Anyone attending a university for adults know that in order to go back to college, a college placement test often must be taken. It sounds like an extra hurdle to go through but it’s necessary to see what classes colleges can place you in. It’s not only for students returning to school. Most colleges require college placements test upon admission in addition to the SAT and ACT. Learning about these types of exams is important. This gives colleges an accurate idea of where a student stands in their college education.
Chances are you’ve heard of one or both of the following tests: COMPASS and Accuplacer. The COMPASS and Accuplacer tests are untimed, computerized tests that measure your skills in Math, Reading and English at that moment. Both can be taken at the college of choice or at a college close to you; both are widely accepted by many colleges and universities. Taking either test gives you the option of taking one portion, two portions or all three. All questions are multiple-choice and an on-screen calculator is provided if you cannot bring your own. If a few questions are incorrect the computer will offer easier questions. Unfortunately easier questions results in a lower score. Results are handed to you as soon as you’re finished. Test scores can be transferred to other schools if necessary. Decide which one to choose by asking the college of choice which test is acceptable. If both are accepted, select only one.
From the people that made the ACT and Compass, the Asset test tests basic and advanced skills of math/numerical along with basic skills in writing and reading. While not as well known as the Accuplacer or COMPASS there are colleges that accept this test. It’s very similar to the previous two tests mentioned. The test is taken in pencil and paper format with immediate scores. Unlike the COMPASS and Accuplacer tests have a 25 minute time limit for each section. Since there are three basic sections and five mathematical advanced sections the entire test is close to three hours long.
Thea, the Texas Higher Education Assessment, is held to a high standard at some colleges and universities. This test measures reading, writing and math, and offers similar things the other three offers. Choose between the internet-based and the quick test. All three sections must be taken. Scores are not immediate on the quick test; unofficial tests are posted five days after the test is over. The official test copy (the one that schools want) has to go to Evaluation Systems, a place that will evaluate the test questions. It will be mailed to you fifteen days after that evaluation.
These are skills that are learned during high school, and there is no “passing grade.” However, scoring too low means taking introductory courses to familiarize you with the material before moving on to advanced college classes. Good scores inform colleges that you’re ready to handle college level or AP/honors level courses. Studying for the college placement test preferred by the college increases the chances of skipping remedial courses (that doesn’t count toward the degree) and goes straight to classes that matter. The academic advisor will tell you what classes are best for your knowledge. There are study guides available online and on the college’s website. For more information on testing tips and skills contact us.
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