Prepare for Placement Testing

Carroll uses Accuplacer, a College Board product, to test for English, reading and math skills. Preview Accuplacer's sample questions and practice SAT sample questions for reading, English and math. College Board has also released a phone app that students have reported as being very helpful.

Reading

The Accuplacer reading placement test is an untimed reading comprehension test. The test may indicate a need for improvement of reading comprehension or vocabulary building skills.

Students whose placement test indicates a need for remediation will complete a diagnostic test to assess their remediation needs. These students complete some or all of the following courses, as indicated by the tests:

  • Reading Tutoring (below 36 on the reading component of the Accuplacer placement test) Call Magdeleine Vandal at 410-386-8386 for details.

  • READ A-F, Critical Reading Skills for College, provides individualized instruction for students whose scores fall between 36 and 78 on the reading component of the Accuplacer placement test and whose scores fall below 10 on any of the five reading competencies evaluated in the Accuplacer Reading Diagnostic Test (Modules B - F). 

    READ A provides an orientation to the modules and introduces reading and learning strategies. This module is required for any student who places into the modules. Students who require more than one term to complete the Reading modules, register for READ-A2, at no additional charge, each term. Students utilize My Foundations Lab, a new online teaching tool, which dovetails with the diagnostic test to supply the necessary pieces of the curriculum that are individualized to each student's needs. Completing the appropriate modules completes the reading curriculum.

    Successful completion of the required modules satisfies the reading pre-requisites for credit level classes (four lecture, no credit, two to six billable hours).

All General Education courses require students to complete the modules or be exempt from reading. Most non-General Education courses require students to complete the reading courses or score 79 or higher on the placement test, which indicates that reading remediation is not necessary. See the college catalog or an adviser for details.

The best preparation for the placement test is a history of reading. For Practice with Reading and Vocabulary, register as a student at Carroll Community College with instructor M Vandal at Townsend Press.  

English

The English course placement is based on the Accuplacer sentence skill score and reading ability. If the sentence skills test results are not decisive, students will supply a writing sample.

For the sample, students are allowed 45 minutes to write an essay based on a choice of prompts. Typing is permitted, but spell-check and grammar-check are not allowed.

English professors review the essay and determine course placement based on the grammar, punctuation, organization and idea development. 

For practice in English, including sentence structure, grammar, and punctuation, visit Bedford/St. Martin's (on the Home page, go to register. They offer a diagnostic test which could be helpful in determining what to study. Once you have your results, go to the Tab for EXERCISES and work on the topics you need to review.)

Mathematics

Placement into math courses is determined by the score received on the untimed, computer-adapted math test. It begins with algebra and becomes harder as the student enters correct answers and easier when the student enters wrong answers.

The Math department faculty recommends the following prior to taking the math placement test:

  1. Students needing an extensive review should register for the math review course (MAT-098); study independently with the course's text, "Introductory Algebra", which is available in the Carroll bookstore for approximately $40; visit the Library's math research guide; and review  PurplemathWorld of Math, Khan Academy or Coolmath.
  2. Students should arrive refreshed and utilize the break offered between tests.
  3. Students should take their time testing so results are accurate.
     
Taking the Test(s)

Students need to provide their driver's license or other official government-issued ID on the testing day; staff must verify your identity. Students must submit the Enrollment Application to the Admissions Office in A101 and obtain a seven digit student ID number prior to placement testing. Group testing takes place in A132. Punctuality is required. The college provides all testing supplies including calculator, pencils and scratch paper. Students who prefer to use a personal calculator must call the Testing Center at 410-386-8450 for approval. Calculators of Ti83-level and below are permitted.

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