With ACCUPLACER this will most likely be arithmetic, elementary algebra, reading comprehension and sentence skills.
SMEs sort test items into categories of appropriate difficulty, or correlate item difficulty to course levels.
"Performance level descriptors" define the required skills for remedial and standard courses.
Historically, placement tests also served additional purposes such as providing individual instructors a prediction of each student's likely academic success, sorting students into homogeneous skill groups within the same course level and introducing students to course material.
Placement testing can also serve a gatekeeper function, keeping academically challenged students from progressing into college programs, particularly in competitive admissions programs such as nursing within otherwise open-entry colleges.
Once in use, placement tests are assessed for the degree to which they predict the achievements of students once they have been assigned to remedial or standard classes.
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Since grades serve as a common indirect measure of student learning, in the customary analysis, a binary logistic regression is run using the test score as the independent variable, and course grades as the dependent conditions.
As a result of the placement, students may take multiple developmental courses before qualifying for college level courses.
Students with the most developmental courses have the lowest odds of completing the developmental sequence or passing gatekeeper college courses such as Expository Writing or College Algebra.
Placement testing is a practice that many colleges and universities use to assess college readiness and determine which classes a student should initially take.
Since most two-year colleges have open, non-competitive admissions policies, many students are admitted even though they do not have college-level academic qualifications.