Prepare for the Writing Placement Test

Student Reading in Campus LibraryYour writing course placement with Accuplacer is based on your combined performance on the Sentence Skills and Reading Comprehension tests.  The best way to prepare is to refresh your memory on grammar rules and to understand the types of questions on the test. 

  1. Understand the types of questions
  2. Review the Accuplacer practice sample questions 
  3. Review writing topics 

1. Understand the types of questions

Sentence Skills

20 questions measure your understanding of sentence structure. Some questions deal with the logic of the sentence, and others with the relationships between two sentences.

Sentence correction questions ask you to choose the most appropriate word or phrase to substitute for the underlined portion of the sentences.

Example:

When you cross the street in the middle of the block, this is an example of jaywalking.  

  1. When you cross the street in the middle of the block, this
  2. You cross the street in the middle of the block, this
  3. Crossing the street in the middle of the block
  4. The fact that you cross the street in the middle of the block

Answer: C


Construction shift questions
ask that you follow the instructions to rewrite a sentence.  The new sentence should have essentially the same meaning as the original sentence. 

Example:

The band began to play, and then the real party started.

Rewrite, beginning with:
The real party started

The next words will be:  

  1. after the band began
  2. and the band began
  3. although the band began
  4. the band beginning

Answer: A

Reading Comprehension

20 questions measure your ability to understand what you read, to identify main ideas and to make inferences.

The first set of questions asks you to read a passage and then choose the best answer to a question.   

Example:

It is said that a smile is universally understood. And nothing triggers a smile more universally than a taste of sugar.  Nearly everyone loves sugar. Infant studies indicate that humans are born with an innate love of sweets. Based on statistics, a lot of people in Great Britain must be smiling because on average, every man, woman, and child in that country consumes 95 pounds of sugar each year.

From this passage it seems safe to conclude that the English

  1. do not know that too much sugar is unhealthy.
  2. eat desserts at every meal.
  3. are fonder of sweets than most people.
  4. have more cavities than any other people.

Answer: C


Next are questions that ask you to read two sentences and answer a question about the relationship between the two sentences. 

Example:

The Midwest is experiencing its worst drought in 15 years

Corn and soybean prices are expected to be very high this year.

What does the second sentence do?

  1. It restates the idea found in the first.
  2. It states an effect. 
  3. It gives an example.
  4. It analyzes the statement made in the first.

Answer: B


2. Button - Review Accuplacer Practice QuestionsReview the Accuplacer practice sample questions 

The Accuplacer sample questions will help you understand which writing topics you need to review.


3. Review writing topics


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