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Mass. Colleges Look Beyond Placement Tests to Get Students Past Remedial Classes

For college sophomore Christine Sifre, one statistics class is all that stands between her and an associate degree in liberal arts.

“I did all of the classes I needed to graduate and procrastinated,” Sifre explained. “Math is scary for me.

When she started classes at Northern Essex Community College, she took the state math placement test but didn’t score high enough to go directly into the statistics course she needed to graduate. Instead, she had to take a remedial class to get up to speed.