Placement test preparation guide



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PLACEMENT TEST

PREPARATION GUIDE





Taking Your Placement Tests

Are you prepared?

Placement testing is mandatory for all new students. Taking time to work through this Placement Test Preparation Guide will help you



  • be ready to take your English placement test and

  • be accurately assessed

resulting in proper placement in courses that match your skill level.

June 16, 2016


When you have completed the Placement Test Preparation Guides, you may test at any of the Tri-C Testing Centers. For additional placement testing information, contact the Testing Center of your choice.


Brunswick University Center BUC 214 216.987.3877


Corporate College West CCW 221 216.987.5888
Eastern Campus ESS 1108 216.987.2256
Metropolitan Campus MSS 103 216.987.4311
Western Campus WTLC GT 115 216.987.5256
Westshore Campus SHCS 130A 216.987.3887 or 216.987.3888


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Placement Test Preparation
English and math assessment is mandatory at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) and determines the initial courses for which you may register. Taking the placement tests seriously and doing well on them save you time and money because you may have fewer courses to take. Tri-C requires you to prepare for the placement tests by reviewing general test taking information and basic math and English concepts.
Students may use other qualifying assessments, such as ACT or SAT scores, instead of taking the ACCUPLACER® tests. Please contact a Tri-C Testing Center for information.
The placement tests may be referred to as assessment tests or the ACCUPLACER® tests. The placement tests are computer-delivered and untimed—that is, you may work at your own pace. After you complete the tests, you will get a score and placement report to help you make appropriate choices when you register for classes.
To prepare for the placement tests, review the following General Test Taking Strategies and answer the questions to check for understanding. Then work through the English and/or Mathematics Preparation Guides and answer the sample test items to prepare for those assessments.
After you complete the placement tests, you will receive a copy of your scores and course placement options. Next, you will contact the Counseling Office to schedule your New Student Orientation or to meet with a counselor.

General Test Taking Strategies
Many students may experience text anxiety. Some test anxiety is normal and may help students focus during preparation and testing. Too much anxiety, however, can negatively affect performance. Students should try to think of testing is an opportunity to show what they know. The following testing strategies will help you increase your chances of performing better on the placement tests.

Start the Night Before

You will be able to concentrate better on the tests if you get plenty of rest and eat properly. Before testing, eat something healthy to give you energy to solve complex problems and help you focus, but avoid heavy foods that make you groggy.


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Be Prepared

Work through this preparation guide and the English and/or the Mathematics guides to help you decide when you are as ready as possible to take the placement tests. When you test at Tri-C, bring photo identification, your Tri-C ID number, and your glasses, if you need them.



Allow Enough Time

The ACCUPLACER® tests are not timed, and individual testing times vary. We suggest that you allow yourself at least one hour to complete each test. Don’t rush.



Focus

When you carry extra emotional baggage - "I've got to ace this exam" or "If I mess up, I'll never get into my program" - your performance may suffer. The most constructive approach is to focus on the task at hand, put in as much time preparing as you can, and do your best.



Relax

The ACCUPLACER® placement tests are designed to help you succeed in college. Your scores help you and Tri-C determine which courses are most appropriate for your current levels of knowledge and skills.




Read Carefully

Be sure you understand the directions for each test, and be sure to ask questions, if you don’t.


Read each question, passage, and problem carefully until you understand what the question is asking. If answering an item requires several steps, be sure you consider all of them.
If you have a problem or question during the test, ask the test proctor for help. Although proctors cannot answer specific test questions for you, they can help with other types of problems.

Answering Multiple Choice Questions

Read the question carefully. Think of an answer before looking at the possible answers. This way the choices given on the test won't mislead you.


Read all the answer choices. Eliminate answers you know are not correct.
Select an answer, but don't keep changing your response. Usually your first choice is the best one, unless you misread the question or the choices.
On the placement tests, there is no guessing penalty; therefore, answer every question. However, once you choose your final answer, click submit and then confirm, you cannot go back to change your answer.

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Placement Test Preparation Questions



Circle the letter of the correct answer to each of these questions. You will turn in these answers to the Testing Center prior to taking the ACCUPLACER® placement tests.



