One startling finding we discovered during our July 2008 Open Institute is how little information is known about the Accuplacer test. It is THE main tool used for placement purposes at all the Alamo Community Colleges, UTSA, and Our Lady of the Lake, yet most students take this test with little or know knowledge about the test or preparation for it. We saw clearly that better information and preparation might make a significant impact on the number of students who place directly into college-level classes.
Visit the College Board's site on Accuplacer for complete information on the test, along with sample tests and tips for preparing for it.
Key Facts About the Accuplacer You Might Not Know (But Need to Know)
Accuplacer is an "computer adaptive" test
--this means the computer gives you hard and easy questions based on whether you answer them right or wrong until it finds your target range. As a consequence, it is important to answer every question (unlike in other tests like the SAT that are measured on the number of correct answers you have)
Fun Facts About the Essay Writing Portion of the Test
--the topics you are asked to write on are argument/persuasion topics that call on you to take a position on an issue and create support for that position.
--the essays are assessed electronically (that's right--by the computer). Hence, the algorithms developed to evaluate writing look at syntactical, grammatical, and readability issues and can not evaluate logical content of the essay.
Information About Taking the Test
--multiple choice sections of the test are untimed, but the essay portion IS timed.
--you don't have to take all three portions of the test at the same time; you can do one section at a time and then come back and do the others.
--you have the ability to retest, but each school will have a waiting period before you are eligible to retake the test (six months at SAC)
Preparation is the Key
--It is HIGHLY recommended that students prepare to take the Accuplacer test. It will determine if a student is placed in remediation or not; this could cost valuable money and time.
Sample Accuplacer Questions
TestPrep Accuplacer Review
Other resource links (for the sentence skills portion)
--practice multiple choice
--yet more practice