Alternative Format Assessments - COMPANION Paper, COMPANION CD-Rom, COMPANION Special Formats (Braille, Audio Cassette, and Large Print)
The ACCUPLACER test is a placement test, developed by the College Board, that is used by colleges, universities, and technical schools as an aid to determine the course placement of incoming college students. The test is customized for each educational institution and is administered by each institution itself. The test helps determine if an incoming student should be placed in freshman courses or if that student needs any developmental courses or help prior to enrolling in regular, freshman courses. A benefit of the ACCUPLACER test is that scoring is immediate, and educational institutions have immediate access to student scores, which can aid in rapid course placement.
The ACCUPLACER test is administered by individual colleges (two- and four-year), universities, and technical schools around the world. The test can be given on or off campus, in any facility that has internet access, since the test is a computer-based test. In order to register for the ACCUPLACER test, it is recommended that prospective test-takers contact their college or university directly to sign up. Usually, appointments for the ACCUPLACER test are scheduled through the school's counseling or advisement office. On the day of the test, a valid picture ID is required to be allowed to take the ACCUPLACER test.
The ACCUPLACER test is given online over the internet, and it is a computer-adaptive test. This means that the questions presented to the test-taker are dependent on the test-taker's previous answers as well as the difficulty level of previous questions. The ACCUPLACER test consists of multiple choice questions that test knowledge of reading comprehension, sentence skills, arithmetic, elementary algebra, and college level mathematics. The reading comprehension portion consists of 20 test questions, and consists of questions relating to reading passages and sentence relationships. The sentence skills portion of the test also consists of 20 test questions, and tests knowledge of sentence correction and construction shifts. The arithmetic portion of the test consists of 17 test items, and tests knowledge of operations with whole numbers and fractions, operations with decimals and percents, and applications and problem solving. The elementary algebra portion of the ACCUPLACER test consists of 12 test questions and tests knowledge of operations with integers and rational numbers, operations with algebraic expressions using the evaluation of simple formulas and expressions, the adding and subtracting of polynomials and monomials, and the solution of inequalities, equations, and word problems. The college level mathematics section of the test contains 20 test items, and tests knowledge of algebraic operations, solutions of equations and inequalities, coordinate geometry, applications and other algebra topics, and functions and trigonometry. There also may be an essay question, which can either be electronic or done with paper and pencil. The essay tests the ability to write effectively, and looks specifically at five areas: focus, organization, development and support, sentence structure, and mechanical convention. Further details about the test contents of both the multiple choice and essay portions of the ACCUPLACER test can be found online on the website for the College Board. The multiple choice portion of the test has no time limit, and the essay portion may have a time limit or no time limit, depending on the school's needs and choices.
Scoring of the ACCUPLACER test is immediate upon completion of the test. The test-taker is given a score, and the score is also made available to the educational institution. There is no pass or fail on the ACCUPLACER test. Instead, the test is computer-adaptive, to test what a test-taker knows so they are placed into the appropriate college courses. The score on the ACCUPLACER test is determined by number of questions that are answered correctly, as well as the difficulty level of the questions answered.
The best way to prepare for the ACCUPLACER test is to review materials related to reading, grammar, arithmetic, algebra, and trigonometry. This review is helpful for the multiple choice portion of the ACCUPLACER test. In addition, sample questions can be found online on the College Board's website. Also, familiarization with the content and structure of the ACCUPLACER test is useful. During the multiple choice portion of the test itself, it is important to take as much time as is needed. The multiple choice portion of the test has no time limit, so taking as much time as needed is allowed. All questions must be answered, and no questions can be revisited during the exam, so making sure that the best answer choice is selected the first time is important. If the correct answer to a particular question is not known, making a best guess choice is advised.