Using Placement Test Results

How can I use placement test results?

You can effectively use the results of placement tests using the following steps:

1. Scoring:
Determine how students’ performances will be scored and then use this information to ensure that scoring is done appropriately and consistently. This is particularly important when using locally-developed tests, as you may also need to create checklists or rubrics aligned to these tests to support scoring. More information on these tools can be found in the next section of this module.
2. Interpreting Scores:
Think about how you will interpret students’ score on your placement tests. This will likely look different depending on the methods and types of tests being used and may involve setting cut scores that help you place students into leveled groups that align with the courses being offered in your program. If you are using standardized tests or other off-the-shelf tests, this may also involve determining the degree of alignment between the levels used in the test and the levels used in your program.
3. Using Results:
Consider how you will use the results and create a plan for using them. Will results only inform placement decisions, or will you make decisions about course content and sequencing based on the results? Who will be involved in these decisions and how will they be made? This plan should answer these questions and include information about how results will be reviewed after initial placement, how results will be communicated to different stakeholders, and what policies will be in place for transferring to different courses if placement was done incorrectly. You may also want to plan for evaluating the effectiveness and appropriateness of the placement tests being used, as well as the appropriateness of your program’s course offerings based on the information gathered from the placement process.