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Planning on attending college in the near future? Make sure you’re enrolled in the right courses with help from ACCUPLACER exams.

ACCUPLACER is a series of tests that evaluate a student’s preparedness for college-level courses. Students generally arrange to take ACCUPLACER exams through the college they plan to attend before enrolling in classes. Using computer-adaptive technology, students are tested on their skills in three areas: mathematics, reading, and writing.


  • ACCUPLACER is offered by the College Board, the same organization that offers the SAT and CLEP exams.
  • Tests are administered online and provide instant results.
  • Exams are not timed.
  • The tests are multiple choice with the exception of the WritePlacer essay section.
  • Colleges can customize the exam content and use the results to determine a student’s course placement.

Why take an ACCUPLACER exam?

College courses are expensive and require a large time commitment. You may have passed your high school math class, but did you retain the skills needed to earn credit for a college-level statistics class? Don’t waste your time and money by enrolling in the wrong course. Your scores on ACCUPLACER tests can help determine which courses are right for you.

What to expect on the exam

Similar to other standardized assessments, students take ACCUPLACER exams to test their skills in the following areas:


Comprehension of texts and passages


The ability to edit and revise multiple paragraphs of text


Students can choose to be tested in the following areas:

  • Arithmetic
  • Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra and Statistics (QAS)
  • Advanced Algebra and Functions (AAF)

WritePlacer Essay 

The ability to express, organize, and support ideas in essay format

ACCUPLACER for English Language Learners

If English isn’t is your first language, you may be asked to test your skills in the following areas:

  • ESL Language Use 
  • ESL Listening
  • ESL Reading Skills
  • ESL Sentence Meaning

Source: CollegeBoard.org

How are the tests designed?

ACCUPLACER exams are designed using “computer adaptive technology.” Your test-taking experience is personalized by using the outcome of each question to determine the difficulty of the following question.

What is considered a passing score?

There are no passing or failing scores on ACCUPLACER exams. Instead, colleges and universities set their own scoring standards to determine your course placement. For example, your scores may inform college advisors you need to take a non-credit, developmental course prior to enrolling in a credit-bearing class.

How can you study for ACCUPLACER exams?

Peterson’s ACCUPLACER practice tests can help you earn your best score on test day. A test prep subscription gives you unlimited access to three, full-length practice tests broken down by sub-content areas. With detailed answers provided for every question, you’ll give yourself the best chance at getting the course placement you want from your school. 

Looking for ways to save time and money on college expenses? CLEP and DSST exams allow you to earn college credit in subjects you already know. Students save an average of $900 for each passed exam!