Minnesota State colleges and universities administer a course placement assessment, the Accuplacer, to assess the college readiness of incoming students. The Accuplacer tests are multiple choice, untimed assessments offered at no cost to the student. The Accuplacer tests are a criterion referenced test and these subject area tests are designed to measure academic content knowledge specifically in reading, writing, and mathematics. Accuplacer assessments are given online and are internet based. The test is adaptive, which means it adjusts to how the student answers each question. Thus, if a student answers the question correctly, the exam will adjust and give a higher-level question; likewise if the student answers the question incorrectly it will adjust the next question to be a lower-level question.

There is also a placement test designed for English Language Learners called the Accuplacer ESL exam. This exam assesses the student’s content knowledge in Reading, Sentence Skills, and Listening for those whose primary language is not English.

The individual student scores are valid on Accuplacer within three calendar years, inclusive of the current calendar year, with the provision that mathematics scores are valid for only two calendar years, inclusive of the current calendar year.

Prior to taking the Accuplacer for the first time, campuses communicate with students about the importance of studying before taking the Accuplacer tests. Students have access to Accuplacer study materials, including a sample test, and students are given a reasonable time and opportunity to review materials. If a student receives a subject-area score below the desired level, the student may retest. Check local campuses on their policies that may limit the number of retests in a given period. Campuses may also recommend that students wait a specific period before retesting.

Familiarizing oneself with the types of questions asked prior to taking the Accuplacer is highly recommended. Studying prior to the test may reduce test anxiety and assure that the student has an accurate evaluation of their academic content knowledge and are accurately placed into appropriate courses. The following links can be used as a resource to prepare for the Accuplacer exam.