  1. Students may use qualifying ACT scores instead of taking the ACCUPLACER® tests.




  1. True

  2. False


  1. What is the time limit for the ACCUPLACER® Mathematics Test?




  1. 30 minutes

  2. 60 minutes

  3. 45 minutes

  4. No time limit

  5. 75 minutes


  1. Which of the following is not likely to help you to do your best on the placement tests?




  1. Eat well

  2. Complete the preparation guides

  3. Come in 30 minutes before closing

  4. Read directions carefully

  5. Get plenty of rest the night before testing


  1. Proctors cannot answer specific test questions for you, but they can help with other types of problems.




  1. True

  2. False


  1. On the placement tests, there is no penalty for guessing.




  1. True

  2. False

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PLACEMENT TEST



PREPARATION GUIDE

ENGLISH





Taking Your Placement Tests

Are you prepared?

Placement testing is mandatory for all new students. Taking time to work through this Placement Test Preparation Guide will help you



  • be ready to take your English placement test and

  • be accurately assessed

resulting in proper placement in courses that match your skill level.

August 24, 2016

For additional placement testing information, please contact the Testing Center of your choice.

Brunswick University Center BUC 214 216.987.3877


Corporate College West CCW 221 216.987.5888
Eastern Campus ESS 1108 216.987.2256
Metropolitan Campus MSS 103 216.987.4311
Western Campus WTLC GT 115 216.987.5256
Westshore Campus SHCS 130A 216.987.3887 or 216.987.3888

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ACCUPLACER® WritePlacer English Placement Test


The ACCUPLACER® WritePlacer test will determine your English course placement at Cuyahoga Community College, Tri-C. The WritePlacer test measures your ability to write effectively, which is critical to academic success. Your writing sample will be scored on the basis of how successfully it communicates a whole message to the readers for the stated purpose. Your score is based on your ability to express, organize and support your opinions and ideas, not the position you take on the essay topic. The test is not timed.
The essay gives you an opportunity to show how well you can develop and express your ideas in writing. You will first read a short passage and an assignment question that are focused on an important issue. You will then write an essay in which you develop your own point of view on the issue. You should support your position with appropriate reasoning and examples. The position you take will not influence your score.
Your essay will be given a holistic score that represents how clearly and effectively you expressed your position. The following six characteristics of writing will be considered:


  • Purpose and Focus: The clarity with which you maintain your main idea or point of view

  • Organization: The clarity with which you order and connect your ideas

  • Development and Support: The extent to which you develop and support your ideas

  • Sentence Variety and Style: The effectiveness of your sentence structure

  • Mechanical Conventions: The extent to which your writing is free of errors in usage and mechanics

  • Critical Thinking: The extent to which you communicate a point of view and demonstrate reasoned relationships among ideas

Scores on WritePlacer range from 1 to 8. An essay that is too short to be evaluated, written on a topic other than the one presented, or written in a language other than English will be given a score of zero.


These are the WritePlacer scores and the corresponding Tri-C English course placements.



WritePlacer Score


TRI-C Course Placement

0 or 1

Reading Comprehension 0-27


English Boost Program



0 or 1

Reading Comprehension 28+


ENG 0980

2

ENG 0980

3

ENG 0990


4


ENG 0900 and ENG 1010

OR

ENG 1001 and ENG 1010



5

or

6 and Reading Comprehension 0-102


ENG 1010

6 and Reading Comprehension 103+


ENG 101H

Honors College Composition I


7 – 8


ENG 101H

Honors College Composition I



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A WritePlacer prompt (essay question) consists of a short passage adapted from some longer text. Following the passage is an assignment that requires you to focus on the issue addressed in the passage.
On the pages that follow, you will find descriptions of WritePlacer score points and sample essays written for the prompt below that were assigned those particular scores.

Sample Prompt

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Passage
An actor, when his cue came, was unable to move onto the stage. He said, “I can’t get in, the chair is in the way.” And the producer said, “Use the difficulty. If it’s drama, pick the chair up and smash it. If it’s comedy, fall over it.” From this experience the actor concluded that in any situation in life that is negative, there is something positive you can do with it.
Adapted from Lawrence Eisenberg, “Caine Scrutiny”

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Assignment
Can any obstacle or disadvantage be turned into something good?

