ESL Accuplacer Placement Test Questions


This ESL Placement Test Sample includes three parts: Sentence Meaning (10 Questions), Reading Skills (10 Questions) and Language Use (10 Questions).There is no time limit for this test. Some questions deal with the logic of the sentence, others with weather or not the answer is a complete sentence.


Sentence Meaning

The sentences below have a blank space. Choose the word or phrase that makes the sentence meaningful and correct.

1.) Learning to type is a very time-consuming activity, ___  it is not a good activity for impatient people.

A. so

B. but

C. however

D. although


2.) Not talking, making eye contact, and repeating what the person speaking said are important practices ____  active listening.

A. on

B. after

C. of

D. near


3.) Cooking dinner last night, I looked out the window, and I noticed a man was weeding his garden, ______ there were no weeds.

A. besides

B. even though

C. also

D. because




4.) Eating too much food even though you’re not hungry _____ an example of gluttony.

A. is

B. was

C. had been

D. were


5.) She couldn’t believe what she saw ____ she looked across the room to find out the cause of all the commotion.

A. then

B. next

C. because

D. when


Each problem contains one or two sentences followed by a question. Choose the correct answer to the question.

6.) Rachel found a much smaller strawberry than her sister.

How did Rachel’s strawberry compare to her sister’s?

A. It was much littler.

B. It was much larger.

C. It was somewhat larger.

D. It was about the same size.


7.) Dorothy always works late when she has the opportunity, but her work quality sometimes suffers.

What was the quality of Dorothy’s work?

A. It was always perfect.

B. It sometimes had a few errors.

C. It was always messy.

D. It was never complete.



8.) Solzhenitsyn wrote The Gulag Archipelago, and I found the book fascinating.

How does the speaker in this sentence feel about the book?

A. The speaker likes the book somewhat.

B. The speaker thinks the book is dull.

C. The speaker believes the book is irritating.

D. The speaker finds the book very interesting.


9.) Daniel wrote a long letter to his mother, but she did not write back. This made Daniel feel sad and somewhat lonely.

What made Daniel feel bad?

A. that his mother didn’t write back to him

B. that he couldn’t travel to see his mother

C. that he had written a long letter to his mother

D. that his hand hurt from writing so much


10.) From his second story window, Nathaniel could see the bustling streets below, which was odd given that it was so early in the morning.

What was strange about what Nathaniel saw?

A. The street was empty so early in the day.

B. The street was full of people and activity even though it was so early.

C. The street was empty even though it was nearly night time.

D. The street was very busy, and Nathaniel wanted it quiet because he was tired.



Reading Skills

Read the statement or passage and then choose the best answer to the question. Answer the question based on what is stated or implied in the statement or passage.

11.) Once the battle of choosing the location of a vacation is over, people have to decide what activities they want to do once they arrive. Sit in the sun or go bungee jumping? Take a nap or go hiking? The tug-of-war between adventurous and relaxing activities is as old as taking holidays. The key to having a fun vacation for everyone in the family is to balance both types of activities. One morning, choose an activity that the children want to do, and in the afternoon, the whole family should do an activity in which the parents are interested. Make time for parents and children to do activities they want to do on their own, too. This allows family members to have alone time, which is necessary on a trip where they spend more time together than usual.

The main idea of the paragraph is that

A. Parents should leave their children alone on vacations.

B. Family members should spend as much time together as possible on vacation.

C. Families should do activities that all members want to do.

D. Every vacation should be all about relaxation or adventure – not both.


12.) Some types of human cells reproduce more often than others. Cells for fingernails, taste buds, hair, and the lining of the stomach are replaced regularly, and the process happens quickly relative to the cell reproduction process of other cells. Brain and nerve cells, on the other hand, do not reproduce often at all after an infant is a few months old. When these cells are lost, they are usually not recreated. Cells of the liver do not reproduce once a person has become an adult. If there is an injury to the liver, however, cells will be replaced.

Depending on the type of cell, the cell preproduction process varies. For example, somatic cells, or cells of the body – such as those in the organs, hair, and muscles – reproduce by a process called mitosis. Sex cells – sperm and ova – duplicate by a process called meiosis.

