ERIC Number: ED243535
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984
Reference Count: 0
Predicting English Writing Course Success with the Vocabulary and Usage Subtests of the Descriptive Tests of Language Skills of the College Board.
Rasor, Richard A.; Powell, Tom
Since fall 1983, each student intending to enroll in an English course at American River College (ARC) has been required to take a placement test consisting of the vocabulary and usage subtests of the Descriptive Tests of Language Skills of the College Board. A study was conducted to establish the predictive capability of the test by correlating course grades with test results. Correlation values were determined only for grades A to D, as experience indicated that F grades were frequently undistinguishable from W (withdrawal) grades and neither grade was given primarily to low-ability students. Due to a lack of normative data for the test, it was not possible to compare ARC results with other norms. The study found no correlation between grades and test scores for three of four English courses. Based on study findings, the following recommendations were made: (1) locate or develop a criterion-based test using a writing sample to place students; (2) if this is not possible, expand the current placement test to include other subscales or consider a different test; (3) if these options are not possible, eliminate the vocabulary test and include the sentence structure subtest; (4) establish reasonably common criteria for grading; (5) continue the policy of using placement test scores only for guidance purposes until validity has been established; and (6) have assessment test results and grades in a centralized computer. (LAL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Numerical/Quantitative Data
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: American River Coll., Sacramento, CA.