The Effect of a New Placement Process on Student Success in First Semester Calculus


In this work we describe the placement testing and student intake process at a large, land-grant university and show that long-standing general assessment exams administered during secondary schooling are not accurate predictors of success in university level mathematics courses. We then present results indicating that a placement exam administered during arrival as a first-year student provides a strong indicator of potential for student success in first-semester calculus.

Share and Cite:

Fuller, Edgar J.& Deshler, Jessica M.(2013). The Effect of a New Placement Process on Student Success in First Semester Calculus. Creative Education, 4, 18-21. doi:10.4236/ce.2013.49B005.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Baron, J., & Norman, F. (1992). SATs, achievement test, and high- school class rank as predictors of college per-formance. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 52, 1047-1055.
[2] Bridgeman, B. (1982). Comparative validity of the college board scho- lastic aptitude test—Mathematics and the descriptive tests of mathe- matics skills for predicting performance in college mathematics courses. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 42, 361-366.
[3] Dalton, S. (1976). A decline in the predictive validity of the SAT and high school achievement. Educational and Psychological Measure- ment, 36, 445-448.
[4] Fuller, E., Deshler, J., Kuhn, B., & Squire, D. (2013). Tracking success of pre-college algebra workshop students through subsequent college mathematics classes. Primus, in press.
[5] Kohler, E. (1973). The relationship between the cooperative mathemat- ics test, Algebra III, ACT mathematics usage test, ACT composite and grade point average in college Algebra. Educational and Psy- chological Measurement, 33, 929-931.
[6] Lesik, S. (2007). Do developmental mathematics programs have a cau- sal impact on student retention? An application of discrete-time sur- vival and regression-discontinuity analysis. Research in Higher Edu- cation, 48.
[7] Mathematical Association of America (2010). Placement test program user’s guide (7th ed.). Washington DC: MAA.
[8] Parker, M. (2005). Placement, retention, and success: A longitudinal study of mathematics and retention. The Journal of General Educa- tion, 54.1, 22-40.
[9] Pedersen, G. L. (2004). Academic performance and demographic va- riables in predicting success in college algebra and graduation rates in an urban multi-campus community college (Florida). Ed.D. dis- sertation, Florida Atlantic Univer-sity.
[10] Rothstein, J. M. (2004). College performance predictions and the SAT. Journal of Econometrics, 121, 297-317.
[11] Rubino, N. D. (1998). An analysis of pre-admission test scores and their relationship to suc-cessful outcomes for students in the associate degree nursing program at Wesley College. Ed.D. dissertation, Wil- mington College.

Copyright © 2024 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.