According to the passage, when brain and nerve cells are destroyed,

A. they are replaced quickly.

B. they are lost permanently.

C. they grow again, but slower than previously.

D. do not grow again after a person becomes an adult.





13.) The French frigate, La Belle, went down in a storm in the Gulf of Mexico near Texas in the United States in 1686. Texas A&M University, located in College Station, Texas, has a nautical archaeology department that has completed a conservation of the ship’s hull. In 1995, the Texas Historical Commission discovered La Belle. The Commission constructed a dam around the site and excavated the hull from about six feet of mud by pumping the water out around the hull. The ship’s hull will be on display at the Bullock Texas State History Museum. Rene-Robert Cavelier Sieur de La Salle, a French adventurer, was the first European to navigate the Mississippi River to the Gulf. He claimed that land for France and eventually colonized the area with 300 migrants.

The author of the article seems to be

A. impressed with the engineering required to excavate the ship

B. upset that the excavation of the ship disturbed the surrounding environment

C. nervous for the future of the ship’s museum exhibition

D. angry that La Salle wanted to colonize the sourthern part of the Mississippi River.


14.) Society at large has a fear of people with schizophrenia and manic depression. The hallucinations, high and low moods, rage and other accompanying characteristics of these conditions make it difficult for others to live with. However, it is vital that society care for these individuals by providing plentiful places and space for them to recover and reenter society when they heal. Although the struggles of these individuals are usually life-long, the moral duty of society is to care for those who cannot take care of themselves at times.

The article suggests that society should

A. put those with schizophrenia and manic depression in hospitals for life

B. take care of them by providing resources for healing

C. ensure that each patient is healed completely

D. direct the lives of patients so they don’t hurt themselves or others


15.) Tomorrow is another day, and when we forget that, we forget that there is always hope. Even when life seems to have bottomed out, there is always a small ray of light that can make the situation less dire. This bit of advice does not have to be construed as coming from an eternal optimist, someone who is annoyingly cheerful all the time. Instead, consider it a suggestion designed to help you be grateful and hopeful when there is no place to go but up. Your pain is legitimate. Accept it, but avoid embracing it forever.

This passage is mainly about

A. Always thinking on the bright side

B. Acknowledging your pain, but still finding hope somewhere

C. the importance of being a pessimist

D. loving everyone around you

16.) Buying a pet from a pet store or a breeder is all well and good, but imagine the personal impact you could have on a dog or cat from an animal shelter. Providing a loving home to an animal who spends most of its days locked in a cage and faces the possibility of euthanasia in some rescue shelters is a much better choice than just going out and buying a pet from somewhere else. Rescue pets are said to be grateful in their own ways to their owners for taking care of them, and the gratification you get out of the deal is worth getting a mutt instead of a purebred.

The author of this passage most likely feels that

A. pet stores should be closed down permanently

B. purebred animals are not as nice as rescue pets

C. getting a rescue pet helps the pet and the owner

D. euthanasia is the only way to deal with stray pets


17.) Margaret E. Knight was no ordinary inventor. Dubbed “the Lady Edison” in honor of the man who invented the light bulb and many other inventions, Thomas Edison, Knight invented a metal guard to keep shuttles from coming off textile looms. This prevented many injuries to workers, and Knight invented this at just 12 years old. She also invented the machine that creates the square-bottomed paper grocery bags still in use today.

According to the passage, Knight was called “the Lady Edison” because

A. she was smart

B. she knew mathematics well

C. she created many useful inventions

D. she was related to Thomas Edison


18.) September 28, 1928 marked the date of the discovery of the mold called Penicillium notatum and its powerful halting effects on Staphylococcus aureus’ growth. Dr. Alexander Fleming of England came back from a summer holiday in Scotland to find that the Penicillium notatum had contaminated his Petri dishes of Staphylococcus, but he had also discovered one of the most powerful medicines the world has seen.

