Test Overview

English and Reading Overview

The NCCCS Diagnostic and Placement English and Reading test is made up of three sections: WritePlacer®, Reading, and Revising and Editing Writing. (You will complete the WritePlacer® first.)

>>Download the English & Reading Study Guide

WritePlacer®

This section asks you to compose a 300-600 word essay and measures your ability to write effectively, which is critical to academic success. You will be asked to read a short passage and address a prompt based on the passage. You will have up to two hours to complete this portion of the test. You may not stop this section once the timer starts.

The following six characteristics of writing will be considered:

  • Purpose and Focus
  • Organization and Structure
  • Development and Support
  • Sentence Variety and Style
  • Mechanical Conventions
  • Critical Thinking

Reading

This section contains 30 questions. You will be asked to read short passages and answer questions pertaining to the passages. This section of the test is untimed.

Topics covered in this section include:

  • Main Idea/Summary
  • Supporting Detail/Paraphrase
  • Vocabulary
  • Organization
  • Inference
  • Point of View, Fact-Opinion, and Bias
  • Purpose/Tone
  • Author’s Use of Language

Revising and Editing Writing

This section contains 20 questions. You will be asked to read essay drafts and answer questions pertaining to the drafts. This section of the test is untimed.

Topics covered in this section include:

  • Transitions
  • Sentence Combining
  • Revising Sentences, Inserting Sentences, and Deleting Sentences
  • Topic Sentences, Thesis Statements, and Concluding Sentences
  • Grammar, Mechanics, Sentence Structure, and Word Choice

Mathematics Overview

>>Download the Mathematics Study Guide

The NCCCS Diagnostic and Placement Mathematics test contains 72 questions that measure proficiency in six content areas. This test is untimed. The six content areas are as follows:

Operations with Integers

Topics covered in this category include:

  • Problem events that require the use of integers and integer operations
  • Basic exponents, square roots and order of operations
  • Perimeter and area of rectangles and triangles
  • Angle facts and the Pythagorean Theorem

Fractions and Decimals

Topics covered in this category include:

  • Relationships between fractions and decimals
  • Problem events that result in the use of fractions and decimals to find a solution
  • Operations with fractions and decimals
  • Circumference and area of circles
  • The concept of π
  • Application problems involving decimals

Proportions, Ratios, Rates and Percentages

Topics covered in this category include:

  • Conceptual application problems containing ratios, rates, proportions and percentages
  • Applications using U.S. customary and metric units of measurement
  • Geometry of similar triangles

Expressions, Linear Equations and Linear Inequalities

Topics covered in this category include:

  • Graphical and algebraic representations of linear expressions, equations and inequalities
  • Application problems using linear equations and inequalities

Graphs and Equations of Lines

Topics covered in this category include:

  • Graphical and algebraic representations of lines
  • Interpretation of basic graphs (line, bar, circle, etc.)

Polynomials and Quadratic Applications

Topics in this category include:

  • Graphical and algebraic representations of quadratics
  • Finding algebraic solutions to contextual quadratic applications
  • Polynomial operations
  • Factoring polynomials
  • Applying factoring to solve polynomial equations