Next Generation ACCUPLACER Math Quantitative Reasoning Overview

Quantitative reasoning includes mathematic processes that are a little more advanced than the arithmetic included in the first math section of the Next-Generation ACCUPLACER. This section will measure your skill level in introductory algebra, geometry, statistics, and similar subjects to help determine which level of math class you should be placed in during your first year in college.

How Long Is the Quantitative Reasoning Section of the Next-Generation ACCUPLACER?

The great news is this test is entirely untimed. If you need to take a break to stretch your legs, do it. If you want to pause the test and come back another day to finish it, go for it. You can take as much time as you need to make sure you do your very best on this test.

That means there is no reason to rush through or make totally random guesses just because you’re tired or have to go to the bathroom and want to get it over with. You should definitely take advantage of the fact that you aren’t being timed.

However, if you are trying to get an estimate to organize your schedule on test day, plan to spend anywhere from four to six hours taking the test plus about 15 minutes for checking in and any breaks you choose to take. The quantitative reasoning section itself will probably last between 60 and 90 minutes, depending on how efficient you are at solving equations without the use of a calculator.

These are just rough estimates. The best way to gauge about how long the test will take for you is to time yourself whenever you take a practice test.

Above all, remember that the most important thing is that you do your absolute best so that you can get placed in higher level introductory courses and minimize the total number of introductory courses you’re required to take. Better to spend six or more hours on the test now in order to save yourself semesters worth of work later!

What Topics Are Included on the Test?

For the quantitative reasoning section, you’re going to encounter a combination of mostly algebra and statistics. The 20 multiple choice questions on this section cover a very wide range of operations and mathematic principles including:

  • 1-3 questions related to rational numbers
  • 3-4 questions related to ratio and proportional relationships
  • 2-3 questions related to exponents
  • 2-3 questions related to algebraic expressions
  • 2-4 questions related to linear equations
  • 2-4 questions related to linear applications and graphs
  • 1-3 questions related to probability and sets
  • 1-3 questions related to descriptive statistics
  • 1-2 questions related to geometry concepts for pre-algebra
  • 1-2 questions related to geometry concepts for algebra 1

The difficulty level of these questions will range from basic (high school level) to advanced (first or second year of college). In general, a calculator will not be allowed on this test. However, there are some questions where you will be able to use one. When a calculator is allowed, a computerized one will pop up on the screen.

Since no information is provided about which specific questions will allow it and which won’t, it’s best to prepare for the test as if you will never be able to use a calculator. Make sure you can calculate exponents and radicals by hand. Get comfortable solving linear and probability equations entirely on scratch paper.

That way, you’ll be prepared to tackle any problem no matter what the circumstances are and if you do get a calculator, it will simply be a convenient way to solve the problem a little faster.

How High Do I Need to Score on the Math Quantitative Reasoning Section?

The possible scores for this section range from 20 to 120 and the minimum score needed will depend on where you’re taking the exam. In some cases, there is no minimum requirement and you’ll simply be placed in whichever introductory classes most suit your current skill level.

In other cases, you will need to retake the exam if you don’t meet specific minimum requirements. Ask your academic advisor what the policy is at your school so that you can prepare accordingly.

What Are the Best Methods for Preparing for the Math Quantitative Reasoning Section?

Much of the material on this exam will have already been covered in your high school level math classes. However, it’s still important to review it because a lot of the problems will require knowing specific formulas or mathematic rules which you don’t necessarily use on a daily basis so it’s easy to forget them.

With that said, you probably aren’t too eager to read through half a dozen boring textbooks to pick out the formulas and concepts you will need to know. So skip that by ordering the Mometrix Study Guide instead. This guide synthesizes all of the essential material that you will actually need for the test and explains it in a way that you can easily understand it and refresh your memory.

It also comes with a great five step phased approach to studying to help you effectively plan out your study sessions for the best possible results in the time you have available to prepare. In addition, you’ll get some really helpful strategies for weeding out wrong answers, narrowing down your choices, and making educated guesses on the questions you don’t know the answers to.

You can also pick up a set of Mometrix Flashcards to go with your study guide. These offer a really interactive and fun way to review the material since you can make a game out of it or have your friend quiz you using the cards.

Both the flashcards and the study guide are available for either the original or the next generation version of the Next-Generation ACCUPLACER exam so you can make sure you get the study aids most closely tailored to the version of the test you will be taking.


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by Mometrix Test Preparation | Last Updated: April 5, 2019