Where to Begin? The Evolving Role of Placement Exams for Students Starting College

Pamela Burdman
August 2, 2012

For years, colleges have used placement exams to determine whether to deem incoming students “college ready” or assign them to developmental education. But emerging research has cast doubt on the practice, sparking national debates over whether the tests are fair and if their traditional use constitutes a barrier to college completion. Jobs for the Future brings clarity to the discussion in this report. Where to Begin? helps state and college leaders understand the latest research, make sense of the contentious debate issues, and most importantly, evaluate their own options for moving forward.


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