Description of ACCUPLACER Tests

Reading Comprehension

This test is designed to measure how well you understand what you read. Some ask you to decide how two sentences are related. Other questions ask you questions about reading passages of various lengths. You will be asked to interpret and draw conclusions from what you have read. Twenty questions are asked.

Sentence Skills

Two kinds of questions are given in this test. You will be asked to correct a sentence by choosing a word or phrase to substitute for an underlined portion of a sentence. In the other type of question, you will be asked to rewrite a sentence is a specific way without changing the meaning. Twenty questions are asked.


The Arithmetic test measures your skills in three primary categories:

  • Operations with whole numbers and fractions
    Includes: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, recognizing equivalent fractions and mixed numbers
  • Operations with decimals and percents 
    Includes: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division percent problems, decimal recognition, fraction percent equivalencies, and estimation problems
  • Applications and problem solving 
    Includes: rate, percent, and measurement problems, geometry problems, distribution of a quantity into its fractional parts.

Seventeen questions are asked.

Please note: WSU is phasing out the use of Accuplacer test for math placement as of December 31, 2018. Students interested in taking a math placement test or in improving their placement after Dec. 31, 2018, can use ALEKS PPL, which is now fully available. Although Accuplacer math tests will no longer be given starting January 1, 2019, WSU Accuplacer math scores will be honored for two years from when they are taken. As is university policy, Accuplacer math scores taken elsewhere will not be honored at WSU. Finally, WSU will continue to give Accuplacer English and Reading tests to interested students.

When may I take ACCUPLACER?

The test is given up until 2 hours before the closing at that particular testing center. Please check the hours on this website. No appointment is necessary.

Elementary Algebra

There are also three categories in the Elementary Algebra Test:

  • Operations with integers and rational numbers
    Includes: computation with integers and negative rationals, the use of absolute values, and ordering
  • Operations with algebraic expressions
    Includes: evaluations of simple formulas, expressions, and adding, subtracting monomials and polynomials, the evaluation of positive rational roots and exponents, simplifying algebraic fractions, and factoring
  • Equation solving, inequalities, and word problems
    Includes: solving verbal problems presented in algebraic context, geometric reasoning, the translation of written phrases into algebraic expressions, graphing

Twelve questions are asked.

College-Level Mathematics

The College-Level mathematics test assesses proficiency from intermediate algebra through precalculus. The categories covered include:

  • Algebraic operations
    Includes: simplifying rational algebraic expressions, factoring and expanding polynomials, manipulating roots and exponents
  • Solutions of equations and inequalities
    Includes: the solution of linear and quadratic equations by factoring, expanding polynomials, manipulating roots and exponents
  • Coordinate geometry
    Includes: plane geometry, the coordinate plane, straight lines, conics, sets of points in a plane, graphs of algebraic functions
  • Application and other algebra topics
    Asks about: complex numbers, series and sequences, determinants, permutations, combinations, fractions, word problems.
  • Functions and trigonometry
    Presents questions about: polynomial, algebraic, exponential, logarithmic, trigonometric functions.

Twenty questions are asked.