Testing Center

Accuplacer Testing

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The purpose of placement testing is to match the academic readiness of incoming students with the academic requirements of the curriculum. Persons applying for admission into all degree and diploma programs are required to demonstrate competence in Reading, English, Math and Computer Skills.  
Please review the following information:   

Scheduling
Please contact the SCC Testing Center to schedule your testing appointment. 

The Day of the Test

  • Arrive 15 minutes early. Check-in begins 15 minutes before your scheduled test time. Students arriving after the test has started may be asked to reschedule.
  • The test is untimed. It typically takes around 3 hours to complete all tests.
  • Bring ID. You will need to show ID with your name and a recognizable photo to test.
  • You do not need to bring any materials with you. We provide all testing materials. For some math questions, you will be provided with an online Accuplacer calculator.
  • Ask questions. Feel free to ask the test proctor any questions you may have.

Testing Regulations
Cell Phones, textbooks, notebooks, dictionaries, calculators, or other papers of any kind are not allowed in the testing room.  Other students may be testing at the same time, and you may not talk to one another for any reason.  Talking with anyone other than the test administrator may result in cancellation of your scores. SCC will disregard a test score if there is reason to question its validity.  Following the test period, all paper and pencils will be collected. Carry nothing away with you.

About the Tests
SCC uses the College Board's Accuplacer Basic Computer Skills, Reading Comprehension, Sentence Skills, and Diagnostic Math tests for placement.  You cannot "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.

Confidentiality
Your test scores and the information you provide when taking the test will only be available to the College Board, to Southwestern Community College and to North Carolina Community College System to meet their requirements. The information may be used to document whether or not you met testing requirements. The above agencies may also use it for research and statistical purposes. The test information will not be disclosed for any other purpose without your personal consent and signature. Any questions concerning confidentiality please see your Test Proctor.

Accuplacer Tips
Important tips for taking the Accuplacer placement tests:

  • Read instructions carefully and follow the directions.
  • Read each question very carefully to make sure you understand what it’s asking.
  • If you do not know the answer to a question, try to eliminate one or more of the choices that do not seem reasonable; then select one that remains. Read all choices for answers before selecting one.
  • You cannot go back to previous questions so make sure you’re satisfied with the answers you choose.
  • The Basic Computer Skills test is the only timed section.  All other tests are untimed so make sure you don’t rush.
  • On the reading comprehension test, read the passage as many times as you need. Read each answer choices and then refer back to the passage to be sure your answer is correct.  Some questions test your ability to locate information and others my test your ability to infer based on your reading of the passage. 
  • On the sentence skills test, put your answer back into the whole sentence to see if the sentence then sounds smooth and logical. Use scratch paper and try rewriting the sentence with each answer choice substituted. 
  • On the diagnostic math test, use scratch paper and try putting your answer back into the original problem. Write out the steps to solve each problem, even if the problem looks easy. If you do not solve a problem with one of the answers provided, try to double check your work for mistakes.  

Accuplacer - Computer Adaptive Testing
ACCUPLACER is an adaptive test. This means that the questions are chosen for you on the basis of your answers to previous questions. This technique selects just the right questions for your ability level. Because the test works this way, you must answer every question when it is first given. With the exception of the Basic Computer Skills test, each test is untimed so that 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 leave a question out or come back to it later to change your answer.  Click here to learn more about Accuplacer.

Basic Computer Skills
There are 30 computer skill set questions with a total of seventy minutes to complete the test.   

  • The test is a mix of multiple choice and performance based questions which pinpoints each student’s proficiencies and deficiencies within the three basic skill sets.
  • Questions are related to file management, word processing, Internet and email

Reading Comprehension
There are 20 questions of two primary types on the Reading Comprehension test.

  • The first type consists of a reading passage followed by a question based on the text. Both short and long passages are provided. The reading passages can also be classified according to the kind of information processing required including explicit statements related to the main idea, explicit statements related to a secondary idea, application, and inference.
  • The second type of question, sentence relationships, presents two sentences followed by a question about the relationship between these two sentences. The question may ask, for example, if the statement in the second sentence supports that in the first, if it contradicts it, or if it repeats the same information.

Sentence Skills
There are 20 Sentence Skills questions of two types.

  • The first type is sentence correction questions that require an understanding of sentence structure. These questions ask you to choose the most appropriate word or phrase to substitute for the underlined portion of the sentence.
  • The second type is construction shift questions. These questions ask that a sentence be rewritten according to the criteria shown while maintaining essentially the same meaning as the original sentence.

Within these two primary categories, the questions are also classified according to the skills being tested. Some questions deal with the logic of the sentence, others with whether or not the answer is a complete sentence, and still others with the relationship between coordination and subordination.

Diagnostic Math (NC-DAP)
There are a total of 96 questions within eight subject areas on the Diagnostic Math test. The following is a breakdown of all eight subject areas:

  • Operations with Integers
  • Fractions and Decimals
  • Proportions, Ratios, Rates and Percentages
  • Expressions, Linear Equations and Linear Inequalities
  • Graphs and Equations of Lines
  • Polynomials and Quadratic Applications
  • Rational Expressions and Equations
  • Radical Expressions and Equations

Test Results
Upon completion of the test, the student will receive a printed score report. The test administrator and your advisor will help you interpret the scores. Test scores are considered valid for initial placement for a period of five years from the date the assessment was completed.  

Retest Policy

  • A student may retest no more than one (1) time in a one (1) academic year period.
  • If a student passes four (4) or more of the math diagnostic test sections, a student may retest. 
  • Prior to all retests, the student must attend a free Accuplacer Prep Session.