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ERIC Number: ED523354
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 198
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1243-6613-5
Placement into First College Mathematics Course: A Comparison of the Results of the Michigan State University Proctored Mathematics Placement Examination and the Unproctored Mathematics Placement Examination
Drake, Samuel
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Michigan State University
The primary purpose of this study was to compare the results of the Michigan State University (MSU) unproctored examination to the results of the proctored examination. Both examinations are used to determine whether first time freshmen at MSU are ready for a standard mathematics course or if a remedial course is necessary. In addition to producing higher placement examination scores, the unproctored examination placed students into higher level courses and a larger proportion of student who was placed with the proctored examination enrolled in a course at a level lower than the course in which they were placed. Therefore, the first conclusion was that the unproctored examination produced more inappropriate placements than the proctored examination. The second conclusion was that when the mathematics placement examination was considered alone, it was a significant predictor of the log odds of success in Intermediate Algebra (MTH1825), College Algebra (MTH103), and Calculus 1 (MTH132). When ACT Mathematics score, their high school GPA, the type of exam used for placement, whether a student enrolled in mathematics during his or her senior year of high school, and the last high school mathematics course taken were considered, the prediction of the log odds of success was improved for each of these courses. The additional variables improved the "hit rate" of the model containing only placement examination score. In addition, the additional variables decreased the false positive rate of the model containing placement examination only. Therefore, the placement examination alone is not sufficient for placing students into their first college mathematics course. Thirdly, students placed into remedial mathematics less often with the unproctored examination. In fact, the odds of placing into one of MSU's non-remedial mathematics courses with the proctored examination was approximately 1.5 times greater than the odds of placing into a non-remedial mathematics course with the unproctored examination. Therefore, placement into remedial mathematics was dependent on the type of examination used for placement. Finally, there were students who enrolled in courses lower than the level in which they were placed. For example, approximately 30.8% of the students who enrolled in MTH103 and were placed with the proctored examination were eligible to enroll in a higher level course. Approximately 45.9% of the students who enrolled in MTH103 and were placed with the unproctored examination were eligible to enroll in a higher level course. This difference in percentages was significant. It is important to the validity of the placement examination as well as the comparability of the proctored and unproctored placement examinations to determine why students enroll in courses lower than the level in which they were placed. Study limitations are discussed and suggestions for future research are given. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: ACT Assessment