The written essay portion of the Accuplacer test measures the student’s ability to write. The ability to write effectively can be an indicator of academic success. The essay portion may be electronic or with pen and paper and may or may not be timed, depending on the school giving the test.
Not every school gives an essay test with the Accuplacer, as this portion of the test is optional. In this portion of the test, the student is given a topic and asked to take a position on the issue. The goal of the essay is to convey a clear message through organized ideas. The student is not graded based upon their stance; rather, the student evaluated in light of whether the stance is supported through their writing.
The Accuplacer essay is graded based on five criteria:
- Focus – the extent to which the essay stays on the main subject.
- Organization – the structure of the response with an ordered sequence of supporting ideas and no extraneous information.
- Development and Support – after the main idea is stated, the supporting ideas must be developed clearly and presented with necessary details.
- Sentence structure – the use of creative writing beyond basic sentences.
- Mechanical conventions – writing that has little or no errors with proper grammar and spelling.
When and where are the placement tests offered?
Do I need to take a placement test?
All applicants to degree, diploma, and certain certificate programs must take a placement examination (assessment) or qualify for a waiver as indicated below. The assessment is not an entrance examination. The purpose of placement examinations is to determine the individual’s skill level and readiness. Results will be used to determine the need, if any, for developmental placement. Faculty advisors will also use the results in planning students’ programs and classes.
Placement assessments are administered in the following areas: English skills (Including an Essay) and Mathematical skills. All placement scores are valid at CFCC for five years from date of examination.
CFCC will accept official copies of placement tests taken at other colleges (ASSET, COMPASS, ACCUPLACER). SAT scores (CFCC College Code 5094) directly from the College Board, or ACT scores (CFCC College Code 3185) are also accepted by CFCC. Official high school transcripts that post official SAT or ACT results are also accepted. Students enrolling in programs that have placement testing requirements are required to have placement test scores on file prior to being accepted at CFCC.
The placement test may not be necessary if the applicant meets one or more of the following requirements:
- Successfully completed comparable writing and reading and/or math developmental courses at other North Carolina Community Colleges.
- Achieved CFCC’s cut-off scores for desired curriculum programs by submitting official ASSET, COMPASS or ACCUPLACER (CPT) scores taken at other institutions within the last five years.
- Achieved the following minimum scores within the last five years: SAT Reading OR Writing – 500 (Prior to March 2016); SAT Evidence-Based Reading/Writing 480 (Tested March 2016 and Future); ACT Reading – 22 or English – 18; SAT Math 500 (Prior to March 2016); Math 530 (Tested March 2016 and Future) or ACT Math – 22; and has submitted an official copy to the Admissions Office.
- Satisfactorily completed a college level English Composition and/or Mathematics course above the developmental level at an accredited college or university.
High School GPA Placement Test Waiver:
A NC high school graduation date less than 5 years old with an unweighted GPA of 2.6 or higher and the successful completion of specific Math classes while in high school.
To be eligible for this waiver (called “Multiple Measures”), a high school student must complete four math courses, including Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra II (or the Standard Course of Study equivalents) and one additional math course.
Eligible 4th math courses are listed here: Eligible 4th High School Math Courses for Multiple Measures Placement
Information about the SAT
Information about the ACT
What is on the placement test?
The parts of the test consist of English (Including an Essay) and a Diagnostic Math test.
The parts you take depend on your program of study.
How can I study/prepare for the test?
Preparation information, tips, and sample questions from the official Accuplacer web site may be found here:
Do I need to make an appointment to take the placement test?
Is there a fee for taking the placement test?
No. There is no charge to take the placement test.
What do I need to bring to the testing room?
You need to bring a photo ID (such as a driver license), and you MUST KNOW YOUR 7-Digit CFCC Student ID number and your CFCC program of study. CFCC Student Services requires you to have an application on file in the Admissions Office before testing.
How long will the test take?
The length of time for testing depends on how many parts of the test you need.
The parts you need to take depend on your program of study.
The English part of the test includes 50 Multiple Choice questions and an Essay. This part is taking students about 1.5-2.5 hours to complete.
The Math part of the test has a total of 72 questions There are 36 questions on DMA10-30 (Pt. 1) and 36 question on DMA40-60 (Pt. 2). The average time it takes to complete the entire Math test is about 1-1.5 hours.
When will I receive the results of placement test?
Score results are generated as soon as you finish testing.
For a more detailed explanation on the results of your scores, see the Placement Test Advising Guide or the CFCC catalog.
Do my placement test scores really matter?
Most definitely! Your scores determine whether you are proficient in English and math. If you are proficient in these areas, you can register for the first level English/math for your course/program. If you are not proficient, you must take the developmental course(s) listed on your advising report.
Can I take placement test more than once?
Applicants/students can take the placement test only twice in (12) twelve consecutive months.
If I have a disability, can I make special arrangements?
If you are a student with a documented disability in need of accommodations during your placement test, please contact the Disability Services Office prior to scheduling. The Disability Services Office is located in Union Station – 218 or can be reached at 910.362.7800.
Do I need to keep my advising report?
Yes. For advising purposes, it may be helpful to have your report with you when you register for classes.