Higher Education Survey
Links to NAEP 12th Grade Preparedneess Efforts
WASHINGTON – (January 8, 2013) – A new survey report released by the National Assessment Governing Board details the tests postsecondary education institutions nationwide use for college placement. The survey is a key component of a research program on how the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) can be used as an indicator of 12th-grade academic preparedness for college and job training.
The report, Tests and Cut Scores Used for Student Placement in Postsecondary Education: Fall 2011, describes the tests, and cut scores on those tests, used by a nationally representative sample of 2-year and 4-year institutions to assess entry-level students' need for placement in remedial/developmental reading and mathematics courses versus regular credit-bearing courses. The Governing Board, which sets policy for NAEP – also known as The Nation’s Report Card – hired Westat to conduct the survey.
Some of the major findings include:
- The frequency that postsecondary education institutions use student performance on tests in determining entry-level students’ need for remedial/developmental courses is higher in mathematics than in reading. Overall, 71 percent of these institutions reported using some math test and 53 percent some reading test in evaluating students’ need for remediation.
- All 2-year public institutions reported using some mathematics test, and 94 percent reported some reading test, to determine student need for remediation. Among 4-year public institutions, the respective numbers for mathematics and reading were 85 percent and 51 percent.
The overall mean cut scores reported for national standardized mathematics tests were:
- 19 on ACT mathematics on a scale of 1 to 36
- 471 on SAT mathematics on a scale of 200 to 800
- 70 on ACCUPLACER Elementary Algebra on a scale of 20 to 120
- 57 on ACCUPLACER College-Level Mathematics on a scale of 20 to 120
- 49 on COMPASS Algebra on a scale of 1 to 99
- 43 on COMPASS College Algebra on a scale of 1 to 99
The overall mean cut scores reported for national standardized reading tests were:
- 18 on ACT Reading on a scale of 1 to 36
- 456 on SAT Critical Reading on a scale of 200 to 800
- 76 on ACCUPLACER Reading Comprehension on a scale of 20 to 120
- 41 on ASSET Reading Skills on a scale of 23 to 55
- 76 on COMPASS Reading on a scale of 1 to 99
The survey’s findings will be used to inform the work of determining how NAEP can measure academic preparedness on its 12th grade assessments in math and reading. More than 30 studies are part of the preparedness research program, the results of which will be released this year.
The Governing Board's work in 12th grade preparedness is part of a decade-long effort. It began in 2002 with the establishment of a national commission, which recommended changes to 12th grade NAEP assessment and reporting, including the introduction of state-level results and preparedness measures. In 2005, the Board adopted a resolution to begin reporting information on 12th grade preparedness using NAEP results. A technical advisory panel, appointed by the Board, made recommendations for a program of preparedness research that was adopted by the Board in 2009. Read more about the Board’s NAEP 12th grade academic preparedness research at: http://www.nagb.org/what-we-do/commission/researchandresources.html