accuplacer test tips

Best ACCUPLACER Test Tips For Passing The Exams in 2024

Students usually take ACCUPLACER exams with the college they intend to attend. Consider some ACCUPLACER test tips below to help you perform well on test day.

Updated at May 16, 2022

Placement testing is used by universities and colleges to measure how prepared entering students are for college. These assessments allow these schools to determine which classes are ideal for a student.

Because two-year colleges frequently have a non-competitive admission policy, the placement test is especially crucial.

Schools aim to place these students in classrooms where they will succeed and where they can improve some of their weaknesses, preparing them for more advanced classes. The ACCUPLACER exam is one of these placement assessments.

In this article, we will go through some ACCUPLACER test tips you should know to be ready for test day. Let’s dive in!

What To Know About ACCUPLACER?

ACCUPLACER is a testing system that can be used to identify whether post-secondary students have the skills and knowledge required to begin studying college-level courses and whether they are enrolled in a career training or regular college program.

These tests have been in use for more than 30 years, and an estimated 2.5 million people take them each year.

The ACCUPLACER exam assesses a student’s ability using computer-adaptive assessments. Computer adaptive assessment refers to computers that adjust their level of difficulty in response to a student’s performance.

The test will adjust and grow more challenging if a student displays higher levels of skill. If a student is having trouble, the test difficulty will be reduced. The test will eventually settle on an appropriate difficulty level for the student.

The ACCUPLACER exam has the advantage of providing rapid results that can accurately assess a student’s performance level. This allows a student to be placed right away rather than waiting a lengthy time.

The ACCUPLACER can also suggest specific types of support that will help the student do better and develop their weakest academic areas.

ACCUPLACE has grown in popularity as a diagnostic tool throughout the years. Every year, millions of ACCUPLACER tests are given in secondary and post-secondary institutions, and the test even helps students connect with opportunities in college and later in their jobs.

The ACCUPLACER assessments are designed to assess test takers’ math, reading, and writing abilities. Some students may take the ACCUPLACER tests in high school to see if they are ready for postsecondary courses or to see where they need to improve in order to be college-ready.

The exam may suggest more advanced English courses but remedial mathematical courses if the student’s knowledge and skills are strong in English but inadequate in arithmetic. The recommended classes are entirely dependent on the student’s performance.

The test also highlights any knowledge gaps. Even if a student does quite well, they may have distinct flaws that necessitate specific solutions. The test suggests a variety of interventions aimed at improving the student’s abilities.

What are covered on the Accupacer?

accuplacer test tips

The ACCUPLACER has six main sections that a test taker must complete in order to pass the exam. These portions are organized into two categories: math and English. Some of these sections contain sub-sections that students must navigate.


The ability to execute basic math will be required of test takers. Participants will be required to add, subtract, multiply, and divide in order to solve arithmetic questions. They’ll have to work with fractions and mixed numbers as well. 

Test takers will also have to work with decimals and percentages in addition to these. Finally, pupils will have to deal with percentages, rates, and various measuring issues. A basic understanding of geometry will also be required.

College-Level Match

The exam’s College-Level math sections will present substantially more difficult tasks than the fundamental arithmetic problems pupils have previously encountered. The themes covered by these issues are varied and include, but are not limited to:

  • Algebraic expressions, factoring, and polynomials

  • Roots and exponents

  • Linear and quadratic equations and inequalities

  • Equation systems

  • Plane Geometry, coordinate planes, and points on a plane

  • Algebraic graphing

  • Complex numbers, permutations and combinations, and series and sequences

As can be seen, College-Level Mathematics covers a wide range of topics. Preparing for these will necessitate devoting time to learning a variety of mathematical approaches.

