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Testing Tips and Resources

College Placement Test Tips

  • Relax! Your score helps you and your advisor determine which courses are right for your current level of knowledge and skills.
  • Arrive early. Give yourself enough time to find the testing area and gather your thoughts before the test begins.
  • Pay attention. Read and follow directions and be sure you understand them before you begin each test.
  • Be aware. Portions of this assessment are adaptive, meaning questions are chosen for you on the basis of your previous answers.
  • Eliminate choices. When you aren’t sure of an answer, eliminate answers you know are incorrect and choose from those remaining.
  • Study first. Prepare before you take the placement test as it will improve your score, but also help you relax during the exam.

Resources for College Placement Test Preparation


Accuplacer - For some practice questions (click on the "For Student" tab)


  • Accuplacer - For some practice questions (click on the "For Student" tab)

Math Refresher Courses

Math Refresher courses are a great opportunity to brush up on your math skills and prepare for your next math class. Math refreshers will be offered virtually, via Zoom.

Sign-Up for a Math Refresher Course

Date Day Time
STEM March 27 Saturday 9:00-11:00am
non-STEM March 27 Saturday 9:30-11:30am
STEM April 7 Wednesday 5:30-7:30pm
non-STEM April 7 Wednesday 6:00-8:00pm
STEM April 24 Saturday 9:00-11:00am
non-STEM April 24 Saturday 9:30-11:30am
STEM May 8 Saturday 9:00-11:00am
non-STEM May 8 Saturday 9:30-11:30am
STEM May 12 Wednesday 5:30-7:30pm
non-STEM May 12 Wednesday 6:00-8:00pm
STEM June 9 Wednesday 5:30-7:30pm
non-STEM June 9 Wednesday 6:00-8:00pm
STEM June 12 Saturday 9:00-11:00am
non-STEM June 12 Saturday 9:30-11:30am


The Biology Placement Exam is designed to allow students who have a solid background in general college biology to place out of General College Biology I (BIO111). BIO111 is a pre-requisite for some of the upper level (200 level) courses offered in the biology department at Arapahoe Community College. This includes Anatomy and Physiology (BIO201), Microbiology (BIO204) and General College Biology II (BIO112). This pre-requisite is in place to ensure that students entering higher level biology courses have the background knowledge (and laboratory skills) they need to be successful in 200-level courses. Students who score a 75% or higher on the Biology Placement Exam will be permitted to enter 200-level biology courses without taking BIO111, but will not earn credit for BIO111. It is $10 to take the Biology placement exam.

Please note that all students who take this test have only ONE chance to pass it. If a score of 75% or better is not earned on the first try, the student will be required to take BIO111 before they will be allowed to register for higher level courses for which BIO111 is a pre-requisite.

Who the Test May Be For?

Only students with comprehensive background knowledge of general biology should take this exam. This may include students who took a college-level biology course during their academic careers but credit for the course is not transferrable to ACC; or professionals who are coming back to school and have worked in a field directly related to cellular/molecular biology and/or biochemistry.

This exam is not intended to be a substitute for taking General College Biology I and students who have not had a previous formal college biology course are not likely to pass. Students who take the test and score 75% or higher will not receive credit for BIO111.

This test is designed for students who…

  • have completed a college-level introductory general biology course previously that does not transfer,
  • have comprehensive background knowledge of general college-level biology from professional or life experiences, (Note: it is recommended that students ask Advising for an evaluation to determine if this is an appropriate option based on their prior work experience, BEFORE taking this exam)
  • have researched programs they intend to apply for in the future (e.g., nursing) and are confident that General College Biology I is not part of the required coursework.

Considerations before taking the test

General College Biology I is a foundational course that provides students with background knowledge applicable to many scientific disciplines as well as general laboratory skills. As such, it is important to consider whether completion of a general college biology course will be required for you to achieve your future (short-term or long-term) career goals.

This test is NOT designed for students who…

  • are unsure of their career path, but wish to pursue a career in biological, medical or natural sciences. (General college biology is required coursework at most 4-year colleges and universities to earn a bachelors degree in many medical and non-medical degree programs.)
  • may want to transfer into biological research programs at a 4-year college.
  • plan to earn a degree(s) beyond their associates in a medical field.
  • may work in a profession where proper laboratory conduct, skills and knowledge are required.

Are there study materials available?

Think you're ready? Take a practice quiz.

