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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).

SAT/ACT:  Students with qualifying SAT scores (500+ in Math and/or 450+ in Critical Reading) or ACT scores (18+ in Math  and/or 37+ in Combined English and Reading) may be exempt from the placement test. SAT/ACT scores are valid for two years from the date of the exam.  Waiver forms are available in the Admissions office (**all waiver forms must be signed by the Director or Assistant Director of Admissions and include a copy of current SAT or ACT scores).

How do I schedule a Placement Test?

All new students must attend a mandatory workshop before taking the Accuplacer placement exam.  Workshops are held on a walk-in basis in the Center for Academic Progress (CAP) in Lafayette Hall Room A227. Lab hours are posted here.

Upon completion of the workshop, students will be eligible to sign up for the Accuplacer exam. Students are required to bring a photo ID with them on the day of the test.

**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: http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/accuplacer/

ACCUPLACER  Practice Tests:

Test Preview:  Free ACCUPLACER practice tests and worksheets: http://www.testprepreview.com/accuplacer_practice.htm

Varsity Tutor:  Free practice tests, flashcards and questions of the day for all ACCUPLACER tests:  http://www.varsitytutors.com/practice-tests

Recommended Math Websites:

Free Khan Academy online instructional math videos which correlate specifically to the ACCUPLACER exam:
http://www.asnuntuck.edu/sites/default/files/Khan%20Accuplacer%20Arithmetic%20Review%2001302013.pdf

Algebra Help:  http://algebrahelp.com/ 

The Math Page:  http://themathpage.com/

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 may be eligible for iMATH. This program is specifically designed for students who have had upper level math in the past and need a refresher. By completing the required body of work within the program timeline, students earn the opportunity to retake the math section of their Accuplacer exam and possibly advance their math placement. For information about iMATH contact the iMATH coordinator at sharris@hcc.commnet.edu.