English Assessment Preparation

Main Content

How to prepare for your English Assessment

We've outlined what you can expect from your English assessment, including what content will be covered and the format it will take. We've also provided some resources to help you prepare.

Essay Preparation

Assessment Content and Format 

In your Accuplacer WritePlacer assessment, you’ll be provided with a short passage and you’ll be asked to respond to it by writing a multi-paragraph essay to develop a point of view and support it with arguments and examples.   

  • You will have 80 minutes to plan and write the essay. 
  • Your essay must be 300-600 words.   
  • Use of dictionary is not allowed 

Your response will be evaluated on the following criteria: 

  • Purpose and Focus – Have you addressed the topic? Have you presented the information clearly and logically?  
  • Organization and Structure – Have you connected and ordered your ideas?   
  • Development and Support – Have you developed and supported your ideas? 
  • Sentence variety and Style – Are your sentences varied in length and style, demonstrating control of vocabulary, voice, and structure?  
  • Mechanical Conventions – Have you used correct grammar and spelling?   
  • Critical Thinking – Have you communicated your point of view and demonstrated consistent relationships among ideas?  


  • Read the passage and the question carefully so your essay addresses the topic.  
  • Before you start writing, take some time to plan your essay. 
  • Be sure to develop a clear point of view.  
  • Follow a standard essay format: introduction, body paragraph(s), and conclusion.   
  • Relate each paragraph to your main argument. Relate each sentence in your paragraph to the paragraph’s topic sentence.    

Essay Preparation

For more information, review: 

Reading Comprehension Preparation

Assessment Content

The ACCUPLACER Next Generation Reading Comprehension Test includes four types of questions.   

  1. Information and Ideas questions focus on determining central ideas and themes of a passage, summary of a passage, and understanding relationships between ideas presented. 
  2. Rhetoric questions focus on analyzing a passage for the author’s word choice, text structure, point of view, purpose and arguments used.  
  3. Synthesis questions focus on relating the information and ideas from different texts. 
  4. Vocabulary questions focus on finding the meaning of word and phrases used in contexts.  

Assessment Format 

  • 20 questions, multiple choice 
  • Computer – adaptive 
    • The test software will select questions based on your previous answers. Answer all the questions to the best of your ability and do not skip any, as you cannot go back.  
  • No time limit (on average, students take 30 – 60 minutes) 
  • Score range: 200-300 
  • Use of a dictionary is not allowed 

Reading Comprehension Sample Questions 

ACCUPLACER Next Generation Reading Sample Questions 

See pages 2-7. The answer key is on pages 8-13. 

Free ACCUPLACER App - ACCUPLACER has created an App containing a sample Reading Comprehension test. To find the sample test and review test content, please create an account. 

Admission Assessment Applicants

Free online English preparation, 3-week MSAP evening course.

Apply to MSAP