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Score of 1

Tri-C Course Placement – English Boost

Description of Score of 1
A response in this category demonstrates no mastery of on-demand essay writing; the response is severely flawed by many or most of the following weaknesses:


  • Lacks a viable point of view on the issue

  • Demonstrates no awareness of audience

  • Fails to present a main idea

  • Demonstrates flawed reasoning

  • Demonstrates no complexity of thought

  • Is disorganized and/or disjointed

  • Displays fundamental errors in word choice, usage and sentence structure

  • Contains pervasive spelling, grammar, punctuation and mechanical errors


Sample Essay – Score of 1
The question is can any obstacle or disadvantage be turned into something good? Yes it can, because even in the story he couldn’t get in because of the chair and the guy tells him if it’s a drama, “Smash it and if it’s a comedy fall over it. But when you think about it, if a girl was guilty and was pleading to say on how she was innocent and they catch her in a lie its practically the same thing. But that’s not the point but you can change a negative into a positive someway.

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Score of 3

Tri-C Course Placement – ENG 0990

Description of Score of 3
A response in this category demonstrates little mastery of on-demand essay writing; the response is flawed by one or more of the following weaknesses:


  • Presents a vague or limited point of view on the issue

  • Demonstrates little awareness of audience

  • Attempts to develop the main idea, although that attempt is inadequate

  • Demonstrates weak critical thinking with little complexity of thought or with flawed reasoning

  • Provides inappropriate or insufficient examples, reasons, or other evidence to support its position

  • Is poorly organized and/or focused or demonstrates serious problems with coherence or progression of ideas

  • Displays limited word choice and little sentence variety

  • Contains many errors in mechanical conventions of usage, sentence structure, grammar, spelling and punctuation


Sample Essay – Score of 3
I do believe that any obstacle or disadvantage can be turned into something good. I believe this is because people learn many things from their mistakes and that’s the only way. In the example that is provided, the actor is obviously confused. The director makes a good point on how to work around it, and in a case where they make use of the chair that’s in the way, which helps make it funny, exciting, or depressing. In a play or musical of any type, it adds meaning. Not only does an obstacle or disadvantage get turned into something good, but it can discover new things. Whenever any situation happens, such as in this case, I’d laugh if it’s funny, cry if it’s dramatic, make a joke out of it, or act like it didn’t happen. Just keep in mind that the purpose of life is to learn from mistakes, which can turn into something good.

5

Score of 5



Tri-C Course Placement – ENG 1010

Description of Score of 5
An essay in this category demonstrates adequate mastery of on-demand essay writing although it will have lapses in quality. A typical essay:

  • Develops a viable point of view on the issue

  • May stray from the audience and purpose but is able to refocus

  • Demonstrates competent critical thinking, using adequate examples, reasons, and other evidence to support its position

  • Is generally organized and focused but could lack coherence and logical progression of ideas

  • Exhibits adequate but inconsistent control of language

  • Demonstrates some variety in sentence structure

  • Contains some minor errors in sentence structure, grammar, spelling and punctuation



Sample Essay – Score of 5
In my lifetime, I have seen many ways an obstacle or disadvantage can be turned into a good think. Sometimes when something bad happens, it can prepare you for the future obstacles to come. For example, if a person gets a serious burn they would panic and not know what to do. If the same thing happened again, the person would be more prepared and have knowledge from the previous experience.
If someone is on crutches, about to open the door, would you open the door for them? If you are the person on crutches you would be at a disadvantage to others. But this can be turned into a good thing. You now have someone to open the door for you, and this is a good way to meet people and make friends.
Sometimes when things aren’t going your way, you have to improvise a little. For example, before a basketball game you see that the other team is much taller than your team. The coach might have only made up plays for a short team. The other team is tall, but slow. You use your speed to win the game. In the blink of an eye, you’ve change a disadvantage into a good thing.
The best comedians always turn an obstacle or disadvantage into a good thing. If the audience is not laughing at this performance, then he has to change what he’s doing. This obstacle about the audience not laughing he could make a joke about, then making the obstacle into a good thing.

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Writing On Demand: Doing Your Best Work Under Pressure!



As part of your ACCUPLACER testing, you are required to write an essay. You will be given a prompt (essay question) and expected to write your paper immediately. As your brain begins to scream and your hands freeze up, take a deep breath and use the following strategies to conquer this essay!

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