to use in the blank space in a sentence. The second type asks you to choose the correct form of a complete sentence, including revising the order of the words.
For this test, you have to listen to people speaking in various settings. Then, you will be asked to answer questions about what you heard. There are 20 questions and all of the conversations are in English. Our practice test uses the same audiotape for each 5 questions. The Accuplacer ESL Listening Test is not timed.
ESL Reading Skills
This part of the ACCUPLACER test evaluates your ability to read a short passage, understand it, and answer various types of questions about it. There are 20 questions in this section and the answers range from things stated right in the passage, to things that may just be assumed, based on what the author said. You may have to deal with such concepts as main idea, fact and opinion, vocabulary in a phrase, and applying the author’s point of view.
ESL Sentence Meaning
The ESL Sentence Meaning section tests your ability to read and understand sentences written in English. There are 20 questions in this section of two different types. The first type of question asks you to choose one of four words, or groups of words, to fill in the blank for the sentence to make sense. The other type requires you to answer a question based on information you read in one or two sentences.
Next Generation Advanced Algebra and Functions
This ACCUPLACER® test is designed for students who plan to study in a STEM field or another field that requires a great deal of math, such as medicine or economics. It covers a wide range of higher math skills, including Algebra II concepts and Trigonometry. You’ll need to be able to be conversant in relating equations to their corresponding graphs and relying on theorems to solve problems.
Next Generation Arithmetic
This is the most basic of the ACCUPLACER® Next Generation Math tests. It assesses the most commonly used math operations and number formats. The questions require you to do only math procedures that might be required in daily life or while performing the duties required of an employee in any career. There are a few “real life” problems (read: “word problems”) but most of the questions contain either a simple equation to solve or one question to answer.
NOTE: Be sure you are preparing for the right test. ACCUPLACER may also currently offer a test called the ACCUPLACER Arithmetic Test, without the “Next Generation” designation in the title. It is a slightly different test, requiring somewhat different preparation.
Next Generation Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra, and Statistics
Students who are entering a field of study that is not part of the STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) curriculum or who have not decided on a field of study will take this math test. It assesses higher-level skills than the ACCUPLACER®Next Generation Arithmetic test, but most of them are still pretty basic for life in today’s world. You will be required to thoroughly understand graphs and basic components of Algebra I and Geometry.
Next Generation Reading
The ACCUPLACER® Next Generation Reading test (new form of the ACCUPLACER Reading Comprehension test) assesses your ability to read and understand text in various genres: literature, as well as nonfiction literature, social sciences, and natural science. You also need to be able use what is explicitly written to form summaries and draw conclusions. Finally, you will be asked to compare and contrast two texts written about the same subject. All the information you need is in the passage, so you need not have any prior knowledge about the subject.
Next Generation Writing
The ACCUPLACER® Next Generation Writing test is a new form of the ACCUPLACER Sentence Skills test, but assesses editing skills in entire paragraphs and passages, as well as those pertaining to single sentences. This test assesses your ability to proofread and edit the writing of another person, revising it in the areas of clarity, effectiveness, usage, and grammar. Unlike the Sentence Skills test, which uses only single sentences as prompts, all of the questions on this test are based on a written passage of between 300 and 350 words. Passages may be on topics from any of these areas: literary nonfiction, social sciences, humanities, or natural science. No prior knowledge of the subject is required to answer the questions.
The ACCUPLACER Reading Comprehension test measures your ability to read and understand sentences and short passages. There are 20 questions each, of two different types. The first type of question asks you to answer a question about a short reading passage. The question might be answered directly in the passage or you may have to figure out the answer based on what you read. The second type of question asks you to read two sentences and tell how they are related. There are 20-sentence pairs on this test and the two in each pair may be very similar, or very different, in meaning.
There are 20 questions in this section of the ACCUPLACER test. The first type involves choosing the correct order and form of the words in a sentence. The second type of question asks you to choose a phrase to replace a part of a sentence, while keeping the same sentence meaning.
During this ACCUPLACER test, you are given a prompt, or a subject, on which to write. You should plan, write, review, and edit an essay with 300–600 words and containing at least several paragraphs. The essay will be graded in these five areas: Focus, organization, development and support, sentence structure, and mechanical conventions. Note that your essay will not be judged based on which side you took on an issue or on other content matters, but rather on the quality of the writing you provide.
Since you will be writing an essay for this portion of the test, it would seem impossible to write practice questions, BUT, we can give you some practice in proofreading, one of the essential skills required to submit your best writing effort. It is also one of the hardest writing skills to master and any type of practice will help. Our practice questions will help you learn to see common errors in all of the writing skills listed above.