ACCUPLACER REVIEW PACKET From orientation to graduation… Department of Advising and Counseling …a commitment to academic success and student retention. Community College of Rhode Island ACCUPLACER REVIEW PACKET What you should know Why the Accuplacer Placement Test is Administered Accuplacer is administered to students to ensure academic success in English (Writing and Comprehension), Mathematics and Computer Skills, as these courses are foundational to virtually every degree program offered at the Community College of Rhode Island. Testing aims for success by revealing each prospective student’s skill level in English Writing, Reading Comprehension, Mathematics and Computer Skils. Mandatory placements based on test scores correspond to the skill level of each student. Using these mandatory placements, students will begin classes at a level where they are more likely to succeed. The ACCUPLACER ESL assesses your English skills if you have learned English as an additional language to your native or first language. The ACCUPLACER ESL is divided into five sections. You may be asked to take more than one of these exams. Who is Required to Complete Placement Testing? All students are required to complete placement testing in order to meet certain course prerequisites (please consult course descriptions in the College Catalog for prerequisite requirements). Waiver Criteria The CCRI Advising and Counseling Department will consider students for placement testing waivers based on certain academic criteria, however waivers are NOT automatically granted to students meeting the criteria below. Waivers are considered individually after a thorough review of the respective student’s entire academic record. Students eligible for a waiver from all or part of the Accuplacer exam must meet at least one of the following criteria:  Students who have completed ACCUPLACER at another institution within the past year  Students who have transfer credits in College-level English and Math classes If College-level math courses were completed more than TWO years ago, placement testing is strongly recommended to obtain estimates of current skill levels for advisement purposes. Students requesting a waiver from ACCUPLACER should contact the Advising and Counseling Department. Preparing for the Placement Test Preparation is suggested to insure that test scores accurately represent your current skill levels. Reviewing basic concepts in reading, grammar, arithmetic and algebra before taking ACCUPLACER should assist you in preparation for the test. Making your Appointment for the Accuplacer Assessment To schedule your appointment for the Accuplacer Assessment, please contact the Advising and Counseling Department at: 401-825-2301—Warwick Campus 401-333-7159—Lincoln Campus (Office of Student Services) 401-455-6149—Providence Campus 401-851-1631—Newport Campus Referral Sources for Preparation (available at most libraries and bookstores) You may find the following resources helpful in your preparation for Accuplacer: Reading Comprehension and Sentence Skills  GED Review Book  SAT I Review Books (publishers include: Arco, Kaplan, Nova and Barrons) Arithmetic Review  Essential Mathematics: Basic Math for Everyday Use, Williams and Akins, Barrons  Contemporary’s Building Basic Skills in Mathematics, Contemporary Books  GED Review Book  SAT I Review Books (publishers include: Arco, Kaplan, Nova and Barrons) Algebra Review  Forgotten Algebra, Bleau, Barrons  Quick Algebra Review: A Self-Teaching Guide, Selby and Slavin, Wiley  SAT I Review Books (publishers include: Arco, Kaplan, Nova and Barrons)  Websites Computer Delivered Testing Accuplacer is a computer-based test delivered via the Internet. Minimal computer skills are needed to complete the test. All information is entered by using the mouse and/or the keyboard. A proctor will always be present to assist with problems that relate to test format or to computer usage. Proctors may not, however, answer any academic-related questions associated with the test. Adaptive Testing The Accuplacer test is an adaptive test. This means that the computer uses your answers to questions to determine the level of difficulty of each successive question asked. Using this technique, we can determine your skill level on Math and Reading sections of the test by asking relatively few questions. This portion of the test is untimed, so that you can give each question as much thought as you wish. Once you have verified your answer, however, you cannot return to that question. Administrative Instructions A photo ID (driver’s license, student ID, etc.) and Receipt of Payment are REQUIRED at the time of check-in. Before testing begins, a proctor will give administrative instructions to all students who are about to test. These instructions are also available at each computer station. To eliminate unnecessary noise in the testing room, you MUST turn off any cell phones and pagers, there is no talking during testing, and you should maintain silence if you have to leave the room to take a break. Students are not allowed to use a calculator on the math portion or a dictionary on the essay, reading, or sentence skills portions of the test. If you require special arrangements, please see the following paragraph on accommodations for students with disabilities. Students who are caught violating any testing instructions will be asked to leave the lab and will need to make other arrangements for testing. No food or drink is allowed in the testing lab. Testing of Students with Disabilities Students who need Accuplacer testing and are eligible for special accommodations should ensure that the appropriate documentation, reflecting the specified accommodations, is forwarded to the CCRI Office of Disability Services at least TWO WEEKS prior to desired testing. Please call Disability Services at 401-8252164 Warwick Campus, or 401-333-7329 Lincoln Campus, or 401-455-6064 Providence Campus, or 401-8511650 Newport County Campus to discuss accommodations and to schedule a testing session where these accommodations can be used. Testing Time You are given 50 minutes to complete the typed essay and 70 minutes to complete the computer skills portion of the test. The reading, sentence skills, and math portions of the test are un-timed. Generally, students take 2 ½ to 3 hours to complete the full test. Testing Fee You will be required to pay a $40 Placement