Placement tests primarily assess abilities in English, mathematics and reading.
Colleges may also use placement tests in other disciplines such as foreign languages, computer and internet technologies, health and natural sciences.
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.
In the construction of a test, subject matter experts (SMEs) construct questions that assess skills typically required of students for that content area.
"Cut scores" are the minimum scores used to divide students into higher and lower level courses.With ACCUPLACER this will most likely be arithmetic, elementary algebra, reading comprehension and sentence skills.With COMPASS this will probably include math, reading skills and writing skills.Testing may also include a computer-scored essay, or an English-as-a-second-language assessment.Some colleges use ASSET, ACT's paper and pencil test.All CCSU students must satisfy the Freshman Writing requirement by taking ENG 110 Introduction to College Writing or ENG 105 Enhanced Introduction to College Writing, unless transferring in an equivalent course from another university or other relevant credit (for questions about course equivalencies, contact the English Department at (860) 832-2795).Students with Writing SAT scores above 540 or English ACT scores above 22 are eligible to take ENG 110.Students with Writing SAT scores below 400 or English ACT scores below 18 must take ENG 099 Remedial Writing before taking ENG 110.Students with Writing SAT scores between 400-540 or English ACT scores between 18-22, or who do not have SAT or ACT scores, must take the Writing Placement Test to determine whether they must take ENG 099, ENG 105, or ENG 110.Students with disabilities may take an adaptive version, such as in an audio or braille format that is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).Advisors interpret the scores and discuss course placement with the student.