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Cal State to End Placement Exams

A lot of research has shown, particularly in math, remedial course taking doesn’t benefit students in terms of their future college outcomes.

Pamela Burdman, Senior Project Director

Inside Higher Ed’s Ashley Smith, speaks with Pam about Cal State’s plan to eliminate placement exams as part of its Graduation Initiative 2025 — and explores the genesis and potential impact of the new policy.

INSIDE HIGHER ED — Many community colleges are moving away from placement exams as a means of determining the skills of incoming students.

Now the California State University System is planning to do the same in an effort to increase graduation rates, despite lingering concerns from some officials and faculty members that removing the tests may hurt students in the long run.

“We’re trying to increase the number of students who can go right into college course work to get college credit instead of track students into remediation for various reasons,” said April Grommo, director of enrollment management services for the system, adding that the system would discontinue the use of early placement tests as soon as 2018 and instead rely on high school grades and course work, SAT or ACT scores as measures to determine college readiness.

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