ACCUPLACER® - What you need to know to be successful at DMACC

​​ACCUPLACER® is a series of tests that evaluate students’ skills in Reading and Writing to help place students in DMACC courses and programs that match their skills. It is also used to determine course placement for English Language Learners (ELL).

ACCUPLACER ® uses the latest computer-adaptive technology, which means the questions you see are based on your skill level. Your response to each question determines the difficulty level of the next question.

Remember: No one passes or fails ACCUPLACER® tests, but it’s important to complete the test using your best effort, so you ​can get an accurate measure of your academic skills and be placed in the appropriate course.

Accuplacer chart

Preparing for the ACCUPLACER® Next Gen 

We have resources to help you prepare for ACCUPLACER® Next Gen and ELL Assessments

  1. Click Choose Database
  2. Click P
  3. Scroll down and click PrepSTEP
  4. Click Placement Test Preparation
  5. Click Prepare for ACCUPLACER® Tests
Make sure you take the practice under Next-Generation ACCUPLACER® Practice Tests.

Option 3: Use the ACCUPLACER® Study App
  1. ​Visit to access the ACCUPLACER® app.
  2. Create an account by entering an email address and choosing a password. The password should use multiple words and a mixture of upper and lowercase characters, numbers, and punctuation.
  3. Click Sign Up.
  4. Log in with the username and password
  5. Select the test you need to practice:
    1. ​​ACCUPLACER®
    2. English as a Second Language (ESL)
  6. Select a test type, then click on either Learn As You Go or Practice Test
  7. Read the opening instructions, then click Next
  8. Read the next instructions, then click on Start Test Session
  9. Read each question, select the answers, then click Submit at the end
After completing the practice test, a report shows how you scored in each area. Click on a specific area 
to review questions and rationale. If you do not score well, click take test again. Click Learn as you go to 
review the questions and answers as you take the sample test.

When you’re ready, take the test!

Relax, ACCUPLACER® Next Gen is a well-designed test to help you assess your readiness for college-level 
reading and writing courses. The following tips will help you do your best.

  1. Get a good night’s rest the night before the test. Eat a healthy breakfast and drink some water that day to nourish your body and mind.
  2. Arrive a couple of minutes early so you can gather your thoughts and locate the Testing Center. Don’t forget to bring a valid photo ID.
  3. Ask questions if you don’t understand the process of ACCUPLACER® Next Gen.
  4. During the test, read the questions carefully.
  5. Work to answer all the questions.
​Below is a partial list of programs that require ACCUPLACER®

This list may change. Please view your Checklist to see if ACCUPLACER® is required for your program.
  • Biotech
  • CNC Operator/Programmer
  • Dental Assistant/Hygienist
  • Diemaking
  • Machinist Technology
  • Medical: Assistant/Lab Tech
  • Nursing (RN)/Practical Nursing
  • Paramedic Specialist
  • Phlebotomy
  • Surgical Tech
  • Tool & Die
  • Vet Tech
  • Visual Communications

How to view your Checklist

  1. Log In to myDMACC
  2. Click on the Student tab
  3. Scroll down to View Admissions Applications under Banner Self-Service
ACT scores may fulfill the ACCUPLACER® requirement. Scores can be sent to​

Find a DMACC Testing Center

ACCUPLACER® is not a timed test but you should allow 1 hour for ACCUPLACER® Next Gen and 2 hours 

ACCUPLACER® ELL (English Language Learners)

  1. How do I know if I need ACCUPLACER® ELL?
    1. If both statements below are TRUE, then you do not need the ACCUPLACER® ELL, but you may need to take the standard ACCUPLACER®
      1. I speak a language other than English, but I have studied English for six (6) years or more where English is the primary language of instruction.
      2. I speak, read, and write English daily.
    2. ​If one or both statements are not true, visit a DMACC Testing Center to take ACCUPLACER® ELL
  2. What do my scores mean?
    Recommended Class
    Less than 50 
    Non-credit ELL
    50-81 Credit
    ELL 098 & 099
    82-110 Credit
    ​ELL 108 & 109
  3. Can I retake the ACCUPLACER® to improve my score?
    1. ​Yes, you can retake the test in 2 weeks
    2. Before you test, review the ELL sample questions to improve your skills:
    3. How do I register for classes?
      1. Non-Credit ELL:
      2. Credit ELL and DMACC Credit Class: Speak to a DMACC advisor before registering

ELL Questions

If you have questions about Non-Credit ELL, contact:
Pedro Salazar-Garcia
ELL Student Services Specialist
or 515-697-7762

If you have questions about Credit ELL, contact: 
Saem Parry
ELL Faculty Instructor 
or 515-248-723​​

​​Updated 8/12/22