General THEA and ACCUPLACER Information

WTAMU > Virtual Math Lab > THEA/ACCUPLACER

Introduction

 Math isn't the only thing that I help students with. Sometimes I find myself being a cheerleader or even a stress manager for the student. This section gives you some tips on things you can do to help relieve at least a little bit of the stress. I know I can't make it totally stress free. To do that we would have to get rid of the test all together and you know that isn't going to happen. But any little bit that I can do I think will help you in the long run. If this is your first visit to our website, please read the disclaimer. Unless otherwise noted, these tips can apply to taking the math part of both the THEA and ACCUPLACER tests.

The Grueling Days Leading up to the Test

 Review Math Before Taking the Test:

 Take Practice Tests:

 Once you have reviewed your math and have polished up those basic math skills, then you should look at some practice tests. This will help you become familiar with the different types of questions that will come your way on the test. It will also help you get used to the directions that you will see on the test, which can help you save time when you take it. If you haven't done so already, take the practice THEA test.

 DO NOT Cram the Night Before the Test:

 Yes, do go over math problems, but do not try to do it all the night before and don't over do it the night before. If you try to overload your brain in a short time it might explode during the test (or at least feel like it)  :-)

 DO NOT Stay Up All Night:

 Yes, I do know that it might be hard to get to sleep early on the eve of the big test, however try not to stay up all night. I have had students say they were up all night before a test and literally fell asleep during the test. Even if you don't go to sleep, your brain will be tired and consequently you will not be able to perform to your full potential.

The Moment of Truth: Test Day Part I, "AKA The Mom Knows Best Segment"

 Make Sure That You Bring Two Forms of ID:

 Chances are when you go to take either the THEA or ACCUPLACER test, they will ask you for two forms of ID, one of which needs to have a picture of you on it.  It is good to bring these just in case. You may want to check with the testing center you are signed up to take the test with to verify this.

 Make Sure That You Bring the Proper Calculator (THEA test takers):

THEA Test Takers only:

 You are allowed to use a basic calculator on the THEA test.  I would highly recommend that you bring a calculator.  However, you need to make sure it meets the standard. THEA examinees may use a four-function, non-programmable calculator, with square root and percent keys.  Unacceptable calculators include calculator watches, scientific or graphing calculators, pocket organizers, handheld, laptop or notebook computers, electronic writing pads or pen-input devices, calculators with an alpha-numeric keyboard, calculators with paper tape, calculators that make noise or “talk,” calculators with electrical cords, and business/financial calculators.

ACCUPLACER Test Takers only:

 Chances are that you will NOT be able to use any calculator when you take the ACCUPLACER test.  Make sure that you check with the testing facility that you are going to take the ACCUPLACER at to see if you can or cannot use a calculator.

 Make Sure That You Bring #2 Pencils With Erasers:

THEA Test Takers only:

 If you are taking the paper and pencil form of the THEA test, then you need to bring #2 pencils with erasers.

ACCUPLACER Test Takers only:

 Most testing centers will supply ACCUPLACER math test takers with paper and pencils.  I can not guarantee that your testing center will provide paper and pencils.  You may want to check with the testing center you are signed up to take the test with to verify this.

 Eat Something Before Going in to Take the Test - OK MOM!!!!

 Chances are you will be taking the test over several hours. The last thing you need is your stomach howling at you while you are trying to remember a formula. I know that when I'm hungry I can forget my own name :-).

 Give Yourself Plenty of Time to Get to the Test - OK MOM!!!!:

 You must show up by your scheduled time or you forfeit that time. I would try to get there early so you aren't rushed. If you are running late, this can cause stress that you do not need when taking this test.

The Moment of Truth: Test Day Part II, "Tips to Help You through the Test"

 When the Test Starts REMEMBER TO BREATHE!!!!!:

 I know that some of you are scared to death at the thought of having to take a math test of any kind. For you guys, try to relax and don't forget to breathe. (Even if you aren't scared to take a math test, it is probably a good idea to remember to breathe. I wouldn't want you to pass out during the test.)

 Mentally Pace Yourself:

THEA Test Takers only:

 No matter how many parts of the THEA test you are taking, you have 5 hours to take it. It can be tricky to mentally pace yourself on a math test. You do not want to rush through the test.  Rushing can lead to careless mistakes.  On the other hand, you don't want to spend a long time on one problem.  If you find yourself spending a long time on a question, take an educated guess and move on.  There are too many problems on the test to get bogged down on one or two questions.  This is why you need to look at practice tests, so you are familiar with how things are worded, so you won't have to spend a lot of time trying to figure out what they are asking. If you are only taking 1 part of the THEA test - mentally give yourself 5 hours, even if it won't take you that long.  Sometimes a time limit can cause a student to stress out, so just knowing you have 5 hours will hopefully relieve the stress of time. If you are taking 2 or 3 parts, pace yourself.  Take the part of the test that is easiest to you first.  If you take the hardest part first that might stress you out and make you perform badly on the other part(s).

ACCUPLACER Test Takers only:

 There is no time limit on the math part of the ACCUPLACER test. I'm told that most students spend about 1 to 1 1/2 hours on that math part of the ACCUPLACER test. Make sure that you do schedule enough time so that you don't put any undo stress on yourself .  If I were you, I would plan for at least 2 hours on the math part of the test, just in case.  That way it gives you time to breathe during the test.

 Think Through Each Problem:

 Some of the problems will be a combination of several ideas in one problem. Think through what the problem is asking for, then put it all together.

 Make Sure You Answer ALL the Questions on the Test:

 You are not penalized for answering a question wrong versus leaving it blank.  So it is to your advantage to answer all questions. If you are taking the test on the computer, you must answer the question on your screen before you can move on to the next question. If you do not know the answer to the question, take an educated guess and go on.

 If You Do Not Come Up With a Solution That They Have Listed, Work the Problem Again:

 If you haven't already spent a lot of time on a problem and your answer doesn't match any of the choices that you have, rework the problem again.  Again, if you notice that time is getting away from you, and you still cannot get an answer, take an educated guess and go on.

 Bottom Line: