The Accuplacer Exam is used to help assess incoming student’s readiness for introductory level college courses. Over 8.5 million Accuplacer exams are given every year, and if your chosen institution requires the exam, it’s well advised to be prepared going in.
Good scores on the Accuplacer can help you avoid remediation level courses with little value in progressing towards your degree. We’ll cover the exam in detail, and give you our picks for the best Accuplacer Study Guides, Flashcards, and Review Guides for test year 2020 below, but if you just can’t wait, here’s our short list:
Accuplacer Exam Details
The Accuplacer Exam covers Reading, Writing, and Mathematics, and is somewhat different than most of the exams you’ve likely taken recently.
For starters, the entire exam is given on computers rather than paper and pencil. This allows the exam to adapt in real time based on your performance on each question. For instance, if you do well on a question, you might get a more difficult follow up on the next question (or vice-versa if you do poorly). This means each and every question should be answered to the best of your abilities.
Second, the exam has no time limit. This means you can take as much or as little time as you need to answer. Crazy right?
Finally, there is no passing or failing grade on the Accuplacer. Each institution determines how to handle scores based on the remediation programs available to them.
All Accuplacer Exams are multiple choice. The exams you’ll be required to take are up to the institution you’re attending, but the complete list of subjects and tests available are outlined below.
There are 3 mathematics related exams available in the “Next Gen Accuplacer”:
- Next Generation Arithmetic
- Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra, and Statistics
- Advanced Algebra
The Next Gen Reading Accuplacer Exam covers:
- Information and Ideas
The Next Gen Writing Accuplacer Exam covers:
- Expression of Ideas (including development, organization, and use of language)
- Standard English Conventions (sentence structure, usage, punctuation)
The Accuplacer is a computer based exam, so scores are calculated and available immediately after completion of the exam. The score reports may or may not include information about your placement or other factors depending on how your school has implemented some of the features.
You’ll typically schedule your exam by getting in touch with your college counseling or advisors office. Most exams are taken on-site at the school. If you don’t live near the college, contact the offices above to work out alternative testing arrangement (either through another college near you or at a testing center).
Best Accuplacer Study Guides
Accuplacer has several strong contenders for the best study guides and review materials which we’ve ranked for you above. Continue on for detailed information on each one!
Test Prep Books: Accuplacer Study Guide
Pros: Full length practice tests (3) with access to online resources.
Cons: Some explanations lack clarity.
Best For: Supplementing course textbooks throughout the year or lead up to the exam..
Our Rating: 5 / 5
Accuplacer Study Guide from Test Prep Books is our top overall pick for best Accuplacer Study Guide this year. It has a comprehensive and detailed coverage of the next-generation exams, reading, writing, and math.
Key features include:
- Quick Overview of Math, Reading and Writing exams
- Test-Taking Strategies proven to help you score well!
- Practice questions to help you understand what to expect on the real test
- Detailed answer explanations that help you understand why you got an answer right or wrong.
The production value for this guide is best in class, and it has excellent practice questions and answers. The organization and layout of this book is logical, and makes it easy to digest. This is great for making the most of you limited study time. If you’re only planning to pick up one resource on this list, make it this one. If you’re planning to supplement, the flashcards and practice question bank below are great choices!
ACCUPLACER Secrets Study Guide
Pros: Great practice questions and answers.
Cons: Layout isn't as strong as our top pick.
Our Rating: 4.5 / 5
ACCUPLACER Secrets Study Guide is our runner up choice in the Study Guide category. This guide from Mometrix is also quite high quality and detailed. It is completely viable if you prefer it to the recommendation above for any reason. We didn’t pick it as our top recommendation only because the information layout isn’t quite as strong as the book above.
Full list of key features:
- A thorough analysis of arithmetic, quantitative reasoning, algebra, and statistics topics
- A complete guide to information needed to master the Next-Generation ACCUPLACER exam
- Comprehensive Next-Generation ACCUPLACER practice questions with detailed answer explanations
The practice questions in this book do a good job of representing the broad range of topics you’ll encounter on the actual exam. The Mometrix team also produces our flashcard and practice question bank picks below, so if you plan to pick those up it might be good to be consistent with this guide as well.
ACCUPLACER Flashcard Study System
Pros: High quality relevant cards.
Cons: Cards can be densely packed which some people don't enjoy.
Our Rating: 4.5 / 5
ACCUPLACER Flashcard Study System is our pick for best Accuplacer flashcards. It contains over 300 awesome cards that are jam packed with high quality content.
- Over 330 flashcards.
- Each card contains tons of highly relevant content for quick review.
- Repetitive drilling can aid information retention.
Repetitive drilling is a great way to prepare for any exam. It aids with information recall and retention, and can make the difference between a good score and a poor one. If you’ve used and benefited from flashcards on other exams in the past, picking up a set for the Accuplacer is a great idea!
ACCUPLACER Practice Questions
Pros: Tons of relevant practice questions.
Cons: Not a full fledged review guide.
Our Rating: 4.5 / 5
A big part of preparing for the Accuplacer is drilling on realistic practice questions. This book has many fantastic questions that reflect the difficulty and content of the actual test.
The full list of features includes:
- Prepare with questions similar to what you should expect from the actual exam.
- Detailed answer explanations to help you understand what you got wrong.
- Over 100 pages for highly relevant content.
While both of the guides on this list come with practice questions included, it never hurts to supplement. Help assess your study progress, and make sure you’re ready for everything the test can throw at you.
Accuplacer Frequently Asked Questions
Can you take the Accuplacer test online at home?
There are plenty of materials and practice tests you can take at home to prepare for the Accuplacer, but the actual exam is only offered at official locations.
What should I study for placement test?
Depending on which exam you’ll be required to take and your level of familiarity with the material, you may need to study extensively or not at all. The study guides above should have all of the material you need to succeed on each exam.
Can you use a calculator on accuplacer?
There is a calculator app within the testing suite for some questions, but you can not bring your own for use.
Can you use scratch paper on the accuplacer?
Yes, most testing centers will provide you with scratch paper for use on the exam. They will not allow you to bring your own materials, and other items like calculators, cell phones, etc are not allowed.
Doing well on the Accuplacer can give you a huge leg up going into your first year of college. With a strong understanding of the topics and questions you should expect to face, you’re sure to improve your scores significantly.
We’ve rounded up some of the best Accuplacer study materials out there, which can help you succeed.
To recap our recommendations:
|Top Study Guide Pick||Accuplacer Study Guide|
|Top Flashcard Pick||Accuplacer Flashcard Study System|
|Top Question Bank Pick||Accuplacer Practice Questions|
Our top pick for study guides is Accuplacer Study Guide by Test Prep Books. It’s got high production value and a thorough review of all topics.
Accuplacer Flashcard Study System is our top pick for Flashcards. With over 300 high quality cards, there’s something for everyone.
Finally, Accuplacer Practice Questions is our pick for supplemental practice question bank. It’s got over 100 pages of relevant questions that reflect what you’ll encounter on the actual exam.
Whatever your circumstance, supplemental study and review materials are a key part of ensuring success on the exam. We’ve listed some of the best Accuplacer resources available. Good luck, and study hard!