Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

ESAL

Accuplacer English as a Second Language Detailed Test Descriptions

Reading Skills Test

The Reading Skills part of LOEP tests the student's comprehension of short passages. The sub-test contains brief passages of 50 words or less and moderate length passages of 50 to 90 words. There is a variety of passage content such as the arts, human relationships, physical science, history/social sciences and practical situations. Half of the Reading Skills sub-test contains straightforward comprehension items (paraphrase, locating information, vocabulary on a phrase level, and pronoun reference). The other half assesses inference skills (main idea, fact vs. opinion, cause/effect logic, identifying irrelevant information, author's point of view, and applying the author's logic to another situation).

Language Usage Test

The Language Use sub-test measures grammar and usage. It contains questions in two formats: completing a sentence by filling in a blank with the word or phrase from the choices given, and choosing a sentence that best combines two discrete sentences that are given. The skills covered are subject-verb agreement, verb tenses, forms of irregular verbs, appropriate verb forms in structures, noun-noun agreement, noun forms, pronouns, modifiers, comparatives, prepositions, connectives, parallelism, and sentence fragments/run-ons.

Sentence Meaning Test

Sentence Meaning assesses the understanding of word meanings in one- or two-sentence contexts. The sentences are drawn from the content areas of natural science, history/social studies, arts/humanities, psychology/human relations, and practical situations. The areas tested are: particle verbs (or phrasal verbs), basic and important idioms, adverb/adjective phrases, basic nouns, verbs and adjectives (particularly terms of beauty, age, greatness, size), adverbs of frequency, sequence of adverbs (before, after, during), prepositions of direction and place (from, to, at, for, etc), comparatives, connectives, and commands.  

WritePlacer ESL

WritePlacer ESL (English as a Second Language) provides a direct measure of the writing skills of students who are not native speakers of English. For this test, examinees are asked to provide a writing sample in response to a specific prompt. Examinees have 1 hour to complete the writing sample. Each response is evaluated based on the following features of writing:

  • Vocabulary
  • Sentence Structure
  • Focus
  • Organization
  • Development and Support