ACCUPLACER (Grade 12 English Equivalency Test)

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In-person testing not presently available; here is information about the off-campus Accuplacer.

What is the ACCUPLACER?

The ACCUPLACER is used to assess Grade 12 English Equivalency. The ACCUPLACER is a computer-based test composed of three parts: reading comprehension, sentence structure (Writing Skills), and essay writing (WritePlacer).

Our centre currently does not offer the ACCUPLACER Math assessment.

How long does it take to write the ACCUPLACER?

The reading comprehension (20 multiple choice questions) and writing skills sections (25 multiple choice questions) are untimed; WritePlacer has a 70-minute limit for a 300-600 word essay.

The average time to complete all three sections is 2.5 hours.

When will I get the results?

You will receive your results within a week (often sooner) of sitting the ACCUPLACER.  If you are taking the ACCUPLACER at a VIU campus (Nanaimo, Powell River or Cowichan), it may be possible to receive your results on the same day. Results will also be forwarded to the Admissions Office

How much does the ACCUPLACER cost to write?

A $55 ACCUPLACER testing fee must be paid when you register for a test. The rewrite fee is $40 (off-campus $65/$50).

How do I register for the ACCUPLACER?

Schedule an appointment to write the ACCUPLACER through VIU Assessment Services on the Nanaimo, Cowichan or Powell River Campus:

How can I prepare for the ACCUPLACER?

There are many sites that offer practice material and tips for how to do well on the ACCUPLACER.

Below is a sample of some of these helpful materials. 

What scores do I need on the ACCUPLACER Next Generation, and how do I interpret the scores?

Equivalent grade for Grade 12 English

Reading Comprehension

Writing Skills

Writeplacer Essay













  • The Reading Comprehension and Writing Skills test scores are reported on a 100-point scale from 200 to 300. 
  • The WritePlacer score is reported on a scale from 0 - 8 with a description for each score. A score of zero indicates that the response was off topic, in a language other than English, too short to be evaluated, or in some other way not able to be scored.
  • The ACCUPLACER is an adaptive test: if you answer a question incorrectly, the next question will be easier and vice versa.
  • The test is marked by extremely sophisticated software that has been tried and tested extensively, including a study here at VIU.

We are confident that the ACCUPLACER test is a valid and reliable indicator of skills at a Grade 12 level*.

*Please note that the ACCUPLACER is not a diagnostic or ‘teaching’ test. There is no feedback on or access to the test results other than the final scores.

ACCUPLACER scores are valid for two years.

Can I rewrite the ACCUPLACER?

An applicant may rewrite one or more of the ACCUPLACER tests after their initial attempt.

It is highly recommended that the applicant spend several weeks reviewing the subject matter before attempting the rewrite.

If the applicant’s scores on the rewrite still do not meet the required score, a minimum of 20 hours tutoring or up-grading will be required, or the applicant must wait until at least one year has passed since the last testing


NOTE: From August 1, 2018, ACCUPLACER Classic will no longer be used – all assessments are done using ACCUPLACER Next Generation.

What is the difference between ACCUPLACER Classic and ACCUPLACER Next Generation?

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

A stronger focus on these areas:

Reading (formerly Reading Comprehension):

  • paired passages
  • literary passages
  • vocabulary questions

Writing (formerly Sentence Skills):

  • the movement from a discrete-question basis to a set basis
  • a greater emphasis on broader issues of development, organization
  • effective language use at the multi-sentence, paragraph, and passage levels.
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