What is a Good Score on the Accuplacer?

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Often used as a placement examination, the Accuplacer exam tests students on their current knowledge. However, you might be wondering if you’re someone who has to sit for this exam. Does everyone have to take the exam? If so, what’s a good score for colleges and universities?

The first thing to note is that the Accuplacer exam is distinctive compared to other standardized exams. We have compiled all the information you might need. The most important thing to know is what score you should aim for to be accepted by colleges anywhere.

What is the Purpose of the Accuplacer Exam?What is the Purpose of the Accuplacer Exam?

The main aim of the Accuplacer exam is to test students on their way to college. The test aims to evaluate where your placement is and how prepared you are for the difficulty of college courses.

Like the SAT and the AP exams, Accuplacer is an examination administered by College Board. As the website mentions, there are three primary purposes for sitting for the test:

  1. Your score allows you to evaluate how ready you are for the college courses you will face.
  2. Allows you to earn extra credits towards your degree.
  3. Enables students to develop the necessary skills and gain more knowledge before kickstarting their college journey.

More often than not, the college you’re applying to will administer the Accuplacer test. However, this usually happens after you’ve been accepted into college. Hence, it’s not a metric that evaluates whether you’re going to be enrolled or not. Instead, it’s a tool to figure out where you stand academically and which courses you should study.

But what is the purpose of doing all that for the Accuplacer test? Well, instead of having students blindly enroll in courses, colleges place their candidates in their adequate studies. Hence, you won’t have to struggle with a class or get overwhelmed by the amount of work you must do.

While the test is often taken by students on their way to college, any person that belongs to the following subgroups can sit for them:

  • ESL students (English as a Second Language)
  • High school students who want to take some college-level courses
  • Students transferring colleges
  • Students who are about to begin their college journey

How is the Accuplacer Test Scored?

How is the Accuplacer Test Scored?

The first thing to know about desired Accuplacer test scores is that the exam is divided into subtests. Hence, you might be asked to sit for different tests according to what you’re applying for in college.

Accuplacer Subtests

These tests are:

  • Reading Test: information & ideas, vocabulary, synthesis, and rhetoric
  • Writing Test: expression of ideas (development, effective use of language, and organization) and Standard English Conventions (structure, usage, and punctuation)
  • Math TestArithmetic: whole numbers, fractions, decimals, percentages, and number comparisons
  • QAS (Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra, and Statistics): rational numbers, ratios, exponentials, linear operations, probability, geometry, and statistics
  • AAF (Advanced Algebra and Functioning): polynomials, trigonometry, radical equations, logarithmic equations, factoring, and quadratics
  • WritePlacer Essay: evaluates your essay-writing skills
  • ESL Test: for people who have English as their second language, this test allows them to be appropriately placed in suitable courses

All those examinations are composed of multiple-choice questions, except for the WritePlacer essay. Moreover, any multiple-choice questions are administered through a computer and have no time limit.

Remember that the exam is adaptive; the more correct answers you get, the more complex the questions become. Hence, while it might be a struggle to get used to it initially, this is the ideal mechanism to test how far your skills allow you to go.

Accuplacer Test Scores

So, how is the Accuplacer exam scored? They all scored on the same scale, ranging from 200 to 300. What’s defined as a good grade can be a little subjective, as what qualifies as a “good” score depends on the desired outcome. However, the Accuplacer test scores percentiles are divided as follows:

  • 200-236
  • 237-249
  • 259-262
  • 263-275
  • 276-300

But what is a good score on the Accuplacer exam? The scores are generally divided into five bands, as seen above. However, to fully understand what each score entails, look at the list below, or check the official Next Generation Accuplacer scores chart by College Board.

  • 200-236: basic foundational skills are present.
  • 237-249: demonstrate skills in somewhat challenging problems.
  • 250-262: has average skills for college courses.
  • 263-275: above-average performance.
  • 270-300: considered to be high Accuplacer scores.

The ESL exam is scored on a scale of 1 to 6. On the other hand, the WritePlacer has a band of 1 to 8.

