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What exactly is the English placement test?

I am planning to join the University of Wisconsin. I was told that there would be an English placement test. I don’t have any idea how the test is conducted. Can you help me understand what exactly is checked in such a language test? Also, kindly provide me some information on how to prepare for such a test. What aspect of the language are they going to check in this test; grammar, spelling, reading comprehension, or essay writing skills? How is my performance in this test going to affect my education at the Wisconsin?

Ashley Howard

in Exams and Tests

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Zach Chandler on January 22, 2018

Be careful, English placement tests are very important and will have a serious effect on how fast you complete your studies at the University. These tests are usually not too difficult but carelessness will cause unnecessary troubles. For example, the University of Wisconsin Center for Placement Testing says that the University’s placement language tests are used for the purpose of placing students into college level courses. This test is used in all institutions under the University of Wisconsin. The UW English Placement Test (EPT) has three subtests; English usage, sentence correction, and reading comprehension.

If you are planning to take the UW English Placement Test or any other test of this nature, the best place to start your practice is the website of the test provider. For UW placement test, visit the link https://testing.wisc.edu/centerpages/englishtest.html to find a Practice English Placement Test. Most universities and colleges have some kind of English placement tests to decide the level at which a new student can join.

Some colleges utilize the help of placement test services like the Accuplacer placement tests. The company website shows that about 3701 colleges accept the test. Some important Accuplacer tests are Reading Comprehension test, Sentence Skills test, WritePlacer test, English As A Second Language (ESL) Language Use test, English As A Second Language (ESL) Listening test, English As A Second Language (ESL) Reading Skills test, and English As A Second Language (ESL) Sentence Meaning test.

Other important placement tests where your English ability is assessed are Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA) Texas Success Initiative (TSI), Asset, Compass, and CPAt. Compass is a computerized test which includes math, reading, writing, and English as a Second Language. The test format is multiple choice questions except for the essay. Similarly, the Asset test has a reading and a writing section. Out of them, the writing section will check your grammar usage, punctuation, style, strategy and sentence structure. In the same way, the CPAt will assess your language in areas like grammar, spelling, capitalization, logic, structure, and punctuation. Well, now it is clear that a little English preparation now will save you from a lot of headache and waste of time later on. The reality is that for most of these tests, you can find free practice tests and other helpful resources from the website of the test developers. For example, you can find Accuplacer sample tests and Accuplacer Study App from the link https://accuplacer.collegeboard.org/student/practice. Best of luck on your test.

Noel Byrda year ago

I faced the same dilemma two years ago. But luckily, I worked in the right direction and escaped unhurt. From my analysis of the English placement test services, I have noticed that such tests usually focus on certain specific areas of the language. They are verb, pronoun, diction, modifier, sentence, and reading comprehension. In the reading comprehension section, you will need to interpret figurative communication, draw conclusions, and understand factual meaning. When you do verb, give special attention to subject-verb agreement and the appropriate use of tense. Similar is the case of pronouns. Also, it is a good idea to work on diction and idiomatic expressions. Moreover, there are areas like punctuation, word order, and other sentence problems to be worked on. I’d suggest you to try the various free English language tests because it helps you become familiar with tricky questions and solutions. Good performance in these tests will boost your confidence as well.


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