Accuplacer Tips

Accuplacer Tips

Reading Comprehension:

  • Ask yourself: “What is the topic/general idea of the selection?”
  • Skimming (skim the passage for the general idea, stopping to read only the first sentence of each paragraph).
  • Look for key words in the passage. Are some in quotation marks? Can you find Numbers or Years?
  • Read the answer choices.
  • What is the main topic of each paragraph? What is the general idea of the passage?
  • Look for contextual clues (The part of a statement that surrounds a particular word or passage and determines its meaning).

Sentence Skills:

  • Read each sentence, inserting each answer as you go.
  • Is the answer in the same “tense”? (walking, walked)
  • Watch out for “transitional words” (although, yet, however, but, so, because..)
  • Look for similarities in answers (if three answers mean the same thing, go for the fourth answer!)
  • Use your ear! If it doesn’t sound right, it probably isn’t.

Math:

  • All numbers are “real” numbers.
  • Jagged or straight lines can both be assumed to be straight.
  • Unless otherwise stated, all drawings and figures lie in a plane.
  • Variables are letters that represent an unknown number (x, y, a, b…)
  • A negative number multiplied or divided by a negative number = a positive number.
  • A negative number subtracted from another number is the same as adding a positive number.
  • When exponents are multiplied together, the exponents are added to get the final result.
  • When exponents in parentheses have an exponent, the exponents are multiplied to get the final result.
  • A percent can converted to a decimal simply by dividing it by 100.
  • The “probability” that something will happen, is the number of possible ways that something can happen divided by the total number of possible ways for all things that can happen.
  • Word problems describing shapes can best be solved if you draw the shape out.
  • Mixed numbers are whole numbers and fractions together, such as 2 1/2.
  • To add or subtract fractions, the denominators must be the same.
  • To divide fractions, multiply the first fraction by the reciprocal of the second. Check to see if you can cancel as you multiply.
  • To multiply fractions together, simply multiply the numerators together and then the denominators together.
  • To simplify fractions (reduce them to lowest terms): divide both the numerator (top number) and the denominator (bottom number) by the same number, preferably the greatest common factor (GCF).
  • To add or subtract decimals: vertically line up the decimals, add or subtract as you would whole numbers, bring down the decimal into the answer.
  • To multiply decimals: multiply as usual, count the number of decimals places in your answer and place the decimal there.
  • To find the square root of a number: ask yourself, “What number times itself equals this number?”
  • To multiply exponential expressions with the same base, add the exponents.
  • To divide exponential expressions with the same base, subtract exponents.

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