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What Are the Different Types of Placement Tests for Community College?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 23 July 2019
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Most placement tests for community college are used to evaluate what potential students know to ensure they can be as successful as possible once enrolled at the college. These tests are usually divided into different subject areas, such as a test in mathematics that covers various aspects of basic problem solving, geometry, and algebra. There are also typically tests given to evaluate a student’s reading comprehension and understanding of language to determine where the student should begin his or her language education. Some placement tests for community college can also include a written exam, which often involves the student writing a short essay.

Placement tests for community college are typically used as a way to determine the classes in which a potential student should begin. These are not usually used for admittance to a school, nor are they meant to test the intelligence of a student. The nature of community colleges is such that most colleges are often used as a first step toward further education, and many students at such a college may have been out of school for a long time. Placement tests for community college are used to determine where those students should begin their education, to better assist them in more easily transitioning back into school.

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Mathematics placement tests for community college enrollment are quite common. These tests usually cover various aspects of different mathematical subjects, including basic arithmetic, geometry, and algebra. Most programs that are used to progress toward a degree, including degrees in science and degrees in the arts, typically require that students reach a certain level in mathematics prior to graduation. Mathematics placement tests for community college are used to determine where an incoming student, without transfer credits, should begin his or her mathematics classes while working toward the requirements for graduation.

There are also placement tests for community college that cover various aspects of language, usually the dominant language in a particular area. In the US, for example, incoming students should expect to take a test covering reading comprehension and understanding of English. This allows the college to place the student in a beginning level English class, or a lower-level class that can help that student be ready to take other English classes. These tests often include a written portion as well, which may require that the student write a single essay as part of the test, or several short answer sections, to evaluate his or her writing skills.

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