Reading Placement Test

The assessment measure is the Accuplacer Reading Comprehension Test.

The Reading Placement test is required of all entering matriculated students unless they have:

  • Transfer credits in college-level English.
  • A score of 28 or higher on the NEW SAT Reading test or 510 or higher on the old SAT – Critical Reading to waive the reading test.
  • A score of 32 or higher on the NEW SAT Reading test or 600 or higher on the old SAT – Critical Reading to waive the reading and writing test.
  • Previously taken the Accuplacer Reading Comprehension test and have scored a 68 or higher.  The score should be sent to 

This Reading Comprehension test would be better named THE TEST OF CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS. It does not test your ability to read as much as it tests your ability to UNDERSTAND AND APPLY the information you read.

All paragraphs on the Accuplacer Reading Comprehension test are short, usually not more than 4 sentences. However, there is plenty of information in those few sentences for you to analyze. Most questions ask you to either:

  1. Determine the MAIN IDEA
  2. Make an INFERENCE based on the information in the paragraph
  3. Judge the relationship between 2 separate sentences.

One way to prepare is to read newspapers, magazines, or books that are in your home. When you have finished a paragraph or an article ask yourself "what is the point?" If you do not understand, then try to examine individual paragraphs more closely. Do not get hung up on individual words that you may not know - look at the big picture.

From the information you read, what conclusions can you draw? If you read that it was cold when I shoveled my driveway, you might conclude that there was snow on the ground.

Another example:

  1. Cheating is the ultimate trick a student plays on him-herself. Aside from the primary point of making an absolute mockery of the purpose of a college education, there is also the fact that there is no way a student can avoid being found out- there is at least one person who will always know about it.

With which of the following statements would the author agree?

  1. Students should not cheat because someone will find out and report it.
  2. Cheating really hurts the cheater.
  3. Professors should expect students to cheat.

A question about the main idea:

  1. Many college students do not want to take a math class. When they learn that math is required these students hope for a way to avoid this requirement. These students may be suffering from math anxiety, an overwhelming fear of the subject, rather than an intellectual impairment.

The main idea of this passage is:

  1. Many students are bad at math
  2. Students who are bad at math can avoid taking it.
  3. Students who hope to avoid math may have math anxiety.

Do not get discouraged by unfamiliar words. Sometimes the question is easier than you think.

  • The protagonist of this popular children's tale has an aversion to colored poultry products and smoked meat. His pursuer took increasingly creative measures to ensure that the protagonist would consume these victuals here, there or anywhere.

The author states that:

  1. The pursuer took increasingly creative measures.
  2. The victuals were virtually real.
  3. The protagonist consumed the pursuer.

Comparing 2 sentences:

The owning of an automobile allows Americans the opportunity to explore this vast country.

In failing to develop a national public transportation system the ability of Americans to travel is severely limited.

  1. The above 2 sentences:
    1. Contradict each other.
    2. The second sentence supports the first.
    3. The first sentence introduces the second.

The Midwest is experiencing its worst drought in fifteen years.

Corn and soybean prices are expected to be very high this year.

  1. What does the second sentence do?
    1. It restates the idea found in the first sentence.
    2. It states an effect.
    3. It gives an example.

ANSWERS: 1.b ; 2.c ; 3.a ; 4.a; 5.b

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