Who Takes These Tests
New degree-seeking students are normally required to take Urbana University placement tests in reading, writing, and math. Results of these tests determine the required preparatory and developmental education courses that are most appropriate for each individual. These courses are usually the first courses of enrollment because they are designed to help students succeed by strengthening academic skills and self-confidence. Transfer students may have certain tests waived due to previous course credit at another institution. Additionally, students who have taken the ACT may not have to take certain placement tests. Academic advisors and Admissions advisors will advise students on the placement tests required, ways to prepare for tests, and appeal procedures.
READING AND WRITING, No time limit
The computer-based reading comprehension and writing placement assessments are administered simultaneously through Accuplacer to determine placement in English (ENG) and Communication (COMM) courses. During your first attempt, you will take both portions. It is possible to retake only one portion based on scores.
Next-Generation Reading assesses the test-taker’s ability to derive meaning from a range of texts and to determine the meaning of words and phrases in short and extended contexts. Passages on the test cover a range of content areas, writing modes, and complexities. Both single and paired passages are included. Four broad knowledge and skills categories are assessed:
- Information and Ideas
Next-Generation Writing evaluates a test-taker’s ability to revise and edit multi-paragraph text. Questions cover two broad knowledge and skills categories, each containing three subcategories:
Expression of Ideas
- Effective Language Use
Standard English Conventions
- Sentence Structure
RE-ENTRY MATH No time limit, multiple choice
Next-Generation Arithmetic focuses on computation, order of operations, estimation and rounding, comparing and ordering values in different formats, and recognizing equivalent values across formats. The following knowledge and skills categories are assessed:
- Whole Number Operations
- Fraction Operations
- Decimal Operations
- Number Comparisons and Equivalents
FUNDAMENTAL ALGEBRA No time limit, multiple choice
Next-Generation Advanced Algebra and Functions (AAF) assesses the following knowledge and skills:
- Linear Equations
- Linear Applications and Graphs
- Radical and Rational Equations
- Polynomial Equations
- Exponential and Logarithmic Equations
*CALCULATOR USE: There are both no-calculator and calculator questions.
No-calculator questions: These questions assess fluency in rational number arithmetic and include conceptual questions for which a calculator is not needed. They should help assure post-secondary instructors that students who earn high scores on the next-generation ACCUPLACER Math placement tests do not lack the ability to perform calculations manually.
Calculator questions: Questions with calculator options give insight into students’ capacity for strategic use of the tool to address problems efficiently. If a question is configured to allow for the use of a calculator on computer-based tests, the calculator icon will present in the top right corner of the screen. For questions that are configured for multiple calculators, clicking on the icon will provide the student with a drop-down menu that could include two or three of the following: – Basic calculator, or four-function calculator – Square root calculator, or four-function calculator with square root button – Graphing calculator, or TI-84 graphing calculator.
Scores and Interpretation
It is important that students answer each question to the best of their ability. Scores will be used in part to determine course placement. Failure to do one’s best may result in course placements that are inaccurate for a student’s skill level.
Students will learn the scores of their placement assessments upon completion of each exam. These scores will be made available to your Admissions advisor or Academic advisor. Students will be charged $15 per test re-take. Subsequent test retakes will be considered after a three month waiting period.