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Why did the College Board redesign the ACCUPLACER placement assessments?

The College Board has a responsibility to continuously evaluate and improve our programs and services and, most importantly, ensure that they respond to the evolving needs of the students, professionals, and institutions we serve. We have redesigned the ACCUPLACER assessment system so that it continues to be the best tool for institutions to evaluate students’ skills in reading, writing, and mathematics.

When do current ACCU users have to switch to the next-generation tests?

Beginning on Monday, January 28, 2019, classic ACCUPLACER tests will no longer be available. By this time, ACCUPLACER users will need to transition to using the next-generation placement tests.

During this transition period, the College Board’s ACCUPLACER program will work with institutions to provide the necessary tools and support to complete a successful transition to next- generation. During this transition, your institution should begin to develop processes for setting cut scores for the next-generation tests and make the necessary changes to your institution’s branching profiles, placement rules, and composite scores.

Which are the classic ACCUPLACER tests?

The following tests are considered classic ACCUPLACER:



Reading Comprehension

Reading Comprehension

Sentence Skills

Sentence Skills



Elementary Algebra

Elementary Algebra

College-Level Math

College-Level Math

The four ESL assessments, WritePlacer,  WritePlacer ESL, and Computer Skills and Placement will continue to be available. 

What is the cost of the next-generation tests?

The cost per unit of the next-generation tests is the same as the per-unit cost of the classic tests. One unit will be required for each of the next-generation tests.

Is there going to be a set of next-generation diagnostic assessments?

In an effort to be responsive to market trends and the needs of our users, we are considering many approaches to diagnostic assessment. Plans for this work are currently being assessed and finalized.

Are the next-generation ACCUPLACER placement assessments aligned to the new SAT Suite of Assessments?

The next-generation ACCUPLACER placement assessments are aligned to the same content domain continuum as the SAT Suite of Assessments: SAT, PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10 and PSAT 8/9. The next-generation ACCUPLACER placement assessments also align to state college and career readiness standards, competencies, and pathways.

Aligning next-generation ACCUPLACER to these content areas gives us the ability to assess the knowledge and skills students need to succeed in introductory credit-bearing courses.

Will the College Board provide a concordance for the classic ACCUPLACER placement and the next-generation placement tests? When will this concordance be available?

The College Board will provide a concordance table for each set of corresponding tests to help compare scores from classic tests with scores from the next-generation tests, provided we receive enough data from institutions participating in the concordance research study.

The College Board has begun to collect data from incoming freshmen starting fall 2017. If enough data is collected, concordance tables will be available in summer 2018.

Additionally, the College Board encourages institutions to use our free Admitted Class Evaluation Service™ (ACES™) to evaluate their cut scores. 

Does the content of the next-generation ACCUPLACER placement assessments differ from the classic ACCUPLACER tests? Do they require revised cut scores?

Next-generation ACCUPLACER placement assessments cover the same three subject areas of reading, writing, and mathematics New features of the tests include:

  • A greater focus on a range of content areas, text complexity, and writing modes;
  • Ability to assess rhetoric, synthesis, and vocabulary skills;
  • Longer text (up to 400 words) and paired text;
  • Shift to more authentic tasks such as revising and editing within a wide range of texts; and,
  • Math content aligned to state college and career readiness standards,

The next-generation ACCUPLACER placement assessments may require revised cut-off scores. The College Board is committed to supporting users and providing guidance around the appropriate use of the tests and test scores.

Will MyFoundationsLab (MFL) continue to be a part of the ACCUPLACER offering?

Yes, MFL will continue to be a part of the ACCUPLACER offering.

How can we measure progress for those students who take the classic ACCUPLACER placement assessment this fall and receive a MyFoundationsLab (MFL) personalized intervention?

The College Board is committed to providing current ACCUPLACER users with the necessary tools to support their students. The College Board is working to provide the necessary tools to allow users to successfully migrate to the new assessments, including the migration of MFL. During the extended transition period, students who have received MFL personalized intervention based on their performance on the classic ACCUPLACER placement assessments will continue to be able to measure their progress.

What is the College Board doing to help institutions support students who require remediation before they are placed in credit-bearing courses?

The College Board recognizes the rise of college remediation rates for students; we know that something different must be done.

That’s why we redesigned ACCUPLACER to be focused on the few things that evidence shows matter most for success in college. We have worked with our partners in higher education so that the new assessments are more responsive to the needs of college students, lead to reduced rates of remediation, and allow more students to start earning college credit sooner and more efficiently than ever before.

Can I use the next-generation assessments for Ability to Benefit (ATB) purposes?

At this time, the next-generation assessments are not approved by the US Department of Education for ATB use. However, institutions can continue to leverage the classic tests for ATB even after the January 2019 migration, and until the next-generation assessments are approved.