A new study from Achieving the Dream, a non-profit organization, was created to improve community college outcomes for low-income students. The study, titled, “Where to Begin? The Evolving Role of Placement Exams for Students Starting College,” found that tests commonly used by colleges to determine incoming student placement may be inaccurate and create hurdles to student success in college. The study found that other factors, including high school grades, maybe better measures of success.
- High Stakes – These placement examinations are currently seen as low-stakes exams, so students are unaware of the repercussions if they don’t perform well on the tests.
- Effectiveness of Developmental Education – The study also suggests the developmental, or remedial, education in its current state may be an ineffective tool in improving college success.
- Positive Indications – Early studies seem to suggest that allowing students to accelerate through remedial education – or skip it entirely – could improve student outcomes.
- Poor Indicators – Studies also suggest that placement examinations are poor indicators of academic success and that other measuring tools may be more effective.
- Incomplete Picture – Placement examinations may not provide a complete picture of potential student success, since they don’t accurately measure intangibles like persistence, motivation, and critical thinking skills.
This video examines the issues of academic rigor and instructional support.