Degree Granting Department
Adult, Career, and Higher Education
Jan Ignash, Ph.D.
Persistence, Remedial, Developmental, Florida Computerized Placement Test, Mandatory placement testing, Adaptive tests, Logistic regression
The purpose of this study was to examine the predictive validity of several variables to determine if the Florida Computerized Placement Test - Reading (CPT-R) score alone, or other variables, could determine whether or not a student would successfully pass the highest level college preparatory reading course. The study examined fall sessions 1997-2004 (n=276,079) reading scores for all forms of the CPT to determine at what standard deviation below the cutoff score of 83 a student could still successfully complete the highest level college preparatory reading course.
According to the College Board, the 83 scaled score, which exempts a student from taking the reading course, equates to approximately a 70% on the paper/pencil version of the test, yet the study revealed that a scaled score of 64 was the average score for fall sessions 1997-2004, which according to previous studies equates to 9/10th reading grade level on the Nelson-Denny Reading Test (Napoli & Raymond, 1998). In addition, the most frequently obtained scaled score was 75 for fall sessions 1997-2004, which equates to an 11th grade reading level on the Nelson-Denny Reading Test; however, the results of this study showed only 61% (49, 281 out of 79,167) of the upper quartile of students (scaled scores >74) passed the highest level college preparatory reading course.
Although a statistically significant relationship was found between the entry test and successful completion of the highest level college preparatory reading course, the relationship was small, and therefore does not provide very good predictive validity. Interestingly, the study revealed that students who were exempt from the reading course, and still enrolled in the course, did not have higher passing rates in the course. In addition, students with higher placement scores did not have significantly higher passing rates in the reading course than students with lower placement scores. In fact, students with the lowest scaled scores of 11-20 had the highest percentage of successfully completing the highest level college preparatory reading course.The placement test scores in reading indicate a large number of students entering Florida's community colleges are not prepared for college-level courses.
In addition, the results of this study indicated that the placement test did very little to discriminate between levels of students' actual reading abilities and predict which students will ultimately pass required remedial/developmental reading classes. Although many first-time-in-college students are not recent high school graduates, high schools should be required to include reading as part of the core curriculum, separate and distinct from the language arts courses.Teachers, credentialed in reading, should be teaching reading courses in all four years of high school. Diagnostic testing and year-end testing should occur each year to chart a student's progress for all four years of high school. In addition, Florida's college entrance reading placement test should be revised so that it provides a comprehensive measurement of college-level reading skills.
Scholar Commons Citation
Smith, Laura Dandar, "Florida's College Placement Test reading scores as an essential indicator for successful completion of the highest college preparatory course in reading" (2007). Graduate Theses and Dissertations.