Prepare for Placement Testing

  • If you are required to take a placement test for English or math, we highly recommend that you prepare. You are eligible to receive two weeks of placement test prep tutoring from the Academic Center. Call 410-386-8300 for details.

    Below you will find additional information to help you prepare:

  • English

    Carroll uses Accuplacer (Next Generation), a College Board product, to test for English skills. Preview and practice Accuplacer's sample q​u​e​s​t​i​o​n​s​.

    If the English computerized test results are not decisive, students will be required to provide a writing sample to determine placement.

    Students are allowed unlimited time to write the essay based on a choice of prompts.

    English professors review the essay and determine course placement based on the grammar, punctuation, organization and idea development. Prospective students should construct a well-organized short essay including an opening paragraph, supporting paragraphs, and a conclusion. 

    Math

    ALEKS PPL Math Placement Test

    Frequently Asked Questions

    • When and where do I take the math placement test?
      • You are eligible to take the math placement test as soon as you submit your admissions application. While you may take your test immediately, it is important that you take this test seriously and prepare for it. We want the test to truly reflect your current level of knowledge and preparedness. Therefore, please take time to study before taking the initial placement test to make sure you are ready and prepared the first time you take it. Placement testing occurs in the Testing Center (A-132), but you should check in with the Admissions Office (A-101) first. If you are currently in a high school math class or you are taking a math class prior to beginning your coursework here at Carroll, we recommend that you wait until you’ve complete that course to take the math placement test.  

         

    • How long will the math placement test take?
      • The test is untimed, so you may take as much time as you need within the hours of operation for placement testing in the Testing Center. We suggest that you plan for at least 1-2 hours of time for this placement test. See Carroll’s website for the Testing Center’s placement testing hours.
         

         

    • What is involved in the math placement test?
      • ALEKS PPL is a web-based placement test. Before you begin, there will be a few brief survey questions along with a tutorial to show you how to enter your answers. Even though you will only be entering your final answers into the computer, you should work through each problem on paper provided by the Testing Center. Your test may contain up to 30 questions. All questions are free response – there are no multiple choice questions. The test covers a broad spectrum of mathematics topics.

        Topics that may be tested include:

        • Real numbers (including fractions, integers, and percentages)
        • Equations and inequalities (including linear equations, linear inequalities, systems of linear equations, and quadratic equations)
        • Linear and quadratic functions (including graphs and functions, linear functions, and parabolas), exponents and polynomials (including integer exponents, polynomial arithmetic, factoring, and polynomial equations), rational expressions (including rational equations and rational functions)
        • Radical expressions (including higher roots and rational exponents)
        • Exponentials and logarithms (including function compositions and inverse functions, properties of logarithms, and logarithmic equations)
        • Geometry and trigonometry (including perimeter, area, volume, coordinate geometry, trigonometric functions, identities and equations)


    • Am I allowed to use any resources during the placement test?
      • You may not use notes, formula sheets, or any other reference materials. Most questions will not allow the use of a calculator. For those that do allow a calculator, you may not use any calculator except the one provided on the computer screen through the ALEKS PPL test. You will not be able to use your own calculator.

       

    • What if math isn’t a strong subject for me?
      • No matter what your skill level is, ALEKS PPL is designed to figure out what you already know and what you still need to work on. If you are given a question that you are unsure of how to solve, it is recommended that you make your best attempt and still answer the question. There is an “I don’t know” option for each question as well. Remember that this system will give you a different type of problem each time, so even if you don’t know a couple questions in a row, you should still attempt all subsequent questions with your best effort. You may not go back to any questions after you have answered them, so take your time and submit each answer carefully.

           
    • How will I know my score and what math course I am eligible to take?
      • At the end of the test, your score will appear on the screen along with a prompt directing you to an advisor who will process your score and tell you what math courses you are eligible for. Remember that the purpose of the assessment is to identify what course(s) you are prepared to take.

       

    • What if I’m not happy with my results and math eligibility?
      • If you are unhappy with your results, you may retest. You are required to wait 24 hours before you attempt the test again. You are also required to complete 5 hours of remediation on ALEKS prior to your first retest. Three hours of remediation on ALEKS is required for all subsequent attempts. You may retest 4 times, giving a total of 5 times that you may take the test. Please note that a $10 fee is charged each time you retest. The highest score that you obtain will be the one used for placement. All test attempts must be completed in the Testing Center.

       

    • What resources are available to help me prepare for the placement test?
      • Prior to taking the ALEKS PPL test, you may visit the Academic Center in L-288 for two weeks of test preparation tutoring. This is on a drop-in basis, but you may visit as much as you would like. See the Academic Center’s website or call 410-386-8300 for hours of operation or any other questions. We also recommend the following resources for review and practice:
        • Khan Academy (mobile app or www.khanacademy.org)
        • CK-12 (mobile app or www.ck12.org)
        • EdReady.org


      • Once you have taken the placement test, you will be automatically placed into a Prep and Learning module within ALEKS. This Prep and Learning module is a place for you to learn, practice, and review topics based upon your first placement attempt only. Work within the Prep and Learning module does not change your previous placement attempts, but helps you prepare for retesting. Just log into aleks.com using the username and password given when you took your initial placement test, and follow the recommended path to start your Prep and Learning. You may attend drop-in tutoring to work through the ALEKS Prep and Learning module before you retest as well. Since your placement result is the minimum preparation for your course, it is also suggested that you continue to use the ALEKS Prep and Learning module in order to be better prepared when the semester begins. You will have access to your Prep and Learning module in ALEKS for 180 days once it is started.

      • For any other questions regarding math placement or eligibility, contact the Math Success Navigator:
        Jenelle Cutitta jcutitta@carrollcc.edu or 410-386-8117

      •   


  • During the COVID19 closure, we have changed some of the procedures highlighted in this important video:
    1. Be sure you apply to Carroll and set up your student account.
    2. Because the campus is temporarily closed, you will take your math placement test without going to the Testing Center. Please ignore the directions for checking in, etc.
    3. There is no proctor--You will take this test under the honor system. Please do not use a calculator or any assistance. If your test results do not aligned with your high school and/or college preparation, you will be required to retest with a proctor.  
    4. After your test, you will receive guidance about what you need to work on to move to a higher class. It's important to review your math skills prior to your first test (watch the video and see the links in the math drop-down above for study tips).
    5. After setting up your account, watching the video, and studying, you are ready to test. Allow 2 hours so you will not feel rushed.
    6. To test, go to https://www.carrollcc.edu/mycarroll, click on Lynx Portal and log in. Scroll down and click on the button for Carroll Math Placement Test.
    7. In the future, when you want to work further on your math skills, you will go back to the Carroll Math Placement Test button.
    8. Five hours of work in the software are required before you may test the 2nd time (if desired). During the COVID19 closure, there is no retest fee.
    9. You may take the math placement test a total of five times. After the 2nd test, three hours of study are required before each additional test. The highest placement is the score that will be counted.
    10. Fees and proctoring will resume when the campus reopens.

    Please direct questions about the testing process to the Testing Center, 410-386-8450.
    Please direct questions about test results to the Advising Office, 410-386-8435, or to your academic advisor.

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