What is Allowed into the Accuplacer Arithmetic Testing Center?

Instructor: Thomas Higginbotham

Tom has taught math / science at secondary & post-secondary, and a K-12 school administrator. He has a B.S. in Biology and a PhD in Curriculum & Instruction.

The Accuplacer Arithmetic Test is a computer-based test that assesses your skill in basic arithmetic as well as your ability to use arithmetic to solve problems. In this lesson, learn more about what you can be bring on test day.

Overview of Accuplacer Arithmetic Test

If you worked for thousands of hours creating a test that precisely measured students arithmetic skills and knowledge, you would want to be able to stand behind your product. One component of this would be the confidence that the person who gets the results for the test is indeed who they say they are, and that the results they get accurately portray their arithmetic knowledge and skills. You could have them all come to your high-security test center located deep underground in your Rocky Mountain fortress. However, that would limit the number of students and colleges that might benefit from your assessment. Instead, you might offer a set of rules for any institution offering the test. Some of those guidelines might include what students could bring with them to the test center. That's what this lesson is all about.

Picture Identification

The first item crucial to test security is picture identification. This is so that Accuplacer employees can be confident that the person who took the test really is the person they claim to be. Acceptable forms of ID include:

  • A current driver's license
  • A state-approved ID
  • A high school ID
  • A college ID
  • A current state or federal ID card
  • A current passport
  • A tribal ID card
  • A naturalization card or certificate of citizenship with a photo

Electronic Items

The Accuplacer Arithmatic test wants to test your knowledge of arithmetic. This means you will be adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing. Because the test wants to know how well you can do these things on your own, hand-held calculators are prohibited. For some problems, a calculator will be embedded on-screen for the test-taker to use. If you don't see the on-screen calculator, you need to do the math yourself.

Other prohibited electronic items include personal computers, hand-held PDAs (personal digital assistants), cell phones, and tablets. Essentially, anything with a power switch is prohibited in the testing center.

Other Physical Items

Scratch paper and pencils should be provided by the test center, so there is no need to bring paper or a writing utensil. Additionally, dictionaries are prohibited, as are other physical math manipulatives, such as rulers, protractors, abacuses, etc. While food and drink is discouraged, especially if it disturbs other students, some test centers may permit some of the following: light snacks, water, and gum. However, consumption of these items should not distract other test takers (so no blowing bubbles or snapping gum).

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