Many campuses use placement tests to determine where you should start in your math/science classes. There could also be placement tests for English.
Generally the placement tests are given during the orientation session when you register for classes. Often there is no prior announcement that you will be tested. The reason for this is that universities think they will get a truer sense of your abilities if you don’t prepare for the test.
Here are some suggestions regarding placement tests.
- Ask whether there will be a placement test given. You should have the right to know. If a placement test is given, find out
■ What is covered
■ What impact it has
■ What grade you need to get into the course you need
- Prepare for the test. If it’s a math/science test use the khanacademy.org website to prepare for the test. Universities might not like this, but you don’t want to have to take some preparatory classes if you think you are prepared to get into the required courses for your major.
- Don’t get stupid the night before the orientation session. Many incoming students will spend the night before orientation living the life of a college student. You’ll have plenty of time to do this later so get a good night’s sleep.
Let’s say you take the placement test and don’t do well on it. Does that mean that you won’t do well in college? No, not at all. The placement test is just a device to see where you should start with your classes.
Suppose you were placed in a class that was too advanced for you. You’ll probably need to drop this class or end up failing it. Then you’ll have to start at a lower level class. Now you are a full year behind in the course sequence you need. .