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ACCUPLACER Placement Testing For New Students

What is an ACCUPLACER Placement Test?

The ACCUPLACER computerized placement test is administered to students who have not already successfully completed college-level English and Math classes.  Placement testing  will help you to identify your academic strengths and needs in reading, writing, and mathematics.  This is not a pass/ fail test – it is used for course placement onlyAfter testing, you will meet with an Academic Advisor and the results will be used to make decisions regarding the appropriate level of classes for you.  Students must fill out an admissions application and get a Banner ID number before taking the test.  The test usually takes about 1 - 1 ½ hours to complete.  No computer experience is necessary and assistance is available if needed.

Who must take a Placement Test?

  • All new students enrolled in a degree or certificate program
  • Any transfer student who has not successfully completed an English composition and/or a college-level math course with a grade of “C” or better
  • Any student electing to take an English writing or math course
  • Any student registering for a course with an English or math prerequisite
  • Any student electing to take an English as a Second Language course
  • All High School Partnership applicants, home-schooled students, and high school students seeking early admission to college

**If you have taken the ACCUPLACER test at any of the other Connecticut community colleges, the results may be used at HCC.

Who is exempt?

Students who have completed a college-level English and/ or math course with a grade of “C” or better or hold an Associates Degree or higher, may be exempt from the Placement Test after providing appropriate documentation (e.g. transcripts, diploma, final grade reports).

Students with qualifying SAT or ACT test scores may also be eligible for a waiver. Documentation of SAT or ACT scores must be submitted to the Admissions Office to qualify for a waiver. Accepted documentation includes high school transcript, official test score report, or an unofficial score report printed from the College Board SAT web site. SAT/ACT scores are valid for two years from the date of the exam.

  • ACT: 37+ in Combined English and Reading; 18+ in Math
  • Old SAT Test (administered before March 2016): 450+ Critical Reading; 500+ Math.
  • New SAT Test (administered after March 2016): Stop by Admissions Office with a copy of your test scores.

How do I schedule a Placement Test?

To make an appointment for a placement test, visit Lafayette Hall Room B116 or call (203) 332-5019. Please have your Banner ID ready when making an appointment. After making an appointment, students can visit the Center for Academic Progress to take a practice test and get tutoring before taking the placement test. Ask about the practice test when making your appointment or call the CAP at (203) 332-8585

**If special testing accommodations are required, please contact the Testing Coordinator at (203) 332-5217 to make arrangements.

What is on the test?

The ACCUPLACER Placement Test measures your skill-level in English, reading, and mathematics and is divided as follows:

  • Elementary Algebra – The algebra test consists of 12 algebraic multiple-choice problems.  Depending on how you score on the algebra section, you may stop at this point or continue on to either College-Level Math or Basic Arithmetic.  Your math placement will be based on how you score on this test.
  • Reading Comprehension – The Reading Comprehension test consists of 20 multiple-choice questions.  You will read a short selection and answer questions based on the content of what you have just read.  This test will determine whether or not a developmental reading course is necessary.
  • Sentence Skills – This portion of the test consists of 20 multiple-choice questions and will measure your understanding of sentence structure. Some questions deal with sentence logic, others with whether or not the answer is a complete sentence, and still others with the relationship between coordination and subordination.

    ***English Composition course placement will be based on the results of Sentence Skills and Reading Comprehension. A written essay may be required for placement into English 101.

What if English is not my first language?

If English is not your first language, you may need to take the LOEP (Level of English Proficiency) test.  This is comprised of three sections (Reading Skills, Sentence Meaning, and Language Usage) which will measure your knowledge of the English language.  Each section consists of 20 multiple-choice questions.

Placement Testing Study Guides

For more information about the ACCUPLACER exams and sample questions:

ACCUPLACER  Practice Tests:

Test Preview:  Free ACCUPLACER practice tests and worksheets:

Varsity Tutor:  Free practice tests, flashcards and questions of the day for all ACCUPLACER tests:

Recommended Math Websites:

Recommended English Websites:

  • My English Pages: Lots of lessons and activities to practice grammar:
  • English Grammar: An online English textbook in a blog format with posts about many grammar topics:

Test Taking Tips

  • Relax and take your time!  The computerized portion of the test is not timed. Your score will help you and your advisor determine which courses are most appropriate for your level of knowledge and skills. Once you identify your academic strengths and needs, you can get the help you need to improve underdeveloped skills before they interfere with your learning.
  • Arrive early so you can find the testing area, bathrooms, etc.
  • You will be able to concentrate better on the test if you get plenty of rest and eat properly prior to the test.  No food or drink will be allowing in the testing area.
  • Pay careful attention to directions and read carefully.  Be sure to understand exactly what each question requires.
  • You may be asked to write an essay to help determine your English composition course placement. You will have up to 55 minutes to write your essay. Instructors from the English Department will read your essay and determine which level English course is appropriate for you.
  • The Mathematics section of ACCUPLACER is an adaptive test. Questions are chosen for you on the basis of your answers to previous questions. Because the test works this way, you must answer every question when it is given. If you do not know the answer to a question, try to eliminate one or more of the choices then pick one of the remaining choices.
  • Textbooks, notebooks, dictionaries, or calculators are not allowed in the testing room.  Anyone who gives or receives help during the test, or uses notes or books of any kind, will not be allowed to continue the test.

Can I retake the placement test?

Students who take the Accuplacer test and place into pre-college level math and/or English may be eligible for a refresher program. Completing one of these programs will allow students an opportunity to retake the corresponding section of the Accuplacer. For more information about these programs contact the Center for Academic Progress at 203-332-8585.