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 between 3-4 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, Diagnostic Reading, Revising and Editing, WritePlacer, and 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 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 English tests, 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 Essay section, you will write an essay in which you develop your own point of view on the provided issue. You should support your position with appropriate reasoning and examples. The position you take will not influence your score.
  • 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.  

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

Diagnostic Reading, Revising and Editing, and WritePlacer (NC-DAP)
Reading — This section contains 30 questions. Topics covered in this section include:
• Main Idea/Summary
• Supporting Detail/Paraphrase
• Vocabulary
• Organization
• Inference
• Point of View, Fact-Opinion, and Bias (paired passages)
• Purpose/Tone
• Author’s Use of Language

Revising and Editing Writing — This section contains 20 questions. Topics covered in this section include:
• Transitions
• Sentence Combining
• Revising Sentences, Inserting Sentences, and Deleting Sentences
• Topic Sentences, Thesis Statements, and Concluding Sentences
• Grammar, Mechanics, Sentence Structure, and Word Choice

WritePlacer — This section measures your ability to write effectively, which is critical to academic success.
The following six characteristics of writing will be considered:
• Purpose and Focus: The extent to which the writer presents information in a unified and coherent manner, clearly addressing the issue.
• Organization and Structure: The extent to which the writer orders and connects ideas.
• Development and Support: The extent to which the writer develops and supports ideas.
• Sentence Variety and Style: The extent to which the writer crafts sentences and paragraphs demonstrating control of vocabulary, voice, and structure.
• Mechanical Conventions: The extent to which the writer expresses ideas using standard English.
• Critical Thinking: The extent to which the writer communicates a point of view and demonstrates reasoned relationships among ideas.

Diagnostic Math (NC-DAP)
There are a total of 72 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.