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Empowering Students to Succeed Through Accuplacer Preparation Mandy Williams Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute mwilliams@cccti.edu 828.726.2274

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Workshop Objectives Become more familiar with the Accuplacer test Learn about the College Placement Test (CPT) Preparation course design Learn about the impact of the CPT Preparation course on student Accuplacer scores Be provided with CPT resources Brainstorm and share ideas about how workshop content may be used in your own classes and programs

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Icebreaker Which Placement Test Does Your College Use? ACCUPLACER COMPASS ASSET Other

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The Problem GED and Adult High School Diploma (AHSD) graduates were taking the College Placement Test (Accuplacer) and placing into developmental courses. Students were unfamiliar with the Accuplacer and were not reviewing or practicing before taking it. Studies indicate that less than 25 % of community college students in developmental education earn a degree within eight years.

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Our Solution Designed the College Placement Test Preparation Course Offered the course to currently enrolled GED/AHSD students and recent graduates During the summer, offered the course to local high school graduates who scored into developmental courses when taking the Accuplacer

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Overall Results 96 % increased their scores in at least one subject area 81 % placed out of at least one developmental course 39 % placed completely out of all developmental courses

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Results by Subject Area Reading: 84 % placed out of at least one developmental level 61 % placed out of all developmental reading Sentence Skills: 86 % placed out of at least one developmental level 65 % placed out of all developmental English Arithmetic: 79 % placed out of at least one developmental level 74 % placed out of all developmental arithmetic Algebra: 58 % placed out of at least one developmental level 48 % placed out of developmental Algebra

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More Results Accuplacer (Out of those pre-tested) Greatest individual gain – 52 points Average gain – 20 points TABE 70 % increased on TABE Greatest TABE gain – 3.5 grade levels Average TABE gain – 2.2 grade levels

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Student Comments “In my opinion this class has helped me throughout these last couple weeks. Mrs. Williams taking the time to actually sit down and discuss my problem areas with me has helped me place out of my math class. I am very thankful that I received the opportunity to take this class. I think it will help me in my college career.” “I'm feeling very good about this class. It has really helped me review all I need for math. I had forgotten how to do math without a calculator, which is really bad!” “Thanks to this class I’ve been able to go from a basic understanding of the subject areas to a deeper understanding. I was able to pass all of my placement tests!”

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Design of CPT Preparation Course 30 – 60 contact hours Face-to-face instruction in reading, sentence skills, arithmetic, algebra, and test-taking strategies Computerized instruction ITTS (Instruction Targeted for TABE Success, Level A) Various online resources including practice CPT

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CPT Preparation Course Objectives Improve reading comprehension Determine relationships between sentences Understand correct sentence structure Rewrite sentences according to specified criteria Perform basic arithmetic operations Solve relevant, multi-step mathematical problems Perform algebraic operations Apply algebraic concepts in problem solving

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ACCUPLACER (CPT) Test Reading Comprehension Sentence Skills Arithmetic Algebra

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Reading Comprehension

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Passage-Based Reading Selections Short reading passages followed by questions based on the reading selection. These questions check understanding of Main idea Supporting details Inference Purpose Tone Persuasive strategies

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Sentence Relationships Two sentences followed by a question asking how the sentences are related Relationships include Support Detail Contradiction Repetition Cause Effect Comparison Contrast Exception

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12 Powerful Words Analyze Infer Evaluate Describe Support Explain Summarize Compare Contrast Predict Formulate Trace

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Ten Steps to Building College Reading Skills This book covers the following ten key reading skills: 1.Dictionary Use 2.Vocabulary in Context 3.Main Ideas 4.Supporting Details 5.Locations of Main Ideas 6.Relationships that involve addition and time 7.Relationships that involve examples, comparison/contrast, and cause/effect 8.Inferences 9.Implied Main Ideas 10.The Basics of Argument

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Cheating is the ultimate trick a student plays on him or herself. Aside from the primary point of making an absolute mockery of the purpose of a college education, there is also the fact that there is no way a student can avoid being found out - there is at least one person who will always know about it. With which of the following statements would the author agree? a.Students should not cheat because someone will find out and report it. b.Cheating really hurts the cheater. c.Professors should expect students to cheat. Answer: B Reading Sample Question: Inferring Information

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Many college students do not want to take a math class. When they learn that math is a requirement, these students hope for a way to avoid it. These students may be suffering from math anxiety, an overwhelming fear of the subject, rather than an intellectual impairment. The main idea of this passage is: a.Many students are bad at math b.Students who are bad at math can avoid taking it. c.Students who hope to avoid math may have math anxiety. Answer: C Reading Sample Question: Main Idea

