How Is the Accuplacer Test Scored?

For some new college students, taking an Accuplacer exam is the first step to enrolling in courses suitable for their skill level. This is because Accuplacer is a placement test that some colleges use to determine if you are ready for accreditation courses or need to modify multiple classes.

This means that if you do well on the Accuplacer test, you can start crediting courses right away!

But what exactly constitutes a “good” ACCUPLACER score? Here, you will find all the information you need about the Accuplacer test score.

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ACCUPLACER score ranges

The ACCUPLACER score range for writing, reading, quantitative reasoning, arithmetic, algebra and statistics, advanced algebra, and functions is 200-300.

In this ACCUPLACER score, there is a range of five “score bands” or smaller score ranges defined by Skills Insight. The Skills Insight Statement, designed by the College Board, divides the ACCUPLACER test scores into the following five score bands:

  • 200–236
  • 237–249
  • 250–262
  • 263–275
  • 276–300

Each university sets the minimum scores you must obtain to bypass compensation classes and start earning universal credit.

It is recommended that you aim for a score of 263 or higher. This is because the students with the highest scores in the two bands show an understanding of the complex skills and knowledge you need to succeed in college.

The Skills Insight order for each Accuplacer exam gives a full report of each score band. These descriptions explain what skills and knowledge students typically acquire when scoring in a particular group.

For example, the Skills Insight statement for the ACCUPLACER Reading test states the following about students who score in the 276-300 score band:

Students who score in this group can typically demonstrate the following additional skills and knowledge in complex to highly complex texts:

  • Determine the complex function of a part of the text about the whole text
  • Define complex to very complex central claims or counterclaims of the text
  • Reach complex to highly complex or subtle assessments of the author’s argument or use of evidence

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ACCUPLACER Math scores

The ACCUPLACER Math section is graded on a scale between 20 and 120 points, with 120 highest points possible. There are three tests in arithmetic, elementary algebra, and college-level math.

ACCUPLACER English scores

The English ACCUPLACER section is graded on a scale between 20 and 120 points. The English section is divided into two tests: sentence skills and reading comprehension.

ACCUPLACER ESL scores

The ACCUPLACER English-As-A-Second Language (ESL) section is rated on a scale between 20 and 120 points. The English-As-A-Second Language assessment involved four parts: language use, listening, reading skills, and sentence skills.

ACCUPLACER Essay exam score range

There is also the WritePlacer essay exam and the WritePlacer ESL essay exam, which use a score range of 1-8 and 1-6, respectively. Just like other ACCUPLACER tests, the higher the number, the better the score.

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Receiving test scores

The computer testing system used for ACCUPLACER exams enables people to get their test scores instantly. After the exams, the person can receive a report on their score from the school where they took the exams.

Students may receive guidance from school counselors after receiving a test score. These specialists can review test results and advise students to retake the test, select a diagnostic version of the test, or enroll in preparatory courses in one or more subject areas. Counselors can also select students who are eligible for college courses and help them choose the best courses for their first year.

Score interpretation

There is no fixed passing score on Accuplacer tests, so you cannot fail a placement test. A placement test only determines when you start the best courses at university.

Score conditions vary depending on the course you want to try. All Accuplacer exam scores are presented in a scaled scoring system. For example, if you get the right question, you will be given a slightly more difficult question. If you find the question wrong, you will be given a slightly simpler question.

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