Elementary Algebra

The Elementary Algebra test may or may not include fewer topics than the College-Level math section. Although there are 3 main types of questions, each category contains a variety of difficulties to solve. These questions again include, but are not limited to:

  • Ordering, integers, negative rationals, and values

  • Working with monomials and polynomials

  • Positive rational roots and exponents evaluation

  • Algebraic fraction and factoring simplified

  • Formula and expression evaluation

  • Solving inequalities and linear equations

  • Solving quadratic equations by factoring

  • Solving issues in verbal mathematics

In the Elementary Algebra portion, students will be confronted with a wide range of problems to solve. This is one area in which taking ACCUPLACER practice test can assist a student get more familiar with the vast range of challenges they are likely to encounter.

Reading Comprehension

The range of questions that test takers will face decreases after the math section, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be prepared for the rigors of the questions they will face. Reading Comprehension is the first test, and it assesses a person’s ability to comprehend what they read. Students will be expected to read texts, derive conclusions from them, and distinguish between a direct assertion and a supporting notion in an argument.

Sentence Skills

Unlike reading comprehension, the ACCUPLACER Sentence Skills section assesses a test taker’s grammar. Students must be able to examine a sentence’s structure and identify strategies to improve its clarity. Sentence Skills are divided into two categories. The first task requires students to submit responses that allow a single statement to make sense. The second type requires pupils to detect connections between two sentences.

Written Essay

The essay part of an exam will be familiar to many test takers. With the ACCUPLACER, it’s no different. Students will be urged to select sides and defend their positions. Each essay is graded on five different factors. The first is concentration. 

Each essay should be carefully focused on proving a point, with the student only straying into peripheral themes. The filler should be avoided at all costs, and players should strive to make each paragraph support their message.

Essays should also be well-structured. Tet students may find it helpful to organize their essays using a familiar pattern, such as the five-paragraph approach. This format starts with an introduction, then moves on to three supporting arguments before concluding with a summary of the work. However, each participant must choose their own framework.

However, one of the advantages of using a structure like the five-paragraph structure is that it fulfills the third criterion of a strong essay: development and support. A student is considerably more likely to receive a positive grade if the second, third, and fourth paragraphs of an essay each incorporate a distinct piece of evidence supporting the bigger point.

The fourth and fifth criteria used to evaluate the essays are linked. Both sentence structure and technical rules are used to grade the essay. This is where the exam taker’s grammar comes into play. It’s important to have a good sentence structure, which includes things like noun-verb agreement. When and where commas or semicolons are used, there should be minimum faults in how words are employed and sentences are put together.

The written essay might be one of the most difficult aspects of the test for many test takers. Unfortunately, many people taking the test have little or no experience writing and putting together thoughtful essays. This is another moment when practice can help to correct these flaws.

Test Day: What You Should Know

You can improve your approach to the ACCUPLACER tests and assist optimize your success by remembering a few particular things.

Exam scoring

The ACCUPLACER is a computer-adaptive test, which means that the difficulty of questions changes based on whether you answer them correctly or incorrectly. The number of questions you answered correctly and how challenging they determined your score.

Time allotted for the examination

The WritePlacer is the only ACCUPLACER test that can be timed. The school where you take the test determines whether or not there is a time limit. You have an unlimited amount of time to complete all other ACCUPLACER exams.

The ACCUPLACER’s structure

Given that the ACCUPLACER is divided into six sections, the total number of questions on the test should be around 90. The Arithmetic component of the test will be the first stop for test takers, with 17 problems. Then there’s College-Level Math, which has 20 questions as well. The math section comes to a close with 12 questions in Elementary Algebra.

Test takers can expect to begin with Reading Comprehension, which has 20 questions, on the language and reading side. The following section, Sentence Skills, comprise another 20 questions. 

Finally, the ACCUPLACER finishes with a written essay, which serves as the test’s final ‘question.’ It’s important to remember that the ACCUPLACER is not timed. As a result, test takers will have ample time to move from one area to the next without feeling pressured.