According to the passage, the discovery of penicillin

A. was incomplete

B. was an accident

C. was planned and researched carefully

D. would not have occurred if it has been spring


19.) Resumes and CVs are not the best way to get a job. Anyone can hire someone to write a polished resume with all the right key words and measureable achievements. The recruiter or human resources manager still doesn’t know whether the person applying for the job can do it well. The best way to find a job is to meet other people in your line of work and get personal introductions to hiring managers through those contacts. A personal referral goes much farther than an online application.

The passage implies that

A. people do not always write their own resumes and CVs

B. resumes and CVs are pointless

C. hiring managers don’t trust resumes and CVs

D. referrals are not as important as a well-written CV


20.) Get your suitcase and a tank of gas. You’re going on vacation. Where to? A road trip across your country is the answer. Pile in a van or large car with your friends or family, and off you go to see random historical markers and museums, and little-known attractions like the world’s largest ball of twine. Revel in the songs you sing at the top of your lungs over and over. Play I-Spy and the license plate game until you can’t stand it anymore.  You don’t have to go to another country to witness nature’s beauty and meet amazing people.

The passage is mostly about

A. traveling by plane

B. the joys of traveling alone

C. taking a road trip

D. enjoying vacation with family members



Language Use

The sentences below have a blank space. Choose the correct word or phrase that makes a grammatically correct sentence.

21.) She is taller ______.

A. than me

B. than I

C. than his

D. than she


22.) Samantha and Dave _______ to the lake last weekend.

A. driven

B. drove

C. drived

D. drive


23.) She ______ a cake for the party next week.

A. will makes

B. had made

C. will make

D. make


24.) Since I don’t believe in fairy tales, I found it ______ to accept the story of Cinderella as fact.

A. difficult

B. easy

C. believable

D. simple


25.) _______ get a new dress?

A. Has she

B. Will she

C. Does they

D. Have she


Read the two sentences below ad choose the best way of combining them.


26.) Dinah went to the park after dark. Her father looked for her when she didn’t come home on time.

A. Dinah went to the park after dark, although her father looked for her when she didn’t come home on time.

B. Before Dinah went to the park after dark, her father looked for her when she didn’t come home on time.

C. Suddenly, her father looked for her when she didn’t come home on time, and Dinah went to the park after dark.

D. Dinah went to the park after dark, and then her father looked for her when she didn’t come home on time.


27.) The story was true after all. The police didn’t accept it at first.

A. The story was true after all, until the police didn’t accept it at first.

B. The story was true after all, but the police didn’t accept it at first.

C. The police didn’t accept it at first; however, the story was true after all.

D. Even though the story was true after all, the police didn’t accept it at first.


28.) She knew that her mother was not coming home until Tuesday. She kept asking when she would return.

A. She knew that her mother was not coming home until Tuesday, even she kept asking when she would return.

B. She knew that her mother was not coming home until Tuesday, yet she kept asking when she would return.

C. She kept asking when she would return even if she knew her mother was not coming home until Tuesday.

D. Still, she kept asking when she would return, even though she knew her mother was not coming home until Tuesday.


29.) Tom and Don went to the game. We went later.

A. Tom and Don went to the game, and we went later.

B. We went later to the game, and Tom and Don went first.

C. We went to the game later; however, Tom and Don went before us.

D. Tom and Don went to the game, nor we went later.




30.) The temperatures plummeted last night. I am wearing a coat today.

A. Because the temperatures plummeted last night, and I am wearing a coat today.

B. The temperatures plummeted last night, yet I am wearing a coat today.

C. Today, I am wearing a coat before the temperatures plummeted last night.

D. I am wearing a coat today because the temperatures plummeted last night.

Correct Answers.

Sentence Meaning Reading Skills Language Use
1.A                           11.C                        21.B
2.C                           12.B                       22.B
3.B                           13.A                       23.C
4.A                           14.B                       24.A
5.D                           15.B                       25.B
6.A                           16.C                       26.D
7.D                           17.C                       27.B
8.D                          18.B                       28.B
9.A                           19.A                       29.A
10.B                        20.C                       30.D