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The owning of an automobile allows Americans the opportunity to explore this vast country. In failing to develop a national public transportation system the ability of Americans to travel is severely limited. The above 2 sentences: a.Contradict each other b.The second sentence supports the first c.The first sentence introduces the second Answer: A Reading Sample Question: Relationship Question – Comparing Two Sentences

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Sentence Skills Test The Sentence Skills section of the Accuplacer placement test has two types of multiple-choice questions. Sentence Correction – These questions require an understanding of sentence structure and ask you to choose the most appropriate word or phrase for the underlined portion of the sentence. Construction Shift – These questions ask that a sentence be rewritten according to the criteria shown while maintaining essentially the same meaning as the original sentence.

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Sentence Skills Questions These questions test one’s ability to recognize correct sentences in written English. Pronoun-antecedent agreement Subject-verb agreement and verb tense Misplaced and dangling modifiers Diction and logic Sentence structure (fragments, subordination/coordination, and parallelism) Comma splices and run-on sentences

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Sentence Skills Sample Question: Sentence Correction Jose wanted to study he tried to keep his roommates quiet; but he did not succeed. Select the best version of the underlined part of the sentence a.Jose wanted to study he tried to keep b.Jose wanted to study, he tried to keep c.Because he wanted to study, Jose tried to keep d.Jose wanting to study, and trying to keep Answer: C

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Sentence Skills Sample Question: Construction Shift “She thought that advertising should have an immediate, powerful impact and, as a result of this notion of hers, she made commercials with a strong emotional content.” Rewrite this sentence, beginning with Her new commercials had… The new sentence will include a.they resulted from b.the result was that c.caused by thinking d.because she thought Answer: D

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Construction Shift Tips When you have to rewrite a portion of a sentence or a whole sentence, never make a choice without reading all of the options. A sentence with a mechanical error will often sound okay until you have read the other choices. Finally, since there are two types of construction shifts, be very careful to note how you are being asked to rewrite a sentence. The phrasing is usually: The next words will be or The new sentence will include

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Arithmetic Test The Arithmetic section of the Accuplacer placement test measures your ability to perform basic arithmetic operations and to solve problems that involve fundamental arithmetic concepts. There are 17 questions on the Arithmetic test divided into three topic areas. Operations with whole numbers and fractions Operations with decimals and percents Applications and problem solving

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Arithmetic Topics Whole Numbers and Fractions Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division Equivalent fractions and mixed numbers Estimation Decimals and Percents Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division Percent problems Recognition of decimals, fraction, and percent equivalencies Estimation Applications and Problem Solving Rate, percent, and measurement problems Simple geometry problems Distribution of a quantity into its fractional parts

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Arithmetic Sample Question All of the following are ways to write 30 percent of N EXCEPT a.0.30 N b.30N/100 c.3/10 N d.30N Answer: D

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Algebra Test The Algebra section of the Accuplacer placement test measures your ability to perform algebraic operations and to solve problems that involve algebraic concepts. There are 12 questions on the Algebra test divided into three topic areas. Operations with integers and rational numbers Operations with algebraic expressions Translating written phrases into algebraic expressions and solving equations, inequalities, and word problems

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Algebra Topics Integers and Rational Numbers Exponents and Square Roots Absolute Value Order of Operations Simplifying Expressions Evaluating Expressions Solving Equations and Inequalities Multiplying Polynomials and Factoring Algebraic and Complex Fractions Radicals

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Algebra Sample Question 1.(3x – 2y) ² a.9x² - 4y² b.9x² + 4y² c.9x² - 12xy + 4y² d.9x² - 6xy + 4y² Answer: C

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Websites http://english.glendale.cc.ca.us/topic.html http://www.gsu.edu/~wwwrtp/instrdg.htm http://www.literacyworks.org/learningresources/index.html www.chompchomp.com http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/ http://www.testprepreview.com/accuplacer_practice.htm http://www.khanacademy.org/ http://www.themathpage.com/ARITH/arithmetic.htm http://www.cpcc.edu/testing_assessment/placement- testing/accuplacer-study-guides/accuplacer-review-videos-coming-soon http://www.cpcc.edu/testing_assessment/placement- testing/accuplacer-study-guides/accuplacer-review-videos-coming-soon http://wcb.neit.edu/asc/prctctst.htm

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How do you think you will use the workshop content in your class or program? Group Activity

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Mandy Williams Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute mwilliams@cccti.edu 828.726.2274 Questions

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