About the Tests

Assessment testing at MCC will help you to identify your academic strengths and needs so that you can plan an appropriate schedule of course work. The test will give you information about your skills in reading, writing, and mathematics, and will tell you at what level you need to begin your college studies. The entire test takes approximately three hours so plan your time accordingly.

Students must bring their Banner student identification number and a photo ID to the test.

The test comprises two parts. The first part of the test is a computerized test called Accuplacer, where students are tested on mathematics, reading comprehension and sentence skills. The test administrator will connect you to the Accuplacer website where you will read the instructions and questions, and then select your answers using the mouse. Basic computer skills are all that is needed to complete this test. You are tested on the content of the test sections not your computer skills. The second part, a challenge essay, is a writing sample. Students have up to one hour to compose their essay.

After completing the entire test, you will make an appointment to meet with an academic advisor to discuss your results and plan your schedule of courses.

What kinds of questions are on Accuplacer?

Reading Comprehension

This test is designed to measure how well you understand what you read. It contains 20 questions. Each student will receive four long reading passages, eight to nine questions based on short passages, and four to five questions involving sentence relationships. Questions are varied according to content categories to help prevent bias because of a student’s particular knowledge. These categories include social sciences, natural and physical sciences, human relations and practical affairs, and the arts.

Sentence Skills

This test is designed to measure your understanding of sentence structure. It contains 20 questions. Some questions deal with the logic of the sentence, others with whether or not the answer is a complete sentence, and still others with the relationship between coordination and subordination. In a manner similar to reading comprehension questions, these questions are varied according to content categories to help prevent bias because of a student’s particular knowledge. These categories include social sciences, natural and physical sciences, human relations and practical affairs, and the arts.

Levels of English Proficiency (LOEP) Test: Reading Skills

The LOEP test assesses the English skills of students who have learned English as a second language or who are native English speakers with limited proficiency. The reading skills part of the LOEP test assesses the student’s comprehension of short passages.  It contains a total of 20 questions. This test is designed to measure comprehension and inference skills.


The Arithmetic test measures your skills in three primary categories. The first category is operations with whole numbers and fractions. It includes addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and recognizing equivalent fractions and mixed numbers. The second category involves operations with decimals and percents. It includes addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, as well as percent problems, decimal recognition, fraction and percent equivalencies, and estimation problems. The third category tests applications and problem-solving. Questions include rate, percent and measurement problems, geometry problems and distribution of a quantity into its fractional parts. A total of 17 questions are asked.

Elementary Algebra

There are also three categories in the Elementary Algebra test.  It contains a total of 12 questions. The first category, operations with integers and rational numbers, includes computation with integers and negative rationals, the use of absolute values and ordering. The second category is operations with algebraic expressions. It tests your skills in evaluating simple formulas and expressions, and in adding and subtracting monomials and polynomials. Both the first and second categories include questions about multiplying and dividing monomials and polynomials, evaluating positive rational roots and exponents, simplifying algebraic fractions and factoring. The third category tests skills in solving equations, inequalities and word problems. These questions include solving systems of linear equations, quadratic equations by factoring, verbal problems presented in algebraic context, geometric reasoning, the translation of written phrases into algebraic expressions and graphing.

College-level Mathematics

The College-level Mathematics test assesses proficiency in intermediate algebra through pre-calculus. Six categories are covered. The first category, algebraic operations, includes simplifying rational algebraic expressions, factoring, expanding polynomials and manipulating roots and exponents. The second category, solutions of equations and inequalities, includes the solution of linear and quadratic equations and inequalities, equation systems and other algebraic equations. Coordinate geometry asks questions about plane geometry, the coordinate plane, straight lines, conics, sets of points in the plane, and graphs of algebraic functions. Applications and other algebra topics ask about complex numbers, series and sequences, determinants, permutations and combinations, fractions, and word problems. The last category, functions and trigonometry, presents questions about polynomial, algebraic, exponential, logarithmic and trigonometric functions. A total of 20 questions are asked.

Test Taking Tips

  • Relax! The Assessment Test was designed to help you succeed in school.  Your course placement result helps you and your advisor determine which courses are most appropriate for your current level of knowledge and skills. Once you identify your academic strengths and needs you can get the help you need to improve underdeveloped skills before they can interfere with your learning.
  • You will be able to concentrate better on the test if you get plenty of rest and eat properly prior to the test. You should also arrive 30 minutes early (and even earlier in January and August) so you can find the testing area, bathrooms, etc., and gather your thoughts before the test begins.
  • Pay careful attention to directions and be sure you understand the directions before you begin each test.
  • Write your best!  If you are required to do the Challenge essay you will have up to one hour to write your essay.  Instructors from the English Department will read your essay and determine which level English course is appropriate for you.  Many of our courses have English prerequisites which are based on this test so take your time and do your best!
  • You should understand that the Mathematics section of Accuplacer is an adaptive test. Questions are chosen for you on the basis of your answers to previous questions. Because the test works this way, you must answer every question when it is first given. You cannot omit any question or come back to change an answer. You may change your answer to a particular question, but you must do so before continuing on to the next question. If you do not, the answer is accepted and you cannot return to the question. If you do not know the answer to a question, try to eliminate one or more of the choices then pick one of the remaining choices.
  • Textbooks, notebooks, or other paper of any kind (except scratch paper provided by the Test Administrator for use with the mathematics tests) are not allowed in the testing room. Further, anyone who gives or receives help during the test, or uses notes or books of any kind, will not be allowed to continue the test. Following the test period, no test materials or notes may be removed from the room.
  • Remember to bring your Banner student identification number and a Photo ID.  You will NOT be able to take the test without a proper identification number.
  • Now that you have an idea of what the test covers, how about taking a look at some of the sample questions?