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Placement Tests, What Does it All Mean?

You’ve gotten your transcripts, filled out all the forms, lined up your financing and you’re ready to get rolling on your college education. Depending on where you want to pursue your degree, it may now be test time.

Most colleges require either entrance exams or placement exams, says Christine Gaiser, dean of Student Services for Online Education at Bryant & Stratton College. Entrance exams will be a determining factor in your acceptance, whereas placement exams will determine where and how you get started with classes.

Entrance exams like SATs and ACTs score students on a variety of topics. Those scores are often part of the admission process. Placement exams are administered after acceptance to gauge where a student stands in his or her academics.

Bryant & Stratton College does not require entrance exams such as the SAT and ACT, basing acceptance on previous education level (all students must have a high school diploma or GED), GPA and other academic indicators. Then, to help students customize their academic experience students take placement tests to help determine their initial schedule, says Gaiser.

“We do what’s possible to set up students to succeed,” says Gaiser. “We want a better understanding of what they know so we can be sure they’re placed in the right courses. Through the placement test we can tell if a student needs more of a refresher, like an English or a math pre-college course, before getting into their degree specific.”

Worried about test anxiety? Don’t.

It’s not something to study up for or worry about, she said. Placement tests in no way affect a student’s GPA.

“Students do not need to stress out over it,” says Gaiser. “They’re accepted into the college. It’s not until all those (admission standards) have been met do we give them the placement test.”

Students don’t get college credit for pre-college level courses, but the refresher is usually very much appreciated, says Gaiser. And, Gaiser and her team of advisors are there to help students along the way with support and encouragement.

The Bryant & Stratton College Online team has noticed pre-college classes are especially helpful for students who are returning to college after several years in other careers or life paths.

“We realize a lot of our students are non-traditional students,” says Gaiser. “They’ve been out of school for 10 years. Some of them need that (refresher). And, since they are able to immediately enroll in degree-related classes they maintain academic momentum.”

For more information about college placement tests and precollege classes, contact Student Services for Online Education.

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