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Assessment Testing

The Accuplacer computerized placement test is used for assessing student skills and is part of the State required multiple measures placement process for new students at College of the Desert.

Assessment testing measures a student's general skill levels in math, reading and writing.

COD counselors use the results of this test, along with other information such as transcripts from other schools to help students enroll in appropriate courses.

After scheduling your Assessment Test Appointment, check the campus map for testing and parking locations. College Map

For Counseling Information (Counseling)

  Click on any of the topics below
     
 


General Information

The College of the Desert Assessment Test covers three skill areas: reading, writing and mathematics (Calculators are not allowed).  Results and score interpretation are provided immediately after the test; students keep the test print outs and bring them when meeting with a counselor or faculty advisor.  The counselors and advisors use the scores as part of their process of placing students in appropriate course levels in English, reading and mathematics.

Some College of the Desert courses in English, reading, math and other subjects may require minimum skills in related test areas, but the assessment test scores are used only for course placement purposes, or as one way in which prerequisite course requirements may be met.  The test is not used in the admission process and there is no minimum score that must be achieved.  So students should not think that the results of the test could prevent them from enrolling at College of the Desert.  It is not possible to “fail” the assessment test.  We want students to start at the most appropriate course level to insure their chance of success at C.O.D.

All new students are expected to take the assessment test, except those who have completed English Composition and Intermediate Algebra with grades of C or better at another accredited college or university.

As the assessment instrument is not a timed exam, students are able to take the test at their own pace.  However, students should allow approximately two hours to complete the test comfortably.

Some testing of high school seniors is given at various local high schools during the spring semester; however, most students come to the college for the test.   

Calculators are not allowed.

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Who Takes the Assessment Test?
 

  • All new students are expected to complete the assessment tests, except those who have completed English Composition and Intermediate Algebra with grades of C or better at another accredited college or university.
  • Any student trying to enroll in a class with a prerequisite in English, reading or math, that has not completed the appropriate levels in each area will have to take the portion of the test related to the specific course.

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How Do I Prepare for the Tests?

Use the sample questions below to get an idea of what to expect.   Remember this is not a pass or fail test.   The results will show areas of strengths and weaknesses.   This will allow the advisors to properly place students in courses appropriate to their current academic knowledge.   If you haven’t done arithmetic in a while you might want to brush up on basic arithmetic skills (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division of whole numbers, percents, fractions and decimals).  

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Sample LOEP* Reading Skills Question

This test measures your skill in reading English.

Sample:

Read each passage, and then answer the question.  Pick the best answer from the choices below the question. 

My cousin lived in the city from 1984 to 1989.

When did my cousin live in the city?

(a) After 1989

(b) Before 1984

(c) Between 1984 and 1989

(d) Neither in 1984 nor in 1989

(Answers: To see answer to the question)

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Sample LOEP* Sentence Meaning Questions

This test measures how well you understand the meaning of sentences in English.

There will be two different kinds of questions in this test.  You will see a sample of each kind with the correct answer indicated.

Samples:

Question 1:

The sentence below has a blank space.  Choose the word or phrase that makes the sentence meaningful and correct.

Mr. Swoboda grows roses, tomatoes, and carrots.

That is why his friends say that he is a good _____________.

(a) gardener

(b) builder

(c) painter

(d) florist

Question 2:

One or two sentences will be followed by a question.  Choose the correct answer to the question.

The teacher called on Joe in class.

What did the teacher do?

(a) Shouted to Joe

(b) Asked Joe a question

(c) Telephoned Joe

(d) Visited Joe

(Answers: To see answer to the question)

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Sample LOEP* Language Use Questions

This test measures your skill in using correct grammar in English sentences.

There will be two different kinds of questions in this test.  You will see a sample of each kind with the correct answer indicated.

Samples:

Question 1:

The sentence below has a blank space.  There are four words or phrase under the sentence.  Choose the word or phrases that makes a grammatically correct sentence.

They ________ the newspaper every day.