So, what is a good score on the Accuplacer? The average score is considered to be somewhere around 221-250. Above moderate grades fall in the range of 250-270. However, if you want to aim high and achieve outstanding scores, you will have to score somewhere higher than 270.

Comparing the ACT and Accuplacer Test Score

Comparing the ACT and Accuplacer Test Score

You might already be familiar with the ACT exam, which stands for American College Testing. It’s a well-known American standardized test often used as a college admission tool. However, while many students use it to evaluate how well they’ve performed on the Accuplacer exam, they both are distinct exams.

Consider this: the Accuplacer exam is simply a test that evaluates your academic standing after you’ve been accepted into the college. On the other hand, the ACT exam is a standardized entrance exam. Hence, the ACT test is one you’ll sit for before going to college, and you’ll get accepted into places according to that score.

On the other hand, the Accuplacer works on figuring out which courses you should take. That will allows the college to figure out what level of difficulty you would be comfortable with.

Moreover, the astonishing thing about evaluating your ACT score is that some students are exempted from the Accuplacer exam if they score high enough on the ACT. Hence, having a general idea of what your scores illustrate might come in handy.

For instance, the general rule is that students who score 21 or higher on the ACT aren’t required to sit for any Accuplacer subtests.

Hence, a general understanding of how Accuplacer scores compared to the ACT allows you to evaluate where you’re standing. Below is a chart of equivalent grades to guide you through. Remember that it’s a general guideline and might vary slightly according to the college. Below are some Accuplacer scores compared to ACT from Kalamazoo Valley Community College:

Writing Assessment

Next Generation Accuplacer Scores ACT Scores
200-229 0-12
230-246 13-14
247-259 15-17
260-300 18-36

Reading Assessment

Next Generation Accuplacer Scores ACT Scores
200-239 0-14
240-255 15-20
256-300 21-36

 Keep in mind that when wanting to compare your results, consult your college. They might already have a table of comparisons, as each college might have different requirements.

So, the Accuplacer test scores meaning is generally a tool used to evaluate your academic standing. Hence, no matter where you fall, you’ve already been accepted into the college administering the exam. The institute uses this tool to determine whether to give you advanced courses or introductory ones. Don’t worry. This is meant to help you figure out your bearing in college instead of overwhelming you.

How to Get a Good Score on Accuplacer Test?

How to Get a Good Score on Accuplacer Test?

We have good news for you, whether you’re aiming to score a high grade because you want to sit for advanced courses or simply to feel good. You can work on boosting your Accuplacer score in multiple ways. However, don’t beat yourself down if you don’t score above 270, as it’s simply helping you figure out which difficulty level you’re currently comfortable with.

Here are our 5 tips for getting a good score on the Accuplacer test:

  • Sit for multiple sessions: depending on your college, you might not be required to sit for all the subtests. However, if you have to sit for more than 2, consider breaking them down into two separate days. Start with the easiest one for you, and then build-up to the most difficult.
  • Take your time: as mentioned before, the Acuplacer exams are not timed. Hence, take your time working on each section. Each subtest is often composed of 20-25 multiple-choice questions.
  • Throw away the anxiety: study shows that around 25-40% of U.S. students suffer from test anxiety. However, you’ve already been accepted into the college, so don’t fret about the outcome.
  • Practice beforehand: College Board offers study and practice tools to help you prepare for the exam. Hence, it’ll be an excellent opportunity to work on your already-existing knowledge.
  • Use your high school textbooks: this exam won’t test you on matters you’ve never seen before. Hence, when you’re looking for some revision time, get out those high school textbooks and review some math questions.

Wrapping Things Up: What is a Good Score on the Accuplacer?

All things considered, simply remember that the Accuplacer exam is not an entrance exam. You’re only asked to sit for it for the college to evaluate your academic standing. Hence, the exam is for your own good, as it allows you to take courses that satisfy your current level of knowledge.

Moreover, don’t stress about what an excellent Accuplacer score is. Simply try your best, and revise before the exam. That allows you to answer all the questions you already know, which places you at an adequate level when going to college.

Professor Conquer
Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

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