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Heartland Community College



Heartland Community College requires an ACCUPLACER placement to determine readiness for English courses if you do not have not any active English waivers. ACCUPLACER uses the latest computer-adaptive technology, which means the questions you see are based on your skill level. Your response to each question determines the difficulty level on the next question, so it is important to give each question as much thought as you can before selecting your answer. The ACCUPLACER literacy (reading) assesses your ability to derive meaning from a range of texts and to determine the meaning of words and phrases in short and extended contexts. Passages on the test cover a range of content areas, writing modes, and complexities. Both single and paired passages are included.

How to prepare for ACCUPLACER

The ACCUPLACER Literacy test assesses four broad knowledge and skills categories: information and ideas, rhetoric, synthesis, and vocabulary. 

Before you take the ACCUPLACER test, review sample questions in literacy (reading). You can download ACCUPLACER'S official study app for your smartphone or computer to prepare.

Step 1: Visit the ACCUPLACER website.

Step 2: Create an account by entering your email address and a password. Select "ACCUPLACER Next-Generation" as your test version. This account is cost-free. 

Step 3: Take practice tests in Reading. The History tab will help you customize your review!

How to prepare for the Writing Sample

If you do not place at college level through the ACCUPLACER literacy test then the writing sample is required. The writing retest can be taken the same day (if there is time left in the business day) and requires a proctored 250-350 word writing sample with a standard time limit of 90 minutes. Writing sample results are available in five to seven business days.

Need help preparing for your writing sample? Get tips from the people who review the essays through our Placement Essay Review Guide (PDF), and view this sample prompt (PDF)

Frequently Asked Questions

  • There is not a time limit on the literacy placement exam, but you can expect to spend 45-60 minutes. If necessary, the writing sample has a standard time limit of 90 minutes.
  • ACCUPLACER is a multiple-choice placement. 
  • No, you are free to complete the ACCUPLACER placement at your own pace. If you need to exit the placement for any reason, your previously answered questions will be saved and you can pick up where you left off. Before leaving the Testing Center, you will need to schedule a time to return to complete your placement. 

    The writing sample is timed and must be completed in one sitting. 

  • The ACCUPLACER placement test is untimed so you may take as much time as needed. The Writing Sample is timed.  

    If you need any other type of accommodations, please visit Student Access and Accommodation Services

Contact the Testing Center

WDC 2600
Heartland Community College
1508 Vermillion Way
Normal, IL 61761
Phone: 309-268-8077

HCC Lincoln

Phone: 217-735-1731

HCC Pontiac

Phone: 815-842-6777