Next-Generation ACCUPLACER Test FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What is the Next-Generation ACCUPLACER Placement Test?  

  • The Next-Generation ACCUPLACER Placement Test is designed to assist the institution in placing students into appropriate math & English courses and, if necessary, into developmental or preparatory courses.

2. Who must take the Next-Generation ACCUPLACER Test?

Students will need to take all or part of the Next-Generation ACCUPLACER test if:

  1. They have not taken or do not plan to take the AP Calculus (AB or BC) exam.
  2. They do not have any dual credit college level math courses. 0
  3. They have not taken the ACT within five years from date of enrollment and have not taken and passed any college level English or math courses. 
  4. They scored 17 or less on their ACT English.

Next-Generation Accuplacer results are designed to assist the institution in placing students into appropriate math and English courses or, if necessary, into developmental or preparatory courses. We caution students that successful completion of a high school course (e.g., trigonometry) does not guarantee that this course has been mastered at the college level. Placement is confirmed by passing the appropriate Next- Generation ACCUPLACER test area.

3. Why is the Next-Generation ACCUPLACER Test required?  

  • The Next-Generation ACCUPLACER test assists the school in placing students in the most appropriate classes that lead to success in a field of study.

4. How do I best prepare for the Next-Generation ACCUPLACER Test?  

  • Become familiar with the high school math (such as algebra, geometry and trigonometry) and English grammar/punctuation skills.
  • Review the College Board/ACCUPLACER website which has sample questions and test items. Additional information regarding the Next-Generation ACCUPLACER test is available on the website for placement and diagnostic purposes.
  • Stay calm and do not rush through the test. The Next-GenerationACCUPLACER is not timed.
  • Be reasonably comfortable in test taking situations (do not experience above normal test anxiety).
  • Sleep well the night before the test.

The math portion of the test does not allow a calculator.  One is embedded in the test program. It is a continuum of tests, beginning with pre-algebra and continuing on to algebra, college algebra, trigonometry & pre-calculus. If it has been a couple of years since you took algebra or if you are rusty in trigonometry, you may want to review these subjects so you will perform better on the test.

    5. If I have taken AP Calculus do I need to take the Next-Generation ACCUPLACER Test? 

    • Students who complete an AP Calculus class and score a “3” or higher on the placement test will be placed in the next higher Calculus class (Calc II for AP-AB; Calc III for AP-BC); an Next-Generation ACCUPLACER test is not required.
    • Students who complete an AP Calculus class, but fail to score a “3” or higher on the placement test, must take the Next-Generation ACCUPLACER test to determine proper Math class placement.
    • Any student may voluntarily request to enter a lower level math class than determined by placement method if he/she is not comfortable with the higher level of placement.

    6. What happens if I think the results of the Next-Generation ACCUPLACER Test are not an accurate reflection of my abilities? 

    • You have two opportunities to challenge your Next-Generation ACCUPLACER test score and retake the exam; however, there is an administrative fee of $18.00 if you elect to challenge a second time.  (Please note that if you are challenging to be placed into Calculus I, there is only ONE opportunity to challenge that placement.)

    7. How do I make arrangements to take the Next-Generation ACCUPLACER Test? 

    • Arrangements can be made by going to the new student checklist on the South Dakota homepage or by contacting the Testing Advisor, Susan Satter, at (605) 394-2428 or emailing           
    • It is given at all SD Regental intuitions, and they will administer the test for the students coming to South Dakota Mines. Contact South Dakota Mines for further information.
    • However, students are not enrolled in Fall classes until after the Next-Generation ACCUPLACER is taken, so they are encouraged to take the Next Generation ACCUPLACER as soon as possible rather than postponing the test for a later date. Contact the Testing Advisor, Susan Satter, at (605) 394-2428 or emailing
    • The Next-Generation ACCUPLACER is a national test used by many technical and community colleges, as well as universities. If you do not live close to a South Dakota university, and want to take the test without traveling to the area, you may contact the Tutoring and Testing Center to find a school closer to your home. The school would need to send South Dakota Mines the scores to           

    8. Is there a cost to take the Next-Generation ACCUPLACER Test?  

    • No, unless you are challenging a course placement based on placement by a previous administration of the Next-Generation ACCUPLACER test. If you are challenging a prior placement, the fee is $18.00.

    9. What happens after I take the Next-Generation ACCUPLACER Test?  

    • With your Next-Generation ACCUPLACER test scores and utilizing registration information, South Dakota Mines will construct a unique semester schedule just for you. You will be given an opportunity to choose general education classes by going to a course registration webpage and to discuss your scores and courses with a professional from Registrar and Academic Services.

    10. Is there a chart that shows how Next-Generation ACCUPLACER test scores impact math and English placement?  

    11. Who and how do I contact someone if I have questions about the Next-Generation ACCUPLACER Test?  

    Testing at Mines

    Need placement testing help or information?
    Contact Susan Satter  

    TLC (Tech Learning Center)
    South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
    501 E. St. Joseph St.
    Rapid City, SD  57701-3995 

    Visit our Exams and Testing website for more information on testing for college credit, exam proctoring, and more.