Fee in advance to Accuplacer testing. You must make this payment at the BURSAR Office. This is a one-time fee and is mandatory of all students completing Accuplacer testing. It is used to defray the cost of placement materials and programs as well as the cost of the administration of the mandatory placement tests. This fee is non-refundable. Review Questions The following questions are examples of the type of questions you may find on each section of the Accuplacer test. Simply reviewing these questions does not guarantee an improved Accuplacer score, but may serve as a useful starting point in beginning your preparation. Reading through each question and thoroughly understanding how each correct answer was derived will be an excellent starting point in your preparation to take this test! WritePlacer This test measures your ability to write effectively, which is critical to academic success. You will be allowed 50 minutes to review your directions and type your essay. Your writing sample will be scored on the basis of how effectively it communicates a whole message to the readers for the stated purpose. Your score will be based on your ability to express, organize, and support your opinions and ideas, not the position you take on the essay topic. The following five characteristics of writing will be considered:  Focus The clarity with which you maintain your main idea or point of view  Organization The clarity with which you structure your response and present a logical sequence of ideas  Development and Support The extent to which you elaborate on your ideas and the extent to which you present supporting details  Sentence Structure The effectiveness of your sentence structure  Mechanical Conventions The extent to which your writing is free of errors in usage and mechanics You may not use any books or papers or other reference materials during the test. Remember to review your writing and make any changes you think will improve what you have written. WritePlacer Sample Topic Prepare a multiple-paragraph writing sample of about 300-600 words on the topic below. You should use the time available to plan, review, and edit what you have typed. Read the assignment carefully before you begin to type. Some schools require each student to participate in an organized school sport chosen by the student. People at these schools argue that athletics is an important part of the educational experience and that there should be a rule requiring participation. Others argue that students should be free to decide whether or not they wish to participate in organized school sports. Write an essay for a classroom instructor in which you take a position on whether participation in organized school athletics should be required. Be sure to defend your position with logical arguments and appropriate examples. Reading Comprehension In an ACCUPLACER placement test, there are two primary types of Reading Comprehension questions.  The first type of question consists of a reading passage followed by a question based on the text. Both short and long passages are provided. The reading passages can also be classified according to the kind of information processing required, including explicit statements related to the main idea, explicit statements related to a secondary idea, application, and inference.  The second type of question, sentence relationships, presents two sentences followed by a question about the relationship between these two sentences. The question may ask, for example, if the statement in the second sentence supports that in the first, if it contradicts it, or if it repeats the same information. Reading Comprehension Sample Questions Read the statement or passage and then choose the best answer to the question. Answer the question based on what is stated or implied in the statement or passage. 1. In the words of Thomas DeQuincey, “It is notorious that the memory strengthens as you lay burdens upon it.” If, like most people, you have trouble recalling the names of those you have just met, try this: The next time you are introduced, plan to remember the names. Say to yourself, “I’ll listen carefully; I’ll repeat each person’s name to be sure I’ve got it, and I will remember.” You’ll discover how effective this technique is and probably recall those names for the rest of your life. The main idea of the paragraph maintains that the memory A. always operates at peak efficiency. B. breaks down under great strain. C. improves if it is used often. D. becomes unreliable if it tires. 2. Unemployment was the overriding fact of life when Franklin D. Roosevelt became president of the United States on March 4, 1933. An anomaly of the time was that the government did not systematically collect statistics of joblessness; actually it did not start doing so until 1940. The Bureau of Labor Statistics later estimated that 12,830,000 persons were out of work in 1933, about one-fourth of a civilian labor force of more than 51 million. Roosevelt signed the Federal Emergency Relief Act on May 12, 1933. The president selected Harry L. Hopkins, who headed the New York relief program, to run FERA. A gifted administrator, Hopkins quickly put the program into high gear. He gathered a small staff in Washington and brought the state relief organizations into the FERA system. While the agency tried to provide all the necessities, food came first. City dwellers usually got an allowance for fuel, and rent for one month was provided in case of eviction. This passage is primarily about A. unemployment in the 1930s. B. the effect of unemployment on United States families. C. President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency. D. President Roosevelt’s FERA program. 3. 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 A. do not know that too much sugar is unhealthy. B. eat desserts at every meal. C. are fonder of sweets than most people. D. have more cavities than any other people. 4. With varying success, many women around the world today struggle for equal rights. Historically, women have achieved greater equality with men during periods of social adversity. The following factors initiated the greatest number of improvements for women: violent revolution, world war, and the rigors of pioneering in an undeveloped land. In all three cases, the essential element that improved the status of women was a shortage of men, which required women to perform many of society’s vital tasks. We can conclude from the information in this passage that A. women today are highly successful in winning equal rights. B. only pioneer women have been considered equal to men. C. historically, women have only achieved equality through force. D. historically, the principle of equality alone has not been enough to secure women equal rights. 