The Accuplacer Test

Sections of the Accuplacer Test Explained

The CollegeBoard organizes the Accuplacer examination to help students get placement in colleges all over the USA. The Accuplacer test scores indicate the strengths and weaknesses of the applicants, which consequently help students, choose the subjects they should major in college. Let us learn more about the Accuplacer test together...

What are the Parts of the Accuplacer Examination?

The first step towards successful preparation, for any examination, is to gather information about its question paper format and the Accuplacer test is no exception to this rule. The following list will help you assess the various sections of the examination thoroughly:

  • Accuplacer Mathematics: As the name of this section suggests, it comprises of questions covering various topics of Mathematics. However, this segment of the Accuplacer test can be further sub-divided into 3 parts, which are as follows:

    • Arithmetic: The Arithmetic sub-section of the examination comprises of questions on topics like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division whole, rational and irrational numbers, as well as, of decimals and fractions. In order to answer the 17 questions of this sub-segment of Accuplacer, you should revise all the topics that you have studied as a part of your grades 7th and 8th math curriculum.

    • Elementary Algebra: This sub-section of the Accuplacer test will evaluate your knowledge of the basic concepts of Algebra and Algebraic formulas. You should revise the procedures for solving linear, simultaneous and quadratic equations, in order to answer the questions correctly. Amongst the 12 problems that you have to solve in the Elementary Algebra sub-section, some of the questions will also involve in-equalities, polynomials and word problems.

    • College-level-math: In this sub-section of the test you will have to solve 20 questions involving topics like, matrices, Co-ordinate Geometry, Trigonometry, probability and expansion of polynomials. Some of the questions of College-level-math will require you to solve Algebraic expressions and pre-Calculus.
  • Accuplacer English: If you want to study in a college of the USA then knowledge of English is mandatory, primarily because the medium of instruction will be in this language. Thus, the CollegeBoard in order to evaluate your prowess in English holds the 3 following types of language tests:

    • Reading Comprehension: This sub-section will evaluate your critical and analytical skills along with your capacity to be able to read passages in English. You will have to study the passages thoroughly, in order to identify the primary theme in them. Some of the questions may even ask you to distinguish between the primary and the supporting themes. This sub-section of the Accuplacer test comprises 20 questions and to answer each of these questions you will have to read 20 different passages.

    • Sentence skills: This sub-part of the examination comprises 20 questions as well. Here your knowledge of structure of sentences and eye for detail in finding grammatical or punctuation errors in statements will be evaluated.

    • WritePlacer (Written Essay): For this sub-section of the Accuplacer, you will have to write an essay or two based on the prompt/prompts given. Ensure that the essay/essays which you write are coherent and your arguments are logically substantiated.
  • English as Second Language (ESL): This part of the Accuplacer is taken by students whose mother-tongue is not English. Here your Reading, Listening and English Language Usage, skills will be assessed. Each of the sub-sections of ESL Accuplacer comprises 20 questions. The type of questions that you will come across in each of these sub-sections are as follows:

    • For the Reading part of ESL, you will have to read short comprehension passages and then answer questions based on these passages.
    • For the Listening part of ESL, you will have to listen to different types of conversations (from commonplace tête-à-tête to classroom lectures) and answer questions based on them.
    • For the English Language Usage part of ESL, you will have to identify the grammatical errors in the statements provided.

The above-mentioned list will help you understand the nature of the various sections of the Accuplacer test. Some other details regarding the test have been discussed below.

Things to Remember While Preparing for the Accuplacer

When you begin preparing for the Accuplacer, there are two important points that you must remember. Firstly, the Accuplacer test is computer adaptive and it comprises multiple-choice questions. However, there is no fixed time limit to complete the examination. Nevertheless, when you practice solving sample Accuplacer question papers, ensure that you do not waste time unnecessarily.

Secondly, there is no negative marking in the Accuplacer test and hence, you will not be penalized if you take a guess. However, this should not make you lax while preparing for the test. You should prepare well and practice hard so that you can provide maximum number of correct answers. This consequently will result in good Accuplacer scores and you will not be required to take any remedial classes. So understand the various sections of the Accuplacer and other features of the test well, because they will help you prepare for the test.

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