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ACCUPLACER Exam Details
The Elementary Algebra Test includes 12 questions that will test your ability to add, divide, multiply, and/or subtract absolute values, integers (positive numbers, 0, and/or negative numbers), monomials, and polynomials; factor; order fractions; simplify equations; solve algebraic equations, including linear equations, graphing, and quadratic equations; and your ability to solve other similar problems.
The Reading Comprehension Test includes 20 multiple-choice questions that will test your ability to read a passage or a pair of sentences and apply the information in the passage, draw a conclusion based on the information in the passage, explain the relationship between the two sentences, explain the meaning or significance of a particular statement in the passage, identify the main idea of the passage, or analyze the sentences or passage in another similar way.
The Written Essay Test, which is also known as the WritePlacer, includes one essay question that will test your ability to create a well-organized essay that supports your answer to the question that the test poses.
The Sentence Skills Test includes 20 multiple-choice questions that will test your ability to correct the sentence problem that the question identifies and/or your ability to rewrite the entire sentence without changing the meaning of the sentence.ACCUPLACER Multiple-Choice Question Tips
- First, before you answer any of the questions, read all of the directions for the test that you are about to take. This is important because the multiple-choice questions on each of the ACCUPLACER Tests are a little bit different, and you may accidently choose the wrong answer to some of the questions if you think the test is looking for something other than what is actually looking for. This is especially important for all of the English language tests, including the Sentence Skills Test, the Reading Comprehension Test, the ESL Reading Skills Test, the ESL Language Use Test, and the ESL Sentence Meaning Test because these tests all have blanks or underlined sections in some of their questions, but each test will want you to do something different with the blanks or underlined information.
- Secondly, if you're trying to answer a math question, read the question very carefully, make the appropriate calculations, and ignore the answer choices until you have come up with your own answer. This will help you to avoid some of the errors that people commonly make when they jump to the first answer that seems to make sense even though there's no way to actually tell if that answer is correct until you actually do the math. If, on the other hand, you're trying to answer an English question, read the question and the answer choices that are available for that question very carefully before you select an answer. Reading the question and all of the answer choices for the English questions first will make it easier to choose the answer that "best" corrects the sentence, "best" completes the sentence, or "best" answers the question about the passage.
- Third, as you're answering the questions, try to ignore the clock and take your time. The average exam-taker will complete each test in 30 to 45 minutes, but there's no time limit on the multiple-choice questions for the ACCUPLACER Tests. In fact, the ACCUPLACER Tests are part of the very small group of exams out there that will actually let you have as much time as you want (within reason.) This means that you can take as much time as you need to answer each question, and there's really no reason to rush because there's no penalty for taking too long.
- Finally, if you spend a good five to ten minutes on a question and you still can't come up with an answer, try to get rid of some of the answers that are obviously wrong and make your best guess. There's no penalty for guessing on the ACCUPLACER, and chances are, if you can't come up with anything after five to ten minutes, you probably aren't going to.
In order to spruce up your essay, there are four main things that you will typically need to do.
- First, read the essay question very carefully and try to get an idea of what the question is actually looking for. In other words, is the question looking for an answer that defends a certain point of a view or is it looking for an answer that explains what something means? This is important because different questions will have very different answers, and you need to make sure that you are writing the essay that the question is actually asking you to write in order to get a good score.
- Secondly, try to do some brainstorming and come up with two or three major details that you can use to support the main idea that you are trying to discuss or the position that you are trying to defend. A large portion of the score that you will receive for the WritePlacer Plus or the Texas WritePlacer Plus will be based on your ability to support the main focus of your essay with details. This means that you need to come up with some details that you can use to convince the exam's administrators that you're not just stating something outright but that you are instead trying to prove something to your readers.
- Third, once you have come up with some details that you can use to support your essay, write an introductory paragraph that explains the main idea that you are discussing or the position that you are trying to defend, two to three paragraphs that each explain a detail or a minor idea that supports the main idea that you are trying to discuss, and a concluding paragraph that sums up what you're trying to say. This format will not only make it easier for you to write the essay, but will also help you to create an essay that is well-structured and organized (as long as you place each of detail paragraphs in a logical order.)
- Finally, once you have finished your essay, take a few minutes to read it over and look for grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and word usage mistakes. These mistakes can hurt your score on any of the WritePlacer Tests, but they can outright cripple you score on the WritePlacer ESL Test. This is because your entire score on the WritePlacer ESL Test is based on your ability to use the major components of the English language correctly and not on your ability to support an idea. This means that it is extremely important to avoid these mistakes whenever possible, especially if you are taking the WritePlacer ESL Test.