Key Coverage

Community Colleges Rethink Placement Tests

To get a quick snapshot of incoming students’ knowledge, community colleges commonly use the computer-based Compass by ACT Inc. and the College Board’s Accuplacer. Results are used to determine which courses students can enroll in as freshmen. When students fail those tests, they are put in developmental or remedial courses and often don’t get out. Concerns over the placement process are rising as new research challenges its predictive value and student success continues to lag.