Placement Tests: What You Need to Know

Placement tests are utilized by schools of higher learning to certify the college preparedness of inbound students. These tests are also very useful for deciding which subjects are well-suited to each student at first. Mostly, students who are on course to handle college-grade courses begin with freshman grade courses which also make up part of the courses required for graduation.

However, the students who aren’t quite prepared to handle college-level courses take mostly foundational or remedial courses with the main aim of becoming college-ready. However, these remedial courses do not contribute towards graduation, and this may increase the number of years spent in college. But these courses can increase a student’s likelihood of academic success in college.

Many public four-year colleges and nearly all two-year colleges need new students to take at least one of the placement tests. Community colleges, the majority of which admit all students having a high school degree, also tend to depend on these tests because the skill levels of their entering students can significantly vary.

Colleges use several placement tests. Usually, the tests measure skills in math, reading, and writing. Some colleges also have placement tests in areas of science and foreign languages. Several individual colleges and states have their own placement tests.

Universities and colleges use different placement exams to measure skills and effectively enter students into the right classes. First, a student needs to find out what kind of test they are going to face. Once the test has been identified, they should find out what type of questions will be there, if it’s timed or untimed, the length of the test, and if they are allowed to bring along any study aids.

Placement tests measure the skills that an individual has already learned in high school. Therefore, taking them shouldn’t require much preparation. However, most colleges that have placement tests also offer study resources. Often, these include practice problems, workshops, or review packets. These resources might be accessible online, or students might need to go to a student learning center to prepare. Students should also take the time to study the subjects they’re going to be tested on. Looking over any textbooks related to the subject or notes from previous courses can be of good help.

Once a student’s placement test results are available, they might be automatically assigned to the course level that best fits them. Or, they might need to attend a meeting with an academic advisor to determine the first-semester courses.

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