About to Start University in the US? Learn About the ACCUPLACER Test

About to Start University in the US? Learn About the ACCUPLACER Test

Aug 15, 2017
Are you planning on studying in the US? Beginning university in a different country can seem like a very overwhelming task. I am here to help, and explain to you everything you need to know about placement exams in American colleges and universities.  Many community colleges and universities will ask you to take the College Board ACCUPLACER placement test. The ACCUPLACER is a college placement exam designed to assess the primary skills you will need to succeed in college and higher education. It is primarily used to place students into math and English classes, but can also be used for admission purposes. Depending on your college, you may see a different combination of sections. 

What is the Format of the Test?

All the ACCUPLACER tests, aside from the WritePlacer Essay, are computer-based and consist of multiple-choice questions. There are three main sections; math, English, and a written essay. In the math and English tests all the questions are adaptive, meaning they change in level of difficulty based on your response. The ACCUPLACER is an untimed test which can be anywhere from 12 to 40 questions long.

What is Included in the ACCUPLACER Math Section?

The ACCUPLACER Math placement test has three main sections: Arithmetic, Elementary Algebra, and College-Level Math.


The ACCUPLACER Arithmetic consists of 17 questions and evaluates your understanding of basic mathematical operations including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. This section covers questions relating to whole numbers, fractions, decimals, percentages, and ratios.

Elementary Algebra

The ACCUPLACER Elementary Algebra test consists of 12 questions and measures how well you can perform basic operations in algebra. This section tests your proficiency in three main areas: integers and rational numbers; algebraic expressions; and equations, inequalities, and verbal problems.

College Level Math

The ACCUPLACER College-Level Math test consists of 20 questions that measure your ability to solve problems including college level mathematical concepts. This section includes five primary subjects: algebraic operations, equations and inequalities, coordinate geometry, applications, and functions and trigonometry.

For More Detailed Preparation, Check Out This ACCUPLACER Math Practice

What is Included in the ACCUPLACER English Test?

The ACCUPLACER English Placement Test has three main sections; Reading Comprehension, Sentence Skills, and the WritePlacer Essay.

Sentence Skills 
The ACCUPLACER Sentence Skills test consists of 20 questions and measures your English grammar and your understanding of correct sentence structure. There are two forms of questions on the test. The first form requires you to identify the correct grammatical form of specific words within a given sentence. The second requires you to correct a sentence by choosing the accurate substitute.

Reading Comprehension

The ACCUPLACER Reading Comprehension test consists of 20 questions that measure your ability to read, understand, and analyze a text. You will be tested on your ability to identify main ideas and supporting details, identify the relationship between ideas, and think critically about written material.

For More In-Depth Preparation, Check Out Our ACCUPLACER English Practice

ACCUPLACER WritePlacer EssayThe WritePlacer is a written essay which measures how you communicate through writing. It assesses your ability to organize your thoughts, express your opinions, and support your ideas. 

Why Should You Prepare for the ACCUPLACER?
If you don’t score well on your ACCUPLACER exam, you will likely be placed in a course that is not suited for you. You do not want to start off college in the US on the wrong foot. Worse still, you might spend a hefty sum of money in college tuition for a class that is not going to help advance your college trajectory. Start saving time and money today, and take a look at these online practice tests that mimic the format of the actual ACCUPLACER test. Reduce the stress involved in starting college in the US and practice with up-to-date materials before the test date.
Check Out Our ACCUPLACER Premium PrepPack™
  • Three ACCUPLACER English tests (120 questions)
  • 100 additional Reading Comprehension exercises
  • 100 additional Sentence Skills exercises
  • 160 additional grammar exercises
  • Personalized score reports
  • Detailed explanations
  • Immediate online access

This article was contributed by Jennifer Feldman.  She is a speech and language expert and blogger at TestPrep-online.  She specializes in writing about test preparation.
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