Placement Testing


Accuplacer Test


      The Essay
      Reading Comprehension (20 questions)
      Elementary Algebra (12 questions)
      College-Level Mathematics (20 questions) 

You will take the test at a personal computer, using the keyboard to type your essay and the mouse to click on answers to multiple-choice questions. The testing instructions and procedures are simple, so prior computer experience is not necessary. A Test Administrator will always be present should you have any questions or problems. 

Answering the Questions: The questions will appear one at a time on the computer screen. Most questions are multiple choice and all you will need to do is select the desired answer. When you have completed the question and verified your answer, a new screen will appear with your next question. Each test is untimed so that you can give each question as much thought as you wish. However, once you have verified your answer you cannot change it or return to that question. You must answer each question presented, even if you have to guess. You cannot skip questions. You will be given scratch paper to use, if you wish, during the math test(s).

Adaptive Testing: Each multiple-choice test section typically takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. However, you may take as long as you need to complete each test. The tests are untimed. Each test is designed using adaptive techniques. This means that the computer automatically determines which questions are presented to you based on your responses to prior questions. This technique "zeroes-in" on just the right questions to ask you without being too easy or too difficult. The greater your demonstrated skill level, the more challenging will be the questions presented to you. 

Adaptive Test Sequencing: The adaptive nature of computerized testing also enables the administration of different tests to students with differing abilities. Kean University uses this feature in the administration of the math test sections. All students testing for math begin by taking the Elementary Algebra section. Then, depending on the Elementary Algebra score, some students are shifted to the College-Level Mathematics test, and some students require no additional testing beyond the Elementary Algebra section.

Other Computer Issues: Although our students rarely encounter computer or internet-connection problems when testing, trained staff will always be available should you need assistance. Because your answers are automatically saved by ACCUPLACER On-Line as you progress through the tests, you do not have to worry about losing your work in the rare event that the computer you are using “freezes” or some other computer malfunction occurs. You can always resume your test in progress after we re-boot your computer or resume at another computer without losing any of your work. In the even more unlikely event of a widespread server or power failure that prevents computer testing entirely, students would be offered the option of taking a comparable “paper and pencil” test instead or returning at another time to take the computerized test.


The Essay   Back to top
This test measures your ability to write effectively, which is critical to academic success. You will be given 50 minutes to produce an essay on an assigned topic. You will type and edit your essay at the computer. You will not be able to use spelling or grammar-checking tools. Your writing sample will be scored on the basis of how effectively it communicates a whole message to the readers for the stated purpose. Your score will also be based on your ability to express, organize, and support your opinions and ideas, not the position you take on the essay topic. The following characteristics of writing will be considered:
(1) Purpose and Focus – The extent to which the writer presents information in a unified and coherent manner, clearly addressing the issue.
(2) Organization and Structure – The extent to which the writer orders and connects ideas.
(3) Development and Support – The extent to which the writer develops and supports ideas.
(4) Sentence Variety and Style – The extent to which the writer crafts sentences and paragraphs demonstrating control of vocabulary, voice, and structure.
(5) Mechanical Conventions – The extent to which the writer expresses ideas using standard English.
(6) Critical Thinking – The extent to which the writer communicates a point of view and demonstrates reasoned relationships among ideas.

Reading Comprehension (20 questions)   Back to top
This test is designed to measure how well you understand what you read. Some questions are of the sentence relationship type in which you must choose how two sentences are related. Other questions refer to reading passages of various lengths. You will be asked to interpret and draw conclusions from what you have read in these passages. 

Elementary Algebra (12 questions)   Back to top
(All students testing for math will take this test)
There are three categories covered in this test:
(1) operations with integers and rational numbers, including computation with integers and negative rationals, the use of absolute values, and ordering.
(2) operations with algebraic expressions, which test your skills with the evaluation of simple formulas and expressions, adding and subtracting monomials and polynomials, multiplying and dividing monomials and polynomials, the evaluation of positive rational roots and exponents, simplifying algebraic fractions, and factoring.
(3) The third category tests skills in equation solving, inequalities, and word problems. These questions include solving verbal problems presented in algebraic context, geometric reasoning, the translation of written phrases into algebraic expressions, and graphing. 

