How to prepare for the College Placement Test

To prepare yourself to take the College Placement Test, you should:

  1. Find out what the test will be like, and what material it will cover.
  2. Review the appropriate subjects and topics that you learned in high school.

Middlesex County College uses some of the the College Board’s Next-Generation ACCUPLACER tests for our College Placement Test.  The entire placement test consists of:

  • ACCUPLACER WritePlacer Essay Test (60 minutes long)
  • Next-Generation ACCUPLACER Reading Test
  • Next-Generation ACCUPLACER Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra, and Statistics Test (QAS)
  • Depending on how you score on the QAS test, you may get the Next-Generation ACCUPLACER Advanced Algebra and Functions Test.

You will be allowed to use scrap paper during the entire test, and an online calculator (provided by the College Board/Next-Generation ACCUPLACER) during the math portions of the College Placement Test.  You will not be allowed to have any electronic devices (e.g., cell phone, smart watch, hand held calculator, IPod, mp3 player, PDA, etc.) with you during the test.

To learn about the Next-Generation ACCUPLACER tests, and what material they cover, visit the College Board’s ACCUPLACER website, and get access to the free Web-Based Study App.  Also, read the four attachments listed below [WritePlacer Guide with Sample Essays (12-10-2008), Next-Generation Reading Sample Questions (2016), Next-Generation Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra, and Statistics Sample Questions (2016), and the Next-Generation Advanced Algebra and Functions Sample Questions (2016)].  The website, App, and documents will tell you how the ACCUPLACER computer adaptive tests work, as well as what topics each of them cover.

2. Once you know how the Next-Generation ACCUPLACER tests work, what subjects and topics are covered, and what the questions will be like, you should review the appropriate subjects and topics that you learned in high school to prepare for the test.  Here are some suggestions on how you might study for the College Placement Test:

  • If you still have your old high school notes and/or text books, start reviewing this material first.
  • Use an ACCUPLACER review book or an SAT review book to help you study for the test.
  • If you don’t have your old high school notes and/or text books, or it has been several years since you attended high school, an ACCUPLACER or SAT review book might not be very helpful to you (they usually assume that you are currently a high school junior or senior—thus, they review the subject matter rather quickly).  If so, use other subject level review books (e.g., “Basic Math” or “Algebra I”) to help you study for the College Placement Test.
  • The Khan Academy website provides free, online videos to help you prepare for the math part of the College Placement Test.
  • Passaic County Community College provides an online practice tests and explanations to all of their sample questions (although the sample questions are more from the older, ACCUPLACER tests, not the new Next-Generation ACCUPLACER tests).

The college also offers free, two hour workshops to help you prepare for the College Placement Test (Please note: The workshops do not provide a review of high school level reading, writing, and math skills). Please click here to see when the next workshop will take place.