Study Guides

Placement Tests

The Testing Center has gathered some useful resources for a student taking the math and English placement tests. It is important to prepare for the tests. Reviewing material you already know can help you place into a higher math or English class, saving you time and money. Over your college career, that could mean a savings of several quarters of study and several thousand dollars! The links at left are a brief selection of possible study guides intended to provide help. Take some time to look at different sources and find what works for you.

Tutoring at North


The Student Learning Center at North Seattle College provides extensive tutoring services in writing, math, accounting, biology, chemistry, world languages, physics, computer science and more on the first floor of the Health Sciences and Student Resources (HSSR) building next to the Grove Café.

Related Info.

Math Placement Accuplacer “Next Generation Practice Test”

“The ACCUPLACER™ web-based study app above features practice tests. This practice test will help you become familiar with the content and format of the ACCUPLACER™ test questions.

Accuplacer sample questions for students

Wonderlic English Placement Practice Test

Wonderlic English Practice Test

Wonderlic English Practice Test B


There is not an official study guide for the ESL test. You can prepare for the test by reading, writing, speaking, and listening to English as often as you can, before you come to test. If you have just arrived from another country, you may want to take some time hearing and using English on a daily basis before coming to test.

Study resources:

North's Page One Writing and Language Center

Practice reading in English, using idioms, grammar exercises, English crossword puzzles and more.


GED preparation books are available in most bookstores and libraries. Books by the Steck-Vaughn Company are widely used. North also provides GED preparation classes. Contact the ABE/ESL advisor for information. Online preparation help is also available at various websites: and

English Appeal Test Study Guide

Appeal Procedure

Students who want to request an appeal to their English Placement must first contact the Testing Center.

  • The appeal must be done within one month of the English placement test
  • There is only one request allowed per test
  • Schedule the Appeal Test during Testing Center drop-in hours
  • Pay the testing fee at the Cashiers Office
  • Bring the payment receipt and valid picture ID to the Testing Center appointment
  • Pickup test results one week after the test - bring a valid picture ID

English Placement Appeal Test fee: see Fees page for amount

The Handwritten Compare/Contrast Essay

For the English Appeal Test, you will write a short (one side of a piece of paper) hand-written essay. You will be asked to read two short essays that take opposing viewpoints on a particular topic. Your task will be to write an essay that compares and contrasts these two viewpoints. You will have one hour to complete the test. If English is not your first language, you will have 1.5 hours to complete the test.

Here are some strategies that might be helpful in the writing of your essay:

  • Read the two essays carefully. Note their similarities as well as their differences. 
  • Select points for discussion. Identify which characteristics about these two things you want to compare and contrast. Determine your emphasis and go from there. 
  • Develop a good thesis statement. Your thesis statement will identify what you're comparing and contrasting, as well as what your emphasis of comparison is. For example, it's not enough to write, "Author A and Author B both talk about music." A better thesis would be something like, "Author A and Author B both talk about the effects of popular music on the youth of today, but Author A believes the effect is positive while Author B is concerned about the negative effects." Even a short essay benefits from a clear thesis statement. 
  • Structure your compare and contrast essay in a clear, organized way. You generally have two options. Both structures can produce a good compare and contrast essay. For the purposes of this example, let's imagine that you're comparing two movie critics' opinions about a movie.

     1. Subject-by-Subject Comparison (also called "chunking"):

         1. Introduction-thesis

          2. Critic #1

               1. Point a (the acting in the movie)

               2. Point b (the plot or story in the movie)

               3. Point c (the special effects in the movie)

          3. Critic #2

               1. Point a (the acting in the movie)

               2. Point b (the plot or story in the movie)

               3. Point c (the special effects in the movie)

          4. Conclusion

     2. Point-by-Point Comparison (also called "sequencing"):

          1. Introduction-thesis

          2. Point a (the acting in the movie)

               1. Critic #1

               2. Critic #2

          3. Point b (the plot or story of the movie)

               1. Critic #1

               2. Critic #2

          4. Point c (the special effects in the movie)

               1. Critic #1

               2. Critic #2

          5. Conclusion

  • Make sure you have clear transitions between your paragraphs and the different sections of your essay. Examples of transitions include words like 'then', 'next', 'on the other hand', 'similarly', and 'however'.  
  • Expressing your own opinion of the topics in your essay is not required. If you do want to express it, the place to do so would be in the conclusion, but remember - the major focus of your essay should be on the two writers and their views, not your own.  
  • Try to leave enough time to check your essay for accuracy and correctness before you turn it in. Please feel free to go back and make any changes that you think are needed.
  • Other Resources

  • Public libraries --check the English section or ask for English review materials at the reference desk.
  • Book stores or libraries - you may want to look at writing "Style Manuals" such as Modern American Usage by Follett, The Elements of Style by Strunk and White.
  • Old textbooks, if you have them, can be another resource.