People with disabilities or medical concerns may be eligible for modifications to the ACCUPLACER test or the testing process. Accommodations are provided at the discretion of the high school, college, or university that is holding the exam. Check with the school where you’ll be taking your test to discover what accommodations are available and how to apply for them. Making the appropriate adjustments might have a major impact on your test results.

Identification Policy

All ACCUPLACER test takers must present acceptable forms of identification. Each ACCUPLACER-using high school, college, or university has its own set of regulations for what students must bring on test day, so check with the school hosting your ACCUPLACER test to make sure you have all you need.

ACCUPLACER tips and tricks: How to prepare for ACCUPLACER? 

accuplacer test tips

You’ll need some tips for ACCUPLACER test preparation before taking the ACCUPLACER tests. This will assist you in performing at your best.

Here are 6 tips for taking the ACCUPLACER test you will need:

Tip 1: First and foremost, take your time

The ACCUPLACER’s single most significant advantage is time. You have as much time as you like because it is an untimed test. You might be tempted to rush through it to get it over with as soon as possible, but resist. Slow down and be methodical, and give it your all to get every single answer properly.

Make sure you read the entire test, including all directions, questions, and multiple choice answers. Before choosing “Confirm” to submit your response, review any confusing portions and reread your own answers.

Take a break if you need to during the test. You are free to get up, stretch your legs, get a sip of water, or use the restroom as long as you inform the proctor. If you feel like you need more time, you may easily pause the test and continue it later.

Tip 2: Relax

When taking a test, almost everyone feels nervous. It’s entirely natural. Take a few deep breaths if you’re feeling overwhelmed during the exam. You can glance away from the screen or close your eyes, breathe in and out, and refocus because the exam has no time limit. Remember why you’re taking the test and why you want to attend college. Instead of being nervous, focus on doing your best.

Tip 3: Take the Sample Questions

You will be provided 1-2 example questions before each ACCUPLACER test to help you grasp the format. Take these practice questions seriously and use them to prepare for the real thing. Don’t worry if you get the sample question wrong. Learn from your mistakes and consider why you made them. Congratulations if you answered the sample question correctly! You’re on the correct track.

Tip 4: Remove any obvious outliers

It’s important to remember that the ACCUPLACER is fully multiple-choice, frequently has 1-2 multiple-choice alternatives that are clearly incorrect, and you can’t skip a question. You want every response to be significant. Learning how to arrive at answers through elimination is one technique to do so. 

Simply put, most test takers will find it impossible to know everything they will encounter on the exam. That isn’t to say that making a guess with a likelihood of being correct is impossible. Rather than guessing at random from the options presented, the test taker should spend some time eliminating the answers that are clearly incorrect.

That way, if you really can’t figure it out, you may at least guess with a 33-50 percent probability of being correct (instead of a random 25 percent guess). If doing the process of elimination in your thoughts is tough, write out the possibilities on scratch paper and cross off the ones that are clearly incorrect.

Let’s assume there are four options. The likelihood of being correct with a random guess is 25%. When you eliminate one option, you’re left with three options and a 33 percent probability of getting it right. When you eliminate the third option, you’re left with two options and a 50% probability of getting it right.

Learning how to eliminate incorrect responses will help you narrow down your possibilities and make a far more accurate guess. Even when taking the practice test, test takers should acquire the habit of employing the process of elimination to limit their options. 

The only time test takers will not use this method is when filling out their essays. However, as previously said, knowing the five-paragraph essay style can assist students in creating a framework within which they can more readily develop a compelling argument.

Tip 5: Take Test Practice App

Test takers can prepare for the ACCUPLACER from the comfort of their own homes. A web-based study application is available on the ACCUPLACER website. Students can take practice exams in each subject covered by the exam inside this application. These exams can be taken on any device with internet connectivity, so they are not confined to a desktop computer.

There are various advantages to using the ACCUPLACER web app for test takers. 

Individuals who use this app receive notes regarding their answers, allowing them to see what they got right and wrong. It’s available online and allows you to go at your own pace while familiarizing yourself with the types of questions you’ll be asked.

Besides, the test allows you to “learn as you go.” This means that as you move from question to question, the test will explain the solutions. This is especially crucial for those who have chosen the correct answer by accident after making an inaccurate response.

People sometimes have trouble taking similar sample tests for various types of exams because the sample tests rarely resemble the actual tests. Instead, they’re only distantly related. The sample tests available through the ACCUPLACER web app, on the other hand, contain a high level of overlap with the actual assessments students would encounter once they begin their exams. 

Learners don’t have to worry about losing their progress because these assessments can be stopped and started at any moment. Finally, the application keeps track of test results. This allows students to see if their score is increasing over time.

Tip 6: Doublе-сhесk

Last but not least, be thorough! Double-check, re-read, and underline once more! There are no consequences for attentively reading questions or marking up crappy paper with a pencil. It can be beneficial to try resolving questions you’ve already completed to see whether you arrive at the same answer. Cover the answer to the question and examine it with a fresh pair of eyes. You could have made a mistake on an evaluation or a specific phrase, and those modifications could have a significant impact on your grade!

What are ACCUPLACER writing test tips?

1. There is no requirement that you have any prior knowledge for this essay

The essay will be based on a prompt supplied to help you get creative. The prompt will include everything you’ll need to answer the question!

You must take a firm position. In contrast to real life, where most people’s perspectives are a mix of grey, the ACCUPLACER essay expects you to take a firm stance on the prompt’s problem. The rubric will penalize essays that do not have a clear stance.

2. Your score is unaffected by your stance

The test will not lead you to one side or the other of the debate. What matters is how well you craft your case, not whose side you choose.

3. Maintain your stance

Taking a firm attitude also entails sticking to it until the end of the response. Work your way to the conclusion, even if you’re having trouble with your chosen stance.

4. Make your argument specific

No example is “too” precise as long as you can explain rationally that it supports your thesis. One of the most common complaints writers have about the WritePlacer exam is that it is too broad and nonspecific. If you’re using a personal example, including names, dates, locations, and other concrete facts can help a lot. Also, avoid using hypothetical instances.

5. Include a counterargument

While you must take a firm stance, this does not mean you must dismiss the other viewpoint. The best writers consider the opposing viewpoint before critiquing it and convincingly establishing their own as the proper one. Although many students include it in an additional body paragraph, this is a terrific tool to use in your conclusion.

6. Make the introduction and conclusion as brief as possible

Take your time getting to the point. The purpose of an opening paragraph is to introduce the reader to the prompt’s issue and then to explain your perspective on it clearly and persuasively. 

This should take no more than 3–4 sentences to complete. 1–2 sentences, in the end, are sufficient to restate your position and conclude the essay. Body paragraphs should take up the majority of your writing time.

7. Apply transitional words

A decent list of common transition words may be found below. Use these as you transition between paragraphs! Always double-check that the reader understands why you’re moving from one paragraph to the next!

Transition Words List

Agreement Words

  • in the first place
  • not only … but also
  • as a matter of fact
  • in like manner
  • in addition
  • coupled with
  • in the same fashion / way
  • first, second, third
  • in the light of

Opposition Words

  • in contrast
  • different from
  • of course …, but
  • on the other hand
  • on the contrary
  • at the same time
  • in spite of
  • but
  • (and) still

Causation Words

  • in the event that
  • for the purpose of
  • with this intention
  • with this in mind
  • in the hope that
  • in order to
  • If
  • … then
  • in case

Example Words

  • in other words
  • to put it differently
  • for one thing
  • as an illustration
  • in this case
  • for this reason
  • to put it another way
  • that is to say
  • with attention to

What are ACCUPLACER math test tips?

accuplacer test tips

What is the purpose of the ACCUPLACER math placement test? It’s one of two ACCUPLACER subjects you’ll come upon on the exam. Arithmetic, elementary algebra, and college-level math are the three areas covered in the math placement test.

