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 see all of our review options  here including printable and online options.

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?

If taking the entire exam (Reading, WritePlacer,Mathematics or LOEP) plan on approximately two hours to complete the exam. The essay portion is timed for a maximum of one hour; the other portions are not timed. 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?

You can schedule an appointment through RegisterBlast or come in during posted hours

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

You will most likely take the Levels of English Proficiency (LOEP) 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 not allowed. 

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

Contact the Office of Accessibility Resources ([email protected] or 315-498-2245) at least 2 weeks prior to testing for instructions on submitting disability documentation.  Please see the Accommodative Testing section of the Testing Services website for additional details.

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 Reading test contains questions about the ideas in a reading passage, applying the information, and drawing inferences from a passage. This test will determine whether you must take developmental study skills courses (ILS-093 and ILS 093L) or whether your reading skills are at the college level.

The Math test includes 1 to 2 different sections.  The arithmetic test will gauge your basic math skills (fractions, decimals, etc).  The Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra and Statistics section focuses on basic algebra and statistics functions.  The Advanced Algebra and Functions 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.

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 most essays are scored electronically immediately upon submission, some responses may require additional evaluation by a human reader and are not available right away.  

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 fee for the Test of Essential Academic Skills for prospective OCC Nursing and Surgical Technology students that is paid at the time of registration (see our Nursing Tests page). There is a proctoring fee of $30 for all exams taken by non-OCC students and for CLEP.