accuplacer study guide

The Ultimate ACCUPLACER Study Guide 2024

Anyone who has to take ACCUPLACER tests should use trusted study resources. Here we’ve covered the ultimate ACCUPLACER study guide for you.

Updated at November 16, 2022

Before enrolling in classes, many entering college students must take the ACCUPLACER exam. The ACCUPLACER exam’s objective is to assist your college in placing you in the appropriate level of a course.

Although you cannot fail the ACCUPLACER exam, doing well on it can guarantee that you are enrolled in credit-earning classes from the moment you arrive on campus. It is therefore a wise idea to prepare for the ACCUPLACER exam in advance of having to take it.

With that in mind, we created this extensive ACCUPLACER study guide to help you well prepare before the test. Besides, we offer thousands of free ACCUPLACER practice test questions on this website to help you thoroughly prepare for this exam. Let’s get going!

accuplacer study guide

The ACCUPLACER Test: What Is It?

The CollegeBoard developed the ACCUPLACER series of subject-area exams to determine whether entering college students are prepared with the knowledge and abilities required to perform well in introductory-level college courses.

To identify which courses eligible students should be enrolled in when they start college, colleges and institutions give several ACCUPLACER examinations to them.

Colleges utilize the ACCUPLACER to determine if a student needs some remedial coursework initially or is ready for credit-earning courses. Even though they don’t count toward your credit hours, remediation courses are intended to get you up to speed. (Typically, they have no effect on your GPA either!)

The ACCUPLACER test has no bearing on your ability to enroll in college, which is wonderful news! Your course level will solely be determined by your test score.

Who should sit for the ACCUPLACER test?

The ACCUPLACER must be taken if you plan to attend an institution that requires it. You should check with your university to determine if taking the ACCUPLACER test is necessary for you because not all of them use it.

What Topics Are Included in the ACCUPLACER Exam?

Let’s take a closer look at a breakdown of the kinds of abilities and subject areas you might anticipate seeing on the test now that you are aware of the kind of questions that occur on the ACCUPLACER exams and how the difficulty level is established.

Each exam measures your level of reading, writing, and mathematical college preparation.


One of the five ACCUPLACER multiple-choice exams is the reading test. The ACCUPLACER Reading test gauges test-takers comprehension and reading skills.

The ACCUPLACER Reading test offers both single and paired passages of prose to assess test-takers proficiency in these areas. These passages range in difficulty from easy to quite challenging.

The texts’ themes of discussion range throughout the humanities, sciences, vocations, history, and literary nonfiction.

The reading section of the ACCUPLACER exam consists of 20 questions. The good news is that the ACCUPLACER Reading test has just multiple-choice questions. The questions might come in the form of standalone inquiries or groups of inquiries focused on certain passages of text.

As we have indicated, each of the skill areas being examined will be covered by at least one question. The distribution of questions often looks like this:

  • Information and Ideas: 7-11 questions
  • Rhetoric: 7-11 questions 
  • Vocabulary: 2-4 questions 
  • Synthesis: 2 questions

Because the ACCUPLACER is an adaptive exam, the number of questions you receive from each topic bucket will change depending on factors such as how well you performed on the questions that came before.


The ACCUPLACER Writing test is designed to assess students’ proficiency in editing and revising a variety of multi-paragraph compositions.

The ACCUPLACER writing test, according to the College Board, rates students on their capacity to communicate ideas clearly in writing. This involves evaluating abilities including conceptualization, planning, and efficient language usage.

There are 25 multiple-choice questions on the ACCUPLACER Writing exam. You’ll have to read a piece and then respond to questions regarding it. It resembles the reading exam in that sense. The major distinction is that exam questions will instruct you to select the response that bests edit the section of text.

The test may include multi-paragraph readings on a range of subjects and genres, including science, history, and literary nonfiction. In addition to these many subject matters, the prose pieces also use a variety of literary styles. There might be instructive paragraphs and argumentative passages.

You must thus have strong reading and writing abilities if you want to perform well on the ACCUPLACER writing test.

accuplacer study guide

ACCUPLACER Arithmetic Test

The ACCUPLACER Arithmetic exam measures a student’s computational and fluency abilities, conceptual knowledge, and capacity to use arithmetic in specific situations. In other words, the ACCUPLACER Arithmetic exam gauges your proficiency in fundamental arithmetic concepts including operations, decimals, and fractions.

The 20 multiple-choice questions on this ACCUPLACER math test are designed to gauge the test-arithmetic taker’s proficiency. The following is a list of the potential test questions for each exam topic area:

  • Whole number operations: 3-5 questions
  • Fraction operations: 3-5 questions
  • Decimal operations: 3-5 questions
  • Percent: 3-5 questions
  • Number comparisons and equivalents: 3-5 questions

ACCUPLACER Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra, & Statistics (or QAS) Test

A variety of arithmetic concepts are covered in the ACCUPLACER QAS exam questions, such as solving linear equations, using ratios and proportional reasoning, and computing with rational numbers. Compared to the arithmetic exam, this assesses more sophisticated math skills.

Answering 20 multiple-choice questions across a range of subject topics will be required of you on this test.

Here is a brief breakdown of each content area, and the number of exam questions that could be asked in the ACCUPLACER QAS exam:

  • Rational numbers: 1-3 questions
  • Ratio and proportional relationships: 3-4 questions
  • Exponents: 2-4 questions
  • Algebraic expressions: 2-4 questions
  • Linear equations: 2-4 questions
  • Linear applications and graphs: 2-4 questions
  • Probability and sets: 1-3 questions
  • Descriptive statistics: 1-3 questions
  • Geometry concepts for Pre-Algebra: 1-2 questions
  • Geometry concepts for Algebra 1: 1-2 questions

For more information, you can read our article about the Accuplacer Math Study guide now!

ACCUPLACER Advanced Algebra and Functions (AAF) Test

The Advanced Algebra and Functions (AAF) section of the ACCUPLACER exam measures students’ proficiency with a range of mathematical equations and functions as well as fundamental geometry and trigonometry.

The AAF is the hardest of the three ACCUPLACER math examinations. This is because it puts your knowledge of more complex abilities and ideas to the test.

This exam also consists of a total of 20 multiple-choice questions, much like the other math assessments. The AAF exam’s precise subject categories and the number of test questions that might be asked in each subject area are shown below:

  • Linear equations: 2-3 questions
  • Linear applications and graphs: 2-3 questions
  • Factoring: 1-2 questions
  • Quadratics: 2-3 questions
  • Functions: 2-4 questions
  • Radical and rational equations: 1-3 questions
  • Polynomial equations: 1-3 questions

How Difficult Is the ACCUPLACER Exam?

The multiple-choice ACCUPLACER exams employ adaptive technology to customize the test to each test taker individually. In general, this implies that the test carefully selects which questions to include on each test taker’s exam based on the amount of expertise the test taker has demonstrated on earlier exam questions. In other terms, the ACCUPLACER examinations’ question complexity is adjusted to your level of skill.

You can read our Is the Accuplacer test hard? to get more details about this question!


What happens if you can’t even find the time to study? This is when effective time management skills are useful.

To get the most out of each session, it is crucial to make the most of your study time.

Our advice for the best ACCUPLACER study guide will help you learn more efficiently and eventually raise your ACCUPLACER score.