1. Understand the content of the math exam

The standard ACCUPLACER tests and the next-generation ACCUPLACER tests are the two types of ACCUPLACER tests that institutions can take. Both of these versions cover different topics, so it’s crucial to know which one you’ll be taking.

Classic ACCUPLACER Math Tests

Next-generation ACCUPLACER Math Tests


Elementary algebra

College-level math

Next-generation Arithmetic

Next-generation Quantitive Reasoning Algebra and Statistics (QAS)

Next-generation Advanced Algebra and Functions (AAF)

2. Gather study materials

It is critical to gather all of your study materials before beginning to prepare for ACCUPLACER math. You won’t have to waste time studying in order to find materials.

3. Take more ACCUPLACER math practice tests

Spending time practicing ACCUPLACER examinations is an essential element of the preparation process. Participating in practice exams allows you to evaluate which areas require additional study, track your progress, and prepare for the ACCUPLACER exam day.

Many tests are offered for free online, which is fortunate. Working with these practice tests and keeping track of your results is a great approach to figuring out what abilities and knowledge you’ll need to prepare for the real examinations!

4. Regularly study

You must spend time reading any topics in the ACCUPLACER math that you are not totally comfortable with. While it’s critical to focus on your ACCUPLACER math shortcomings, don’t forget about your strengths.

5. Seek support

When others are motivated, certain people perform at their best. Joining a study partner or group might help you stay focused, but make sure you review ACCUPLACER math material on a regular basis.


What is the typical number of tests a person takes?

Individuals will need to take a different amount of examinations depending on their circumstances. It is dependent on whether or not English is their first language, as well as their achievement in high school studies.

What types of questions are asked?

On ACCUPLACER tests, there are two sorts of test questions. Multiple-choice questions are used exclusively in most tests. A crafted response in the form of an essay is required for the WritePlacer test.

How long do test takers have?

The amount of time you have to complete an ACCUPLACER test depends on the type of test you are taking. There is no time limit on the ACCUPLACER tests that use only multiple-choice questions.

Your college or university may decide to limit the amount of time you have to compose your essay if you take the WritePlacer test there. The amount of time allotted is at the discretion of the school where you are taking the test.

Why should you take the ACCUPLACER exam?

College courses are costly and require a significant amount of time. You may have passed your high school math class, but do you have the ability to receive college credit for a statistics course? Enrolling in the wrong course will squander your time and money. Your ACCUPLACER test results will help you figure out which courses are best for you.

How are the exams formed?

“Computer adaptive technology” is used to create ACCUPLACER examinations. Your test-taking experience is individualized since the difficulty of the next question is determined by the answer to the previous question.

What makes a passing score?

ACCUPLACER examinations have no passing or failing grades. Instead, schools and institutions determine your course placement using their own scoring systems. Your test results, for example, may indicate that you need to complete a non-credit developmental course before enrolling in a credit-bearing class.

On the ACCUPLACER math tests, can I use a calculator?

You can utilize an on-screen calculator with some questions; these questions will have a calculator icon in the top-right corner of the screen. On any ACCUPLACER Math test, you are not permitted to bring a physical calculator or utilize portable calculators.

Students who have been granted permission to use handheld calculators as part of an official accommodations request may do so in accordance with the authorized accommodation.

Is there anything I should avoid bringing on the day of the test?

Yes. Phones, tablets, dictionaries, digital cameras or watches, food or beverages, paper, rulers, protractors, or listening devices are all prohibited items in the exam room. Contact your ACCUPLACER exam center for a complete list of forbidden materials.


ACCUPLACER helps students who are ready to begin earning college credits as well as those who need to improve their skills before enrolling in college-level courses.

With our comprehensive list of simple strategies to master, our ACCUPLACER test tips will be a strong tool for your preparation before the test day.