About the Placement Tests
Many community colleges require incoming students to take placement exams before they can register for courses. The purpose of the examinations is to identify students who might need remedial help to ensure their success in college-level courses. The most common tests used by schools today are the ACT’s Compass or the College Board’s Accuplacer. Tests are designed to show academic deficiencies so students can be brought up to par before they are introduced to the rigors of a college curriculum.
Researchers stopped short of recommending that community colleges do away with placement tests entirely, in favor of gauging student ability by GPA alone. Instead, research seems to indicate that a combination of exam scores and high school grades may be the best predictor of potential academic success.
The Problem with Remedial Education