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About the Placement Test

The ACCUPLACER Placement Test is administered on computers at the testing site on campus. The Placement Test consists of three areas: writing, reading, and math. 

For placement prep resources please visit our Tutorials and Tips page. 

    1. THE ESSAY – You will be given 40 minutes to write an essay on a given topic. Your essay should consist of an introductory paragraph with a clearly stated and appropriate thesis, three to five paragraphs of adequate support and an appropriate concluding paragraph. Your essay will be evaluated in terms of development, unity, coherence, clarity/logic, correct grammar and usage, spelling, punctuation and other proper mechanics.

    2. READING COMPREHENSION – You will be asked 20 questions that measure how well you understand what you read. Some questions ask for the relationship between sentences. Others ask for the main ideas, details, and inferences.

    3. MATH – You will take tests in two areas: Elementary Algebra and College-level Mathematics.

      ELEMENTARY ALGEBRA: You will be asked 12 questions that measure your ability to perform basic algebraic operations and solve problems involving elementary algebraic concepts. There are three types of Elementary Algebra questions:

      • Operations with integers and rational numbers: topics include working with integers and negative rationals, using absolute values, and ordering.
      • Operations with algebraic expressions: topics include evaluating simple formulas and expressions, adding and subtracting monomials and polynomials, multiplying and dividing monomials and polynomials, evaluating positive rational roots and exponents, simplifying algebraic fractions, and factoring.
      • Solving equations, inequalities, word problems: topics include solving linear equations and inequalities, solving quadratic equations by factoring, solving verbal problems presented in an algebraic context, including geometric reasoning and graphing, and translating written phrases into algebraic expressions.

      COLLEGE-LEVEL MATHEMATICS (CLM) – You will be asked 20 questions that measure your ability to solve problems that involve college-level mathematics concepts from intermediate algebra through pre-calculus. There are five types of College-Level Math questions:

      • Algebraic operations: topics include simplifying rational algebraic expressions, factoring, expanding polynomials, and manipulating roots and exponents.
      • Solving equations and inequalities: topics include solving linear and quadratic equations and inequalities, equation systems and other algebraic equations.
      • Coordinate geometry: topics include plane geometry, the coordinate plane, straight lines, conics, sets of points in the plane, and graphs of algebraic functions.
      • Applications and other algebra topics: topics include complex numbers, series and sequences, determinants, permutations and combinations, fractions and word problems.
      • Functions and trigonometry: topics include polynomials, algebraic, exponential, and logarithmic and trigonometric functions.

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