(a) reads

(b) is reading

(c) read

(d) does read

Question 2:

Two sentences will be followed by four possible answers.  Choose the answer that best combines the two sentences.  The answer must be a grammatically correct sentence.  It must also express the same thought as the first two sentences.

I sang in the choir.  I enjoyed it.

(a) In the choir singing, I enjoyed.

(b) In the choir to sing, I enjoyed.

(c) I enjoyed to sing in the choir.

(d) I enjoyed singing in the choir.

(Answers: To see answer to the question)

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Sample Reading Skills Questions

This test is designed to measure how well you are able to understand what you read.   It contains 17 questions.   Some questions are sentence relationship type, in which you must choose how two sentences are related.   Other questions refer to reading passages of various length.   Some passages are 75 words or less, while others are longer.

Samples:

Question 1: (Narrative)

Read the statement or passage and then choose the best answer to the question.   Answer the questions on the basis of what is stated or implied in the statement or passage.

Myths are stories, the products of fertile imagination, sometimes simple, often containing profound truths.   They are not meant to be taken too literally.   Details may sometimes appear childish, but most myths express a culture’s most serious beliefs about human beings, eternity, and God.

The main idea of this passage is that myths

  1. are created primarily to entertain your children

  2. are purposely written for the reader who lacks imagination

  3. provide the reader with a means of escape from reality

  4. illustrate the values that are considered important to a society

Question 2:   (Sentence Relationships)

Two sentences are followed by a questions or statement about them.   Read each pair of sentences and then choose the best answer to the questions or the best completion of the statement.

1. The Midwest is experiencing its worst drought in fifteen years.

2. Corn and soybean prices are expected to be very high this year.

What does the second sentence do?

(a)    It restates the idea found in the first.

(b)    It states an effect.

(c)    It gives an example.

(d)    It analyzes the statement made in the first.

(Answers: To see answers to these questions)

 

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Sample Sentence Skills Questions

Two kinds of questions are given in this test.   Sentence correction questions ask you to choose a word or a phrase to substitute for an underlined portion of a sentence.   Construction shift questions ask that sentences be rewritten in a specific way without changing the meaning.   A broad variety of topics are included here.   You will be presented a total of 17 questions.

Samples:

Question 1:   (Sentence Correction)

Select the best version of the underlined part of the sentence.   The first choice is the same as the original sentence.   If you think the original sentence is best, choose the first answer.  

Ms. Rose planning to teach a course in biology next summer.

(a)    planning

(b)    are planning

(c)    with a plan

(d)    plans

Question 2:   (Construction Shift)

Rewrite the sentence in your head, following the directions given below.   Keep in mind that your new sentence should be well written and should have essentially the same meaning as the sentence given you.

Being a female jockey, she was often interviewed.


(Rewrite the sentence above, beginning with: She was often interviewed . . . ) 

The next words will be:

(a)    on account of she was

(b)    by her being

(c)    because she was

(d)    being as she was

(Answers: To see answers to these questions)

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Sample Arithmetic Skills Questions

The College Placement Test has three sections of mathematics: arithmetic, elementary algebra, and college level mathematics.   Everyone begins with the arithmetic test and, based on performance, progresses through higher levels of difficulty.

The arithmetic skills test measures your abilities in three primary categories.   The first is operations with whole numbers and fractions.   This includes addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and recognizing equivalent fractions and mixed numbers.   The second category involves operations with decimals and percents.   Questions include rate, percent, and measurement problems; geometry problems; and distribution of a quantity into its fractional parts.   The third category is word problems, in which a situation requiring a mathematical solution is described in a short paragraph, and the student uses arithmetic to solve the problem.   A total of 16 questions are asked.

Samples:

Questions 1:

Solve the following problem and choose your answer from the alternatives given.

All of the following are ways to write 20 percent of   N EXCEPT

(a)    0.20 N

(b)    20/100   N

(c)    1/5   N

(d)    20   N

Question 2:

Which of the following is closer to 27.8 x 9.6 ?

