ACCUPLACER ® is an adaptive test. This means that the questions are chosen for you on the basis of your answers to previous questions. This technique selects just the right questions for your ability level. Because the test works this way, you must answer every question when it is first given. Each test is untimed so that you can give each question as much thought as you wish. You can change your answer to a particular question before moving on to the next question, but you cannot leave a question out or come back to it later to change your answer. If you do not know the answer to a question, try to eliminate one or more of the choices. Then pick from the remaining choices.
The idea behind the standardized testing policy movement is that testing is the first step to improving schools, teaching practice, and educational methods through data collection. Proponents argue that the data generated by the standardized tests act like a report card for the community, demonstrating how well local schools are performing. Critics of the movement, however, point to various discrepancies that result from current state standardized testing practices, including problems with test validity and reliability and false correlations (see Simpson's paradox ).