What is the Accuplacer Test? (2020 Updated)

Last updated 11/2020

Are you applying for college or university and need to take the Accuplacer test as part of your registration process? If so, this Accuplacer study guide will answer your questions, and show you how best to prepare for your exam.

What is the Accuplacer test?

The Accuplacer Test, distributed by the College Board, is an exam used for college placement. More than 1,500 institutions employ this exam as a component of their process of enrollment. The exam aims to measure the strengths and weaknesses of a prospective student, in certain subject areas. Technical schools and colleges use the Accuplacer exam results to assign you to courses they deem appropriate. They will also take your aims and academic background into consideration.

The questions on the Accuplacer exam are multiple-choice. The exception being the WritePlacer section which involves an essay question. The Accuplacer test is computer-adaptive. This means, the complexity of the questions varies in response to your answers and thus your level of skill. If you get a lot of questions right, you will be presented with harder questions.

The following sub-tests make up the Accuplacer test:

  • Writing (25 questions)
  • Reading (20 questions)
  • Arithmetic (20 questions)
  • WritePlacer (1 written essay question)
  • Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra, & Statistics (20 questions)
  • Advanced Algebra & Functions (20 questions)

There are no time limits for any of these subtests.

The Accuplacer Test Registration Process

Accuplacer tests are administered by colleges, universities, and high-schools.

High School Accuplacer Registration
High schools that employ the Accuplacer exam, make a time for students to complete their test. The Accuplacer test may be given to students after they get their standardized marks on their SAT or ACT.

University or College Accuplacer Registration There are several ways a student can organize to take the Accuplacer tests at university or a college. The particular way of registering will vary according to the school where the prospective student plans to complete the exam.

  • Walk-in-registration: Some universities and colleges let students take their Accuplacer tests during scheduled testing times. These times may be posted on the website of the postsecondary institution. Students must turn up to the test during the open testing hours and must make sure they set aside enough time to complete the test.
  • Online registration: Some universities and colleges employ online registration methods to schedule the Accuplacer exam. In these cases, registration forms will be available via their websites. Students can schedule a time and date for a certain Accuplacer test.
  • Email or phone registration: In some cases, a university or a college will not have the exam registration form or drop-in test times published on its website. In such cases, you will need to contact the school and arrange a time to complete the exam. Often the best way to do this is via phone or email.

The 5 Sections of the Accuplacer Test

Reading Test

The reading test measures how well a student can interpret and decipher meaning from a variety of tests. They will need to understand the meaning of phrases and words in various contexts. The passages that appear on the exam, address a range of writing modes, content topics, and levels of difficulty. The test includes both paired and single passages. The reading test measure four general skill and knowledge areas:

  • Vocabulary
  • Synthesis
  • Information and Ideas
  • Rhetoric

Writing Test

The writing test assesses a student’s capacity to edit and revise a multi-paragraph section of text. The questions on this test address two general areas of knowledge and skill. Each of these skill areas contains 3 subtopics:

  • The ‘expression of ideas’ area – includes organization, development, and effective language employment.
  • The ‘standard English conventions’ area – includes sentence usage, structure, and punctuation.

Math Tests

The Arithmetic exam includes order of operations, computations, estimation and rounding, identifying equivalent values across formats, and comparing and ordering values in various formats. The exam measures the following skill and knowledge areas:

  • Number Comparisons and Equivalents
  • Decimal Operations
  • Percent
  • Whole Number Operations
  • Fraction Operations

The Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra, and Statistics (QAS) Test

The QAS measure the following skills and knowledge areas:

  • Linear Equations
  • Linear Applications and Graphs
  • Probability Sets
  • Rational numbers
  • Descriptive Statistics
  • Geometry Concepts
  • Ratio and Proportional Relationships
  • Exponents
  • Algebraic Expressions

The Advanced Algebra and Functions (AAF) Test

The AAF exam measures the following areas of skill and knowledge:

  • Polynomial Equations
  • Functions
  • Linear Equations
  • Linear Applications and Graphs
  • Factoring
  • Quadratics
  • Exponential and Logarithmic Equations
  • Trigonometry
  • Radical and Rational Equations

WritePlacer Essay

As well as the multiple-choice question-based tests, Accuplacer has a WritePlacer test. Universities may use your WritePlacer and WritePlacer ESL scores together with your other Accuplacer exam scores to place you into developmental, college-level, and/or English as a second language subject courses. In the WritePlacer test, you will need to write an essay in response to one of the several prompts provided by the Accuplacer system. You will then need to enter your essay into an onscreen text box and submit it, to receive a score.

The most effective way to ace the PERT test is to practice using mock PERT exams and questions. To further enhance your test score it is also suggested that you take a total PERT prep course – such as that provided by Prepterminal. When you take a specific prep course you will learn the format and structure of this psychometric test. You will also see which question types you know how to solve and which question types you have difficulty answering. This way you can develop your weaker areas and improve your test score.

Prepterminals preparatory PERT course includes both written and video guides. No matter how you learn, we have you covered! Our in-depth course also features practice tests with full detailed answer explanations. By reading through the explanations you will learn the best way to tackle all question types.

Accuplacer Scoring

It is important that you keep in mind that there are no failing Accuplacer scores. Likewise, there is no passing Accuplacer score. Rather, you will get an Accuplacer score that reflects your individual knowledge and skill level. This score will then be used by the university or school you are applying to, to place you into a course that is right for your current skill level.

Why You Need to Practice for the Accuplacer Test

The aim of the Accuplacer Placement test is to measure your understanding of the English and math ideas you learned at high-school. Your Accuplacer Placement test score result will determine which courses you will need to take at college or university. If you don’t achieve a good score on your Acculplacer test, you may end up in a remedial English or math class. This may mean that you will need to go over material you learned in high-school.

We, at Prepterminal, have created several practice tests to help you score high on your Accuplacer test. Check out our reading and writing quizzes to test your current level. We have also developed a math quiz that covers algebra and arithmetic.

Prepterminal’s Accuplacer Prep Course

Prepterminal has created a preparatory Accuplacer course. Our course will help you review the material, and understand the sorts of questions, that will likely appear on the real Accuplacer test. Our course includes 400 practice materials, written and video guides on all Accuplacer test sections. When you choose to prepare with Prepterminal you will save money and time that you may otherwise waste on remedial level courses.

*Note: Accuplacer and other trademarks are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of the trademark holders are affiliated with PrepTerminal or this website.

What is the Accuplacer Test? (2020 Updated)

Last updated 11/2020

Are you applying for college or university and need to take the Accuplacer test as part of your registration process? If so, this Accuplacer study guide will answer your questions, and show you how best to prepare for your exam.

Accuplacer Prep Course

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  • Over 400 practice items
  • 5 Arithmetic Guides
  • 5 Arithmetic Question Banks
  • 9 Algebra QAS Guides
  • 9 Algebra QAS Question Banks
  • 7 Advanced Algebra & Functions Guides
  • 7 Advanced Algebra & Functions Question Banks
  • 1 Reading Guide
  • 3 Reading Question Banks
  • 5 Writing Guides
  • 17 Writing Question Banks