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J.F. Drake State Community & Technical College is pleased to announce that they will be replacing the traditional Compass placement exam with Accuplacer starting September 1, 2016. Accuplacer is a suite of tests that quickly, accurately, and efficiently assesses reading, writing, math and computer skills. The academic advisors and counselors at Drake State will use Accuplacer test results along with information about any student’s academic background, goals, and interests to help them take courses that match their skill level and give them the best opportunities for success.

The Accuplacer is a computerized self-paced, untimed test. The test is delivered in a multiple choice format. Most students complete the test within 1 1/2 to 2 hours; the Accuplacer determines which questions will be given next based upon previous answers. This provides a more accurate method of measuring an individual student's skill levels than a general test. It also means that no two tests taken are precisely the same. Students are encouraged to give each question as much thought as they wish before selecting their final answer. The scores will determine which English and math courses students are eligible to take. 


The Accuplacer has three parts:


  1. Reading comprehension: (20 questions), measures reading skills, such as identifying the main idea and making inferences, through the comprehension of short passages.
  2. WritePlacer (Written Essay): The WritePlacer test measures your ability to write effectively, which is critical to academic success. 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 is 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

  1. Mathematics: (questions that range from elementary algebra to college-level mathematics), measures a range of math skills from basic algebraic concepts and operations to college-level math concepts. Students will begin with one section and, depending on their performance, may advance to another section.


Some students score below college readiness in one or more areas and the test allows your academic advisor to place you into the courses that will help you succeed in college. Drake State has classes designed specifically to help students fill in the gaps in their education so they can succeed in their pursuit of a degree or certification.


Also available for students is a FREE STUDY APP. It will allow students to become familiar with the style and content of test questions and access interactive Accuplacer sample questions.  This free study app will also allow students to get immediate explanations of the correct or incorrect answers.  The app includes practice tests in arithmetic, elementary algebra, college-level math, reading comprehension, and sentence skills.  To get the free web-based app, visit


Students are allowed one retake of the Accuplacer test per academic year, for a fee of $10, provided there is evidence the student has completed test preparation activities.  Additional preparation includes, but is not limited to, academic boot camps, online pre-tests, and placement tests applications. For upcoming session dates and registration information, contact Ms. Donyale Jones ( in the Testing and Assessment Center. Testing times are Monday-Thursday, 8:30am or 2:00pm.  Friday tests are administered at 8:00am only.

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