What is Accuplacer?
The Accuplacer placement exams are simple tests to gauge your knowledge and skills in certain subjects. Accuplacer is basically a way to make sure you don’t take classes you don’t need (or that you’re not ready for yet). There are two Accuplacer tests you can take, Math and English (which consists of two parts, reading comprehension and sentence skills).
Do I need to take it?
After you apply for admissions, you’ll receive an acceptance letter that will tell you if you need to take a placement exam before signing up for classes. You are required to take the Accuplacer if your ACT math scores are below 22 or if your course placement has expired. Your placement has expired if your ACT/ SAT is older than 2 years, your Accuplacer is older than 1 year, or your prerequisite math course is older than one year. If you’re coming back to school after a few years, you are more than likely going to need to take the Accuplacer to be placed into the correct math and English classes. Also, just a heads up, you won’t be permitted to register for classes before you take the required Accuplacer tests. Essentially the sooner you take the Accuplacer, the sooner you can sign up for classes.
Taking the Test
You can take the Accuplacer at several locations including the Ogden Campus, the Davis Campus, and the West Center. Just make sure to check out the testing center hours and locations. No appointment is necessary but you’ll need to be at the testing center at least one hour before they close. The math and English will each take about an hour, depending on your skill level.
What to Bring
- Money: The math and English Accuplacer cost $10 each, so bring some form of payment with you. (But if you’re retaking one part of the English, it’s only $5).
- A picture ID: Your Wildcard, license, or something akin to that.
- Your W number: If you don’t know what it is log into your Weber Portal, click on the student services tab, and it will be on the left side under personal profile. And remember when entering your W number into Accuplacer, be sure to use a capital “W” and use zeros not Os.
- A pencil: The main staple of taking any test.
THINGS YOU DON’T NEED: Calculators are not allowed, and scratch paper will be provided so you won’t need that.
About the Test
The Accuplacer is an adaptive test, which means that the questions are chosen for you on the basis of your answers to previous questions. Basically, if you answer the questions correctly you will keep moving on to tougher sections. Because the test works this way, you must answer every question in order. The Accuplacer isn’t timed so you can give each question as much thought as you wish. You can change your answer to a particular question before moving on to the next question, but you cannot skip a question or come back to it later to change your answer. Also you can’t “pass” or “fail” the placement tests, but it is very important that you do your very best on these tests so that you will have an accurate measure of your academic skills.
How can I prepare?
Now for most of us it’s been a while since we’ve thought about the quadratic equation or where in the world the comma is supposed to go, so you may want to prepare and go over sample questions. You can also look at test helps for the SAT or ACT.
When do I take it?
The Accuplacer is offered year round, so as soon as you’ve been accepted to WSU you should take the test. After you take it the testing center will give you a print out your scores. Once you have your scores you should look at the assessment and placement standards which outline what scores are needed to be placed into math and English classes. These standards are helpful to see your placement fits in the grand scheme of things. For example, Lets say you get an 88 on your English reading comprehension Accuplacer, well you only need two more points to go from ENGL 990 to ENGL 1010. If you’re close to the next class my advice would be to study hard so you don’t have to take any developmental classes that don’t count towards your degree. Just because you do poorly once, doesn’t mean you can’t study and improve your test score. WSU does not count any 0900 level developmental course into your GPA average or graduation credits. 0900 level math and English courses are developmental classes that help advance you to the 1000 level courses, which count for your degree.
For math, you can be placed into MATH 0950 Pre-algebra, MATH 0990 Algebra, MATH 1010 Intermediate Algebra, Quantitative Literacy (QL) Contemporary Mathematics 1030 or QL College Algebra 1050, or you can completely test out of math (although this is very rare). For English you can be placed into ENGL 900 Fundamentals of College Reading and Writing, ENGL 955 Developmental College Reading and Writing, or ENGL 1010 Introductory College Writing, and there is no possibility of testing out the English (sorry folks).