Sample Items for Course Placement

Reading Comprehension – Sample Questions
Here are a couple of types of reading questions you will encounter. One is a narrative, where
you read a small passage and answer a question. The other kind of question asks you about
the relationship between two sentences .

Sample of a Narrative Question:
Read the statement or passage and then choose the best answer to the question. Answer the
question on the basis of what is stated or implied in the statement or passage.

There are two types of pottery that I do. There is production pottery -- mugs,
tableware -- the kinds of things that sell easily. These pay for my time to do other
work, which is more creative and satisfies my needs as an artist.

The author of this passage implies that:
(A) artists have a tendency to waste valuable time
(B) creativity and mass-production are incompatible
(C) most people do not appreciate good art
(D) pottery is not produced by creative artists

And the Answer is

The correct answer is (B) creativity and mass-production are incompatible. The first
sentence points out there are two types of pottery this artist does. The next sentence talks about
‘production’ pottery. The last sentence points out the contrast in the two types of pottery. While
the artist does production pottery for money, the ‘other work’ is more creative. The writer of this
passage never mentions wasting time (answer A), what people appreciate (answer C) or that
pottery is not produced by creative artists. In fact, the implication is that the writer is a creative
artist and does both production pottery and pottery that is more artistic.

Sample of a Sentence Relationships Question:
Two sentences are followed by a question or a statement about them. Read each pair of
sentences and then choose the best answer to the question or the best completion of the

The Midwest is experiencing its worst draught in fifteen years.
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.

And the Answer is

The correct answer is (B) It states an effect. The first sentence talks about bad, dry weather.
The second sentence says the prices of crops will be high this year. The second sentence does
not talk about the dry weather at all, so it does not restate (choice A) or give an example (choice
C). The second sentence does analyze the weather (choice D). The second sentence leads us
to believe that one of the effects of the dry weather is higher crop prices (choice B).

Mathematics – Sample Questions

We use three assessments for Math. If you have been out of school for a while or never took
algebra, you will probably start with the Arithmetic assessment . Depending upon your score,
you may also take the Elementary Algebra assessment. Here are samples from the three

Samples of Arithmetic
The arithmetic test uses 16 questions to measure your skills in three primary categories:

• Operations with whole numbers and fraction
 o Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division
 o Recognizing equivalent fractions and mixed numbers
• Operations with decimals and percents
 o Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division
 o Percent problems, decimal recognition, and fractions
 o Percent equivalencies, and estimation problems
• Applications and problem solving
 o Rate, percent, and measurement problems
 o Geometry problems
 o Distribution of a quantity into its fractional parts

Solve the following problems and choose your answer from the alternatives
given. You may use the paper you have been given for scratch work.
All of the following are ways to write 20 percent of N EXCEPT
(A) 0.20N
(B) 20N / 100
(C) 1N / 5
(D) 20N

Answer: D

Which of the following is closest to
(A) 3
(B) 4
(C) 5
(D) 8

Answer: A

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 1/2 of his time to the project and a second
person 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

Answer: C


If you have had two years or more of algebra in high school, then you will want to
study the topics in all three levels. However, if you did not have much algebra or feel
very weak in algebra, you may want to devote your time to studying only the Arithmetic
and Elementary Algebra topics. DO NOT use a calculator of any kind. When you take
Accuplacer you will be given paper to do the necessary calculations.

Samples of Elementary Algebra

The Elementary Algebra assessment uses 12 questions in three categories:
• Operations with integers and rational numbers
  o Computation with integers and negative rationals
  o The use of absolute values, and ordering
• Operations with algebraic expressions
  o Monomials and polynomials
  o The evaluation of positive rational roots and exponents
  o Simplifying algebraic fractions, and factoring
• Equation solving, inequalities, and word problems
  o Geometric reasoning
  o The translation of written phrases into algebraic expressions
  o Graphing

If a number is divided by 4, and then 3 is subtracted the result is 0. What is the
(A) 12
(B) 4
(C) 3
(D) 2

Answer: A

16x - 8
(A) 8x
(B) 8(2x-x)
(C) 8(2x-1)
(D) 8(2x-8)

Answer: C

If x² - x - 6 = 0 then x is:
(A) -2 or 3
(B) -1 or 6
(C) 1 or -6
(D) 2 or -3

Answer: A

Samples of College-Level Mathematics
The College-Level Mathematics assessment uses 20 questions to measure proficiency from
intermediate algebra through pre -calculus. The categories covered include:

• Algebraic operations
 o Simplifying rational algebraic expressions
 o Factoring and expanding polynomials
 o Manipulating roots and exponents
• Solutions of equations and inequalities
 o The solution of linear and quadratic equations by factoring
 o Expanding polynomials
 o Manipulating roots and exponents
• Coordinate geometry
 o Plane geometry
 o The coordinate plane straight lines, conics , sets of points in a plane
 o Graphs of algebraic functions
• Application and other algebra topics
 o Complex numbers
 o Series and sequences
 o Determinants, permutations
  o Combinations , fractions
 o Word problems
• Functions and trigonometry
 o Polynomial, algebraic, exponential, logarithmic
 o Trigonometric functions

If f(x) = x4 - x + 2 then f(-x)=
(A) x4 - x
(B) x4 + x
(C) x4 - x + 2
(D) x4 + x +2

Answer: D

The equation x2 + 2ix - 4 = 0 has as its roots

Answer: E

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