All new students to Roxbury Community College are required to take assessment/placement test to determine the appropriate course level at which students begin their studies. The placement test is used to evaluate students’ skills level in English, Math and Science and identify academic strengths and needs. Students do not receive a “passing” or “failing” grade for these tests. The results indicate the level at which a student will begin their academic studies at Roxbury Community College. Non-native English speakers with limited proficiency in English must take the Roxbury Community College English for Speakers of Other Language (ESOL) Placement Test. Non-native speakers of English may take the Roxbury Community College math test if they place into advanced level ESL classes.
Transfer students who have taken college level English and Math courses at another college or university and received a grade of “C” or better may be exempt from taking the placement test. An evaluation of their college transcript will determine if testing is required.
All tests take approximately two (2) to three (3) hours to complete. Once students have completed the tests, they will receive a Placement Report indicating the courses for which they should register.
For additional information, contact Colleen Spence. Phone: 617-541-5349. Room 102-Student Center.
What is the Placement Test
All students who take the placement test at Roxbury Community College are tested in Reading, Writing, Math and Science. The Reading and Math test are administered through Accuplacer a test instrument designed to evaluate academic skills that is administered on a computer. Students also take a paper and pencil writing test and a science test.
What Tests will you take?
Students who take the placement test will be tested in reading, math, writing and science. If you are non-native speaker of English and need to improve your reading, writing and speaking skills you will take the English for Speakers of Other Language (ESOL) test.
The reading and math test are completed on a computer and are untimed.
The writing test is paper pencil test and students are given 50 minutes to complete the essay.
The science test is a paper pencil test and is untimed.
The ESOL test is a paper pencil test and is untimed.
What does the test cover?
A description of the material covered in each test is listed below. This information can also be found at www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/accuplacer/preparation-sample
There are 20 questions of two primary types on the Reading Comprehension test.
- The first type consists of a reading passage followed by a question based on the text. Both short and long passages are provided. The reading passages can also be classified according to the kind of information processing required including explicit statements related to the main idea, explicit statements related to a secondary idea, application, and inference.
- The second type of question, sentence relationships, presents two sentences followed by a question about the relationship between these two sentences. The question may ask, for example, if the statement in the second sentence supports that in the first, if it contradicts it, or if it repeats the same information.
This test measures your ability to perform basic arithmetic operations and to solve problems that involve fundamental arithmetic concepts. There are 17 questions on the Arithmetic tests divided into three types.
- Operations with whole numbers and fractions: topics included in this category are addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, recognizing equivalent fractions and mixed numbers, and estimating.
- Operations with decimals and percents: topics include addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division with decimals. Percent problems, recognition of decimals, fraction and percent equivalencies, and problems involving estimation are also given.
- Applications and problem solving: topics include rate, percent, and measurement problems, simple geometry problems, and distribution of a quantity into its fractional parts.
A total of 12 questions are administered in this test.
- The first type involves operations with integers and rational numbers, and includes computation with integers and negative rationals, the use of absolute values, and ordering.
- A second type involves operations with algebraic expressions using evaluation of simple formulas and expressions, and adding and subtracting monomials and polynomials. Questions involve multiplying and dividing monomials and polynomials, the evaluation of positive rational roots and exponents, simplifying algebraic fractions, and factoring.
- The third type of question involves the solution of equations, inequalities, word problems. solving linear equations and inequalities, the solution of quadratic equations by factoring, solving verbal problems presented in an algebraic context, including geometric reasoning and graphing, and the translation of written phrases into algebraic expressions.
College Level Math Test
There are 20 questions on the College-Level Mathematics.
The College-Level Mathematics test assesses from intermediate algebra through precalculus.
- Algebraic operations includes simplifying rational algebraic expressions, factoring, expanding polynomials, and manipulating roots and exponents.
- Solutions of equations and inequalities includes the solution of linear and quadratic equations and inequalities, equation systems and other algebraic equations.
- Coordinate geometry includes plane geometry, the coordinate plane, straight lines, conics, sets of points in the plane, and graphs of algebraic functions.
- Applications and other algebra topics ask about complex numbers, series and sequences, determinants, permutations and combinations, fractions, and word problems.
- The last category, functions and trigonometry, presents questions about polynomials, algebraic, exponential, logarithmic and trigonometric functions.
The writing sample asks you to select one of four topics and write an essay of 300 words or more. You will have 50 minutes to write your essay.
This test consists of 20 multiple choice questions covering basic general science concepts.
The ESOL test consists of three parts: Writing, grammar and oral test. For the writing sample you will be given a picture and asked to write about what you see. The grammar has 60 multiple choice questions and the oral test measures how well you understand and respond to questions.
Should I study for the test?
A student cannot “pass” or “fail” the placement test. The tests ensure an accurate representation of skill levels in English, math and science. It is recommended that students prepare for the tests especially if they have been away from school work for more than a year. The following websites are good resources helpful in providing preparation review and practice questions:
Students may retake a test once in an academic year.
Are scores from another college or institution accepted at RCC?
Accuplacer scores from another colleges or institutions are accepted at RCC. The scores are reviewed and evaluated based on the placement scoring criteria established for this college. Scores can be no more than 3 years old.