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Placement testing helps to determine a student's competency in basic skills. Results of the testing process ensures that students are enrolled in the English and math classes that align with their level of proficiency. Academic success in English and math is critical for future academic progression in all areas of study; therefore, placement testing helps determine if the student is ready for college-level work in those areas or if they need to enroll in courses that build their skills for future success.
At Otero College we realize significant learning happens outside of the formal classroom setting and often in the workplace or through your interest in independently learning about a subject. Through the Prior Learning Assessment Credit process, you can have your learning evaluated regardless of where, when, or how you acquired it as long as you can document your learning and it can be verified at a college level.
Students who have military training and experience can earn credit based on the American Council on Education (ACE) recommendations on their Joint Services Transcript. For further information please see:
Placement Testing FAQ and Study Guides
Otero currently utilizes Accuplacer as the Basic Skills Assessment tool.
Meeting the Testing Requirement
The Accuplacer Assessment test can be waived if one of the following requirements are met:
- Take the Accuplacer Assessment Tests in Reading, English, and Mathematics. Show proof
of minimum ACT scores of 18 in English, 23 in Math, 17 in Reading, OR minimum SAT
scores of Evidence-Based Reading/Writing 470, Math-590 area if taken after 3/2016.
(SAT taken before 3/2016 Reading 430, Writing 440, Math 570)
Note: ACT and SAT scores must be no more than five years old.
- Students who are enrolled in a certificate program, unless they seek to enroll in college-level English or math courses.
- Students who have earned a Bachelor's or Associate's degree.
- Students who have previously been assessed at a Colorado public postsecondary institution.
- Students who have successfully completed basic skills instruction in mathematics, writing, or reading are exempt from the requirement for assessment in that subject area only.
- Students who have successfully completed a college-level course in English are exempt from the requirement for assessment in English and reading.
- Students who have successfully completed a college-level course in mathematics are exempt from the requirement for assessment in mathematics.
Making an appointment to take a test
- Testing is done during normal business hours (9am–5pm) daily.
- An appointment must be made by calling the Student Services Center at (719) 384-6831.
- The tests are given year round.
Note: You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to read these files. If you do not have Acrobat Reader, you can download the appropriate version for your computer absolutely free!
Study guides may also be received by calling (719) 384-6831.
The Accuplacer Assessment test is a Computer Placement Test. Knowledge of computers is not necessary to take this test. The Exam is not timed, you can expect to take about 1 1/2 to 3 hours to complete all the tests. Please contact the Student Services Center at (719) 384-6831 for the test times to make an appointment.
The tests are as follows:
The Reading Comprehension.
Test includes questions which involve identifying the main and secondary ideas in a reading passage, applying the information, and drawing inferences from a passage. A second type of question involves answering questions about the relationship between two sentences. Categories covered include social sciences, natural sciences, prose fiction and practical affairs, and the arts.
The Sentence Skills Test includes questions of two different types.
The first type consists of sentence correction questions in which the student selects an appropriate word or phrase to substitute for an underlined portion of a sentence. The second type, construction shift questions, requires that a sentence be rewritten according to the criteria shown while maintaining essentially the same meanings as the original question.
The Math Skills Test has 4 sections which include the following:
- Numerical Skills/Pre-algebra test includes questions of 3 different types. The first involves Averages: Means, Medians, and Modes. The second type involves basic operations with decimals and fractions and the third type involves percentages. If your score is high enough on the Numerical Skills / Pre-algebra test, you will also take the Algebra test.
- Algebra test includes questions of 5 different types. The first involves Linear equations in one variable, the second type is basic operation and polynomials. Substituting values into Algebraic expressions is the third type, the fourth type involves rational expressions and the final type deals with linear equations. If you score high enough on the Algebra test you will also take the College Algebra test.
- College Algebra includes 2 differences question types, complex numbers and functions. If you score high enough on the College Algebra test you will also take the Trigonometry test.
- Trigonometry includes 2 types of questions: functions and Identities and right-triangle trigonometry.