What Topics will the Biology Placement Exam Cover?
  1. Basic Chemistry - Composition of Matter
    1. Matter and Energy
      1. Atomic Structure
      2. Identifying Elements
      3. Radioisotopes
    2. Molecules and Mixtures
      1. Molecules and Compounds
      2. Mixtures
      3. Distinguishing Mixtures from Compounds
      4. pH
    3. Chemical Bonds
      1. The role of electrons in chemical bonding
      2. Types of chemical bonds
    4. Chemical Reactions
      1. Chemical equations
      2. Patterns of chemical reactions
      3. Energy flow in chemical reactions
      4. Reversibility of chemical reactions
      5. Factors influencing the rate of chemical reactions
    5. Inorganic Compounds
      1. Water, salts, acids and bases
    6. Organic Compounds
      1. Structure/Function relationships
      2. Carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, nucleic acids (DNA and RNA)
      3. Adenosine Triphosphate
  2. Cellular Biology
    1. Types of Cells
      1. Prokaryotic
      2. Eukaryotic
    2. Structure of plasma membrane
      1. The Fluid Mosaic model
      2. Special functions
    3. Functions of the plasma membrane
      1. Membrane transport
      2. Generating and maintaining a resting membrane potential
      3. Cell environment interactions
    4. The cytoplasm
      1. Cytoplasmic organelles
      2. Cellular extensions
    5. The Nucleus
      1. The nuclear envelope
      2. Nucleoli
      3. Chromatin
    6. Cell growth and reproduction
      1. The cell life cycle
      2. Protein synthesis
      3. Other roles of DNA
      4. Cytosolic Protein degradation
  3. Evolution
    1. Natural Selection
  4. Mendelian Genetics
    1. Monohybrid Crosses
    2. Dihybrid Crosses
    3. Genotype vs. Phenotype
    4. DNA Replication
    5. Protein Synthesis
  5. Cellular Respiration
    1. Glycolysis
    2. Transition Stage
    3. Kreb Cycle
    4. Electron Transport Cycle
  6. Photosynthesis
    1. Light Reaction
    2. Calvin Cycle
  7. Cell Communication
    1. Autocrine
    2. Paracrine
    3. Endocrine

Study Resources

Online Videos: Khan Academy Crash Course: Biology

BIO 111 material
  • Why Carbon is a tramp
  • Water-liquid awesome
  • Biological molecules-you are what you eat
  • Eukaryopolis-The city of animal cells
  • In da club- membranes & transport
  • Plant cells
  • ATP & respiration
  • Photosynthesis
  • Heredity
  • DNA structure and replication
  • DNA, hot pockets, & the longest word ever
  • Mitosis: Splitting up is complicated
  • Meiosis: Where the sex starts
For a more in depth review:

Khan Academy Chemistry Videos

Atoms, Molecules and Ions

  • Elements and Atoms
  • Introduction to the atom
  • Atomic number, mass number, and isotopes
  • Atomic weight and atomic mass
  • Atomic Mass
Introduction to the Periodic Table
Types of Chemical Bonds
  • Ionic, covalent and metallic bonds
  • Electronegativity
  • Electronegativity and bonding
States of Matter
  • States of Matter
  • Van der Waals forces
Acids & Bases
  • Acid base introduction
  • Acid-base definitions
  • Definition of pH
  • Strong acids and strong bases
  • pH of weak acid
  • pH of weak base
  • Acid-base properties of salts
Khan Academy Biology Videos:
Introduction to cells
  • Diffusion & Osmosis
  • Nuclei, membranes, ribosomes, eukaryotes and prokaryotes
  • Endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi
  • Organelle Overview
  • Chromosomes, chromatids, chromatin etc.
Introduction to Cell Division
  • Fertilization terminology: gametes, zygotes, haploid and diploid
  • Zygote differentiating into somatic and germ cells
  • Interphase
  • Mitosis
  • Phases of Mitosis
  • Mitosis Questions
  • Comparing mitosis and meiosis
  • Chromosomal crossover in Meiosis I
  • Phases of Meiosis I
  • Phases of Meiosis II
Stem Cells and Cancer
  • Embryonic stem cells
  • Cancer

Cellular Respiration

  • ATP: Adenosine triphosphate
  • ATP hydrolysis mechanism
  • Photosynthesis
  • Photosynthesis: Light reactions 1
  • Photosynthesis: Light reactions and photophosphorylation
  • Photosynthesis: Calvin cycle
  • Photorespiration
  • C-4 photosynthesis
  • CAM plants
Literature Sources

Biology for Dummies, R.F. Kratz and D.R. Siegfried, 2nd edition
ISBN: 978-0-470-59875-7
The Complete Idiot's Guide to College Biology, Emily Jane Willingham

Take a Practice Test

Visit the Library for more print resources.