5 In 1848, Charles Burton of New York City made the first baby carriage, but people strongly objected to the vehicles because they said the carriage operators hit too many pedestrians. Still convinced that he had a good idea, Burton opened a factory in England. He obtained orders for the baby carriages from Queen Isabella II of Spain, Queen Victoria of England, and the Pasha of Egypt. The United States had to wait another 10 years before it got a carriage factory, and only 75 carriages were sold in the first year. Even after the success of baby carriages in England, A. Charles Burton was a poor man. B. Americans were still reluctant to buy baby carriages. C. Americans purchased thousands of baby carriages. D. the United States bought more carriages than any other country. 6. All water molecules form six-sided structures as they freeze and become snow crystals. The shape of the crystal is determined by temperature, vapor, and wind conditions in the upper atmosphere. Snow crystals are always symmetrical because these conditions affect all six sides simultaneously. The purpose of the passage is to present A. a personal observation. B. a solution to a problem. C. actual information. D. opposing scientific theories. Directions for questions 7–10 For the questions that follow, two underlined sentences are followed by a question or statement. Read the sentences, then choose the best answer to the question or the best completion of the statement. 7. 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? A. It restates the idea found in the first. B. It states an effect. C. It gives an example. D. It analyzes the statement made in the first. 8. Social studies classes focus on the complexity of our social environment. The subject combines the study of history and the social sciences and promotes skills in citizenship. What does the second sentence do? A. It expands on the first sentence. B. It makes a contrast. C. It proposes a solution. D. It states an effect. 9. Knowledge of another language fosters greater awareness of cultural diversity among the peoples of the world. Individuals who have foreign language skills can appreciate more readily other peoples’ values and ways of life. How are the two sentences related? A. They contradict each other. B. They present problems and solutions. C. They establish a contrast. D. They repeat the same idea. 10. Serving on a jury is an important obligation of citizenship. Many companies allow their employees paid leaves of absence to serve on juries. What does the second sentence do? A. It reinforces what is stated in the first. B. It explains what is stated in the first. C. It expands on the first. D. It draws a conclusion about what is stated in the first. Sentence Skills In an ACCUPLACER placement test, there are two types of Sentence Skills questions.  The first type is sentence correction questions that require an understanding of sentence structure. These questions ask you to choose the most appropriate word or phrase for the underlined portion of the sentence.  The second type is construction shift questions. These questions ask that a sentence be rewritten according to the criteria shown while maintaining essentially the same meaning as the original sentence. Within these two primary categories, the questions are also classified according to the skills being tested. Some questions deal with the logic of the sentence, others with whether or not the answer is a complete sentence, and others with the relationship between coordination and subordination. Sentence Skills Sample Questions Directions for questions 1–5 Select the best version of the underlined part of the sentence. The first choice is the same as the original sentence. If you think the original sentence is best, choose the first answer. 1. Stamp collecting being a hobby that is sometimes used in the schools to teach economics and social studies. A. being a hobby that is B. is a hobby because it is C. which is a hobby D. is a hobby 2. Knocked sideways, the statue looked as if it would fall. A. Knocked sideways, the statue looked B. The statue was knocked sideways, looked C. The statue looked knocked sideways D. The statue, looking knocked sideways, 3. To walk, biking, and driving are Pat’s favorite ways of getting around. A. To walk, biking, and driving B. Walking, biking, and driving C. To walk, biking, and to drive D. To walk, to bike, and also driving 4. When you cross the street in the middle of the block, this is an example of jaywalking. A. When you cross the street in the middle of the block, this B. You cross the street in the middle of the block, this C. Crossing the street in the middle of the block D. The fact that you cross the street in the middle of the block 5. Walking by the corner the other day, a child, I noticed, was watching for the light to change. A. a child, I noticed, was watching B. I noticed a child watching C. a child was watching, I noticed, D. there was, I noticed, a child watching Directions for questions 6–10 Rewrite the sentence in your head following the directions given below. Keep in mind that your new sentence should be well written and should have essentially the same meaning as the original sentence. 6. It is easy to carry solid objects without spilling them, but the same cannot be said of liquids. Rewrite, beginning with Unlike liquids, The next words will be A. it is easy to B. we can easily C. solid objects can easily be D. solid objects are easy to be 7. Although the sandpiper is easily frightened by noise and light, it will bravely resist any force that threatens its nest. Rewrite, beginning with The sandpiper is easily frightened by noise and light, The next words will be A. but it will bravely resist B. nevertheless bravely resisting C. and it will bravely resist D. even if bravely resisting 8. If he had enough strength, Todd would move the boulder. Rewrite, beginning with Todd cannot move the boulder The next words will be A. when lacking B. because h…
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