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Testing Center

ACCUPLACER: ESL OVERVIEW

The WritePlacer ESL essay must be completed in one sitting. You will not be allowed to stop and finish your essay later. Please see your Proctor if you have questions regarding timing.

Test Name

ACCUPLACER ESL Reading & WritePlacer ESL.

Format and Scoring

Part 1 (ESL Reading): 20 questions, multiple choice (A, B, C, D, E). Scores range between 20 - 120.

Part 2 (ESL WritePlacer): One (1) typed-essay, generally 300 - 600 words long. Scores range between 1 - 6.
An essay will be given a score of zero if it is too short to be evaluated, written on a topic other than the one presented, or written in a language other than English.

ESL Reading Overview

This test measures your ability to read English through the comprehension of short passages.

ESL WritePlacer Overview

At Kapiʻolani Community College, we use the ACCUPLACER ESL Reading and WritePlacer test to determine your placement into your starting ESOL/ESL course. This test is geared mainly for students who speak English as a Second Language.

The essay gives you an opportunity to show how effectively you can develop and express your ideas in writing.  On the next screen a brief statement will be presented, followed by an assignment that relates to the statement. You will then plan and write a multi-paragraph essay (300 - 600 words) in which you develop your point of view. You should support your position with appropriate reasoning and examples. The position you take will not influence your score.

Your essay will be read by a computer and will be given a holistic score that represents how clearly and effectively you expressed your position. The following four characteristics of writing will be considered:

  • Word Use - The extent to which you are able to use a wide range of words and phrases accurately.
  • Sentence Use - The extent to which you are able to use a variety of sentence patterns with both independent and dependent clauses.
  • Grammar - The extent to which you are able to express ideas using grammatically correct English.
  • Organization and Development - The extent to which you are able to focus on the assigned topic and to develop ideas clearly.

All essays will also be reviewed by an ESL instructor, who will determine final placement into one of these courses: ESOL 50/52, ESOL 90, ESOL 92, ESOL 94, or ESL 100.


Last Reviewed: 9/13/2022