ACCUPLACER Writing Practice Test

The ACCUPLACER writing subtest is a broad-spectrum, computer-adaptive, untimed test. It has been designed to help accurately place students into classes of an appropriate level by assessing their individual capabilities of two broad knowledge and skill categories. Computer adaptive testing uses a complex algorithm in order to adjust the complexity level of your test questions as you respond to them. This results in an accurate representation of your individual capabilities without any outside influence, such as the results of your peer. You will not receive a passing or failing score on the test; instead, you will be given a report of your performance that reflects your individual aptitude.

What to Expect on Test Day

Before being admitted to your designated test location, you will be asked to present the test administrator with an appropriate, accepted form of legal identification for both safety and security purposes. Each test center may have its own set of guidelines and rules, so as part of your ACCUPLACER test prep, reach out to your designated center to discuss questions or concerns, any necessary disability accommodations and any additional special materials you may need to bring for the test. After you have met with the test administrator, you will be instructed on where to go and how to begin your test. The test will present you with a variety of writing passages and related questions. Since the test is not timed, you may respond to the questions at a pace comfortable to your ability.

How to Make an Appointment

The ACCUPLACER writing subtest is administered by College Board. When you are ready to make an appointment to take the ACCUPLACER writing test, you will need to speak with your institution’s advising or counseling center. They will be able to provide guidance and instruction on how to register for the test, including options for remote testing when needed and available. Remote testing availability is dependent upon the institution and will require permission prior to registering for an appointment time.

ACCUPLACER Writing Subtest

In order to evaluate your ability to revise and edit multi-paragraph text, the ACCUPLACER writing test will present you with a series of 25 questions. These questions are divided into two broad knowledge and skills categories and their respective subcategories:

  1. Expression of Ideas (14-16 questions / 56-64%)
    • Development (add, revises, retain or delete information and ideas)
      • Focus (relevance to topic and purpose)
      • Proposition (structure tests or convey arguments, ideas and information effectively)
      • Support (support claims or points)
    • Effective Language Use (revision of text for rhetoric)
      • Concision (improve economy of word choice)
      • Precision (exactness or content appropriateness)
      • Style and tone (consistency of style and tone)
      • Syntax (use various sentence structures)
    • Organization (text revision)
      • Introductions, conclusions and transitions (improve texts for effective grammar and connection of ideas)
      • Logical sequence (present information and ideas logically)
  1. Standard English Conventions (9-11 questions / 36-44%)
    • Conventions of Punctuation (recognize and correct violations and inappropriate uses of conventions of punctuation)
      • End-of-sentence punctuation
      • Hyphenation conventions
      • Items in a series
      • Nonrestrictive and parenthetical elements
      • Possessive nouns and pronouns
      • Unnecessary punctuation
      • Within-sentence punctuation
    • Conventions of Usage (recognize and correct lack of agreement and inconsistencies)
      • Conventional expression
      • Frequently confused words
      • Logical comparison
      • Noun agreement
      • Possessive determiners
      • Pronoun-antecedent agreement
      • Pronoun clarity
      • Subject-verb agreement
    • Sentence Structure (recognize and correct problems and inappropriate shifts within and between sentences)
      • Inappropriate shifts in pronoun person and number
      • Inappropriate shifts in verb tense
      • Inappropriate shifts in verb voice and mood
      • Modifier placement
      • Parallel structure
      • Sentence boundaries
      • Subordination and coordination

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Writing Passages

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The writing passages presented on the ACCUPLACER writing test are between 300 and 350 words. They will be commissioned literary or informational texts written specifically for the test. They are intended to reflect a variety of complexities ranging from early high school to first-year postsecondary. Each passage represents one of the following three content areas:

  1. Careers / History / Social Studies (career-related topics; academic social science disciplines)
  2. Humanities (arts and letters)
  3. Science (academic natural science disciplines)

They also represent one of the following three text types, or writing modes:

  1. Argument (move readers to action or change belief through logical argumentation)
  2. Informative / Explanatory (convey or describe new information and ideas)
  3. Narrative (use chronology or sequence as the organizing principle)

Online ACCUPLACER Test Prep Course

If you want to be fully prepared, Mometrix offers an online ACCUPLACER Test Prep Course. The course is designed to provide you with any and every resource you might want while studying. The ACCUPLACER Course includes:

  • 55 Review Lessons Covering all the Topics
  • 650+ ACCUPLACER Practice Questions
  • Over 170 Video Tutorials
  • More than 200 Electronic Flashcards
  • Money-back Guarantee
  • Free Mobile Access
  • and More!

The ACCUPLACER Prep Course is designed to help any learner get everything they need to prepare for their ACCUPLACER exam; click below to check it out.

Preparing for the ACCUPLACER Writing Subtest

As you prepare to take the ACCUPLACER writing subtest, take advantage of the resources available to you in order to perform at your best. Mometrix’s free ACCUPLACER test prep and study resources include ACCUPLACER practice tests and ACCUPLACER study guides to help you review critical concepts and ideas, and familiarize you with passage types and content.


by Mometrix Test Preparation | This Page Last Updated: July 21, 2022