(a)    280

(b)    300

(c)    2,800

(d)    3,000

Question   3:

Three people who work full time are to work together on a project, but their total time on the project is to be equivalent to that of only one person working full time.   If one of the people is budgeted for giving 1/2 of his time to the project and a second person for 1/3 of her time, what part of the third worker’s time should be budgeted to this project?

(a)    1/3

(b)    1/4

(c)    1/6

(d)    1/8

(Answers: To see answers to these questions)

 

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Sample Elementary Algebra Questions

The College Placement Test has three sections of mathematics: arithmetic, elementary algebra, and college level mathematics.   Everyone begins with the arithmetic test and, based on performance, progresses through higher levels of difficulty.

The Elementary Algebra test measures your abilities in three categories.   The first, operations with integers and rational numbers includes computation with integers and negative rationals, the use of absolute values, and ordering.   The second category is operations with algebraic expressions.   This tests your abilities with the evaluation of simple formulas and expressions, and adding and subtracting monomials and polynomials.   Both of these categories include questions multiplying and dividing monomials and polynomials, the evaluation of positive rational roots and exponents, simplifying algebraic fractions, and factoring.   The third category tests abilities in equation solving, inequalities, and word problems.   The questions include solving systems of linear equations, solving quadratic equations by factoring, solving verbal problems presented in algebraic context, geometric reasoning, translating written phrases into algebraic expressions, and graphing.   A total of twelve questions are presented.

Samples:

Question 1:

If a number is divided by 4 and then 3 is subtracted, the result is 0.   What number is it?

(a)    12

(b)    4

(c)    3

(d)    2

Questions 2:

16x - 8 =

(a)    8x

(b)    8   (2x - x)

(c)    8   (2x - 1)

(d)    8   (2x - 8)

Question 3:

If x2   - x - 6 = 0, then x is

(a)    - 2 or 3

(b)    - 1 or 6

(c)    1 or - 6

(d)    2 or 3

(Answers: To see answers to these questions)

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Sample College-Level Mathematics Questions

The College Placement Test has three sections of mathematics: arithmetic, elementary algebra, and college level mathematics.   Everyone begins with the arithmetic test and, based on performance, progresses through higher levels of difficulty.

The College-Level Mathematics test assesses proficiency from intermediate algebra through pre-calculus.   Six categories are covered.   Algebraic operations include simplifying rational algebraic expression, factoring and expanding polynomials, and manipulating roots and exponents.   The category of solutions of equations and inequalities includes the solution of linear and quadratic equations and inequalities, equation systems, and other algebraic equations.   Coordinate geometry asks questions about plane geometry, the coordinate plane, straight lines, conics, sets of points in the plane, and graphs of algebraic functions.    Applications and other algebra topics asks about complex numbers, series and sequences, determinants, permutations and combinations, fractions, and word problems.   The last category, function and trigonometry, presents questions about polynomial, algebraic, exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions.   Twenty questions are asked.

Samples:

Question 1:

If   f (x) = x4 - x + 2, then f (-x) =

(a)    x4 - x

(b)    x4   - x + 2

(c)    x4   + x + 2

(d)    x4   + x - 2

Question 2:

Sample Math Problem

(Answers: To see answers to these questions)

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 Answers to Sample Questions

LOEP* Reading Skills

1)  C

Reading Skills

1)   D                 2)   B

LOEP* Sentence Meaning

1)   A                 2)   B

LOEP* Language Use

1)   C                 2)   D

Sentence Skills

1)   D                 2)   C

Arithmetic

1)   D                 2)   A                 3)   C

Elementary Algebra

1)   A                 2)   C                 3)   A

College-Level Mathematics

1)   C                 2)   E            

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Additional Sample Questions:

Other Websites that can be Used for Review:

Please note that these sites are not necessarily representative of the ACCUPLACER tests given at College of the Desert.  These sites were not created by and are not maintained by College of the Desert.  They are provided only to help refresh your skills.

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