NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ880882
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-May
Pages: 21
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 34
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0994
Texts of Our Institutional Lives: SATs for Writing Placement--A Critique and Counterproposal
Isaacs, Emily; Molloy, Sean A.
College English, v72 n5 p518-538 May 2010
Focusing on writing placement at a particular university, the authors analyze the limits of SAT tests as a tool in this process. They then describe the writing program's adoption of a supplementary measure: a faculty committee's review of essays by students who may need to be reassigned to a different writing course. They describe how and why a large state university initially embraced the SAT as a writing placement tool. They analyze its impact on students by looking closely at the College Board's own published research and the local data they have gathered to assess its validity and reliability. They explore whether using the test differently--for example, focusing on the short essay score (SAT-E) that is part of the SAT writing section, or changing the cut score--would have worked any better. After giving the SAT writing section (SAT-W) as a placement instrument a full and fair review, the authors conclude that it can never be a valid or reliable placement tool for the students. Finally, they describe their writing program administrator's (WPA's) new process to identify students misplaced by the SAT scores and to "re-place" them correctly within the first two weeks of the semester. (Contains 1 figure and 13 notes.)
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: SAT (College Admission Test); Stanford Achievement Tests