College-Level Mathematics (20 questions)    Back to top
(Not all students testing for math will take this test)
Students who demonstrate a high level of mastery on the Elementary Algebra section will be automatically administered the College-Level Mathematics section after the Elementary Algebra section. The College-Level Mathematics test assesses proficiency from intermediate algebra through precalculus. Results are used to assess students’ preparedness for higher-level math courses such as Precalculus and Calculus. Five categories are covered in this test:
(1) algebraic operations, including simplifying rational algebraic expressions, factoring and expanding polynomials, solutions of equations, and manipulating roots and exponents.
(2) solutions of equations and inequalities, including the solution of linear and quadratic equations and inequalities, equation systems and other algebraic equations.
(3) coordinate geometry, including plane geometry, the coordinate plane, straight lines, conics, sets of points in the plane, and graphs of algebraic functions.
(4) applications and other algebra topics, including complex numbers, series and sequences, determinants, permutations and combinations, fractions and word problems.
(5) functions and trigonometry, including questions about polynomial algebraic, exponential, logarithmic and trigonometric functions. 

(Answers to the sample questions appear at the end)

This test measures your ability to understand what you read. Some questions will ask you to read the statement or passage and then choose the best answer to the question. Answer the question on the basis of what is stated or implied in the passage.

Sample Question 1:
There are two types of pottery that I do. There is production pottery–mugs, tableware–the kinds of things that sell easily. These pay for my time to do the other work, which is more creative and satisfies my needs as an artist.

The author of the passage implies that

(A.) artists have a tendency to waste valuable time

(B.) creativity and mass-production are incompatible

(C.) most people do not appreciate good art

(D.) pottery is not produced by creative artists

In other questions, two sentences are followed by a question or statement. Read the sentences; then choose the best answer to the question or the best completion of the statement.

Sample Question 2: 
The Midwest is experiencing its worst drought in fifteen years.
Corn and soybean prices are expected to be very high this year.
What does the second sentence do?

(A.) It restates the idea found in the first.

(B.) It states an effect.

(C.) It gives an example.

(D.) It analyzes the statement made in the first.

This test measures your ability to perform basic algebraic operations and to solve problems that involve elementary algebraic concepts.

Sample Questions:

1. 2x + 3x + y =

(A.) 6xy (B.) 5x + y (C.) 5(x + y) (D.) 6x + y

2. If a number is divided by 4 and then 3 is subtracted, the result is 0. What is the number?

(A.) 12 (B.) 4 (C.) 3 (D.) 2

3. If X2 – x – 6 = 0, then x is

(A.) –2 or 3 (B.) –1 or 6 (C.) 1 or –6 (D.) 2 or –3

This test measures your ability to solve problems that involve college-level mathematics concepts.

Sample Questions: 

1. If the 1st and 3rd terms of a geometric sequence are 3 and 27, respectively, then the 2nd term could be

(A.) 6 (B.) 9 (C.) 12 (D.) 15 (E.) 18

2. If f(x) = X4 – x + 2, then f(–x) =

(A.) X4 – x (B.) X4 + x (C.) X4 – x + 2 (D.) X4 + x + 2 (E.) X4 + x – 2

3. The equation X2 + 2ix – 4 = 0 has as its roots

(A.) √5 – 1, –√5 – 1
(B.) √5 – i, √5 + i
(C.) √3 – i, –√5 + i
(D.) √3 – i, √3 + i
(E.) √3 – i, –√3 – i 


Reading Comprehension: 1. (B); 2. (B)
Elementary Algebra: 1. (B); 2. (A); 3. (A)
College-Level Mathematics: 1. (B); 2. (D); 3. (E)

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