Frequently Asked Questions

Should I study for the placement test?

Yes!  These tests determine many of the courses you will be able to take at OCC.  Reviewing basic concepts in grammar, composition, reading, algebra and arithmetic prior to testing will help you score higher and meet your educational goals more quickly.

Where can I obtain review sheets/sample tests?

You can get pdf's  here or go to the College Board's Accuplacer page to find review materials and sample tests. For math, you can also use Querium MathBooster.

What is Querium MathBooster?

Maybe it’s been a few years since you’ve seen an algebraic equation, or maybe you’ve always had a hard time with concepts like calculating slope or linear functions. Querium MathBooster for Accuplacer is an interactive and easy-to-use review tool that takes you through math problems similar to those you'll find on the Accuplacer. MathBooster will zero in on exactly where you're struggling the most and personalize your study experience to help prepare you for the test. You'll get instant feedback that lets you see how you're doing, so you can succeed on the Accuplacer math tests. And best of all, it’s FREE to Onondaga area students!  You only need Wi-Fi connection and a computer or mobile device. Click here for more information and to register now!

What if I am not comfortable with computers?

Since ACCUPLACER is an online test, you must have basic computer skills in order to complete it (using a mouse, keyboard, scrolling through a webpage, etc). Take time to become comfortable with the internet, mouse and keyboard prior to testing.

How long does the test take?

The un-timed complete test (Sentence Skills, Reading, Mathematics and possible essay) takes approximately two hours. If you only need to take only one portion of the test, plan on approximately 30-45 minutes.

May I use a calculator?

You may only use the on-screen calculator for the math section.  The on-screen calculator will only appear for some of the questions- not all of them.  Handheld calculator use (including mobile phone calculators) is prohibited. Use of a calculator other than the on-screen calculator may result in your test being voided and require a re-test.

What should I bring with me to the test?

A photo ID is required. You must also have a student ID number.  If you need a student ID number, you can go to Student Central prior to testing or create one online by going to Click on “Take a Class”, click on “Register Now!”, click on “ Create a User ID.”

How do I schedule an appointment for the placement test?

Testing is on a walk-in basis during posted hours. An appointment is not necessary

If English is NOT my first language,what test do I take?

You will most likely take the Levels of English Proficiency test which is designed for students who did not learn English as a first language.  This test includes, reading, listening and math sections as well as a required essay.  Use of translators (online or handheld) and dictionaries is prohibited. 

What if I have a learning disability or other type of disability and need special assistance?

Please see the Accommodative Testing section of the Testing Services website.

After I have taken the test, when will I get my results?

You will receive your results immediately after testing. 

Can I be re-tested?

Please discuss re-test eligibility with a test proctor after you have received your results.

Can you tell me on which material will I be tested?

The WritePlacer test asks examinees to provide a writing sample in response to a specific prompt. This assessment measures writing skill at the level expected of an entering college student. While all essays are scored immediately, some responses may require additional evaluation by the English department.

The Reading Comprehension test has 20 questions about the ideas in a reading passage, applying the information, and drawing inferences from a passage. The test also has questions that deal with the relationship between two sentences. This test will determine whether you must take developmental reading courses (RDG-087, RDG-093) or whether your reading skills are at the college level.

The Sentence Skills test includes 20 questions. You will be asked to select correct words or phrases to substitute for an underlined portion of a sentence. You will also be asked to re-write a sentence while essentially maintaining the same meaning. This test will determine whether or not you must take developmental English or college level English courses.

The Math test includes 1 to 2 different sections.  The arithmetic test will gauge your basic math skills (fractions, decimals, etc).  The Elementary Algebra test focuses on basic algebra functions.  The College Level Math test deals with more advanced algebraic functions. Each section is multiple choice and not timed.  You will be allowed scrap paper and the on-screen calculator.

What does adaptive testing mean?

ACCUPLACER™ is an adaptive test. This means that the computer uses your answers to determine the difficulty of each next question. Using this technique, we can determine your skill level by asking relatively few questions. The test is not timed, so you can give each question as much thought as you wish. Once you have verified your answer, however, you cannot return to that question.

What if I need to test for a college or university other than Onondaga?

The Testing Services Office is pleased to offer test proctoring for students attending schools other than Onondaga. The most common proctored tests are Accuplacer placement tests, tests for online courses and certification exams. Please see the link to Proctored Exams under the Additional Tests Offered tab for more information.

How do I schedule a test with accommodations for an OCC class I’m taking?

Please see the Accommodative Testing section of the Testing Services website.

Is there a cost for placement testing?

Placement testing in reading, English and math is free for current and prospective OCC students. There is a $55 fee for the Test of Essential Academic Skills for prospective OCC Nursing and Surgical Technology students. There is a proctoring fee of $26 for all exams taken by non-OCC students.