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Student feedback helps drive placement testing changes

February 2, 2012

After carefully listening to students, UW–Madison is adjusting the way it administers placement testing, beginning this year.

Students told university officials that they preferred not to take placement tests during the campus’ popular Student Orientation, Advising and Registration (SOAR) program.

They also told administrators that they wanted to take the placement tests by computer and have more options for test sites and locations.

As a result, several changes will be made:

  • Students will be required to complete placement tests before SOAR, so the orientation process can focus more on advising and enrollment. Placement tests will no longer take place in conjunction with SOAR. Students must take placement tests at least one week prior to their SOAR reservation.
  • Students will now have the option to complete placement tests in either a paper-and-pencil format or on computer. Students choosing the computer-based testing (CBT) option will incur an additional fee.
  • Placement tests will be available at more sites and more often compared to past years.

Registration for regional testing opened Wednesday, Feb. 1 and it’s important to continue to spread the word about the changes to internal audiences to ensure that new students receive the correct information.

In 2009, with support from the provost, dean of students, vice provost for teaching and learning, and vice provost for enrollment management, the Center for the First-Year Experience (CFYE) began a review of UW–Madison’s orientation programming, which includes SOAR and Wisconsin Welcome.

The group took a comprehensive review of the orientation experience, integrated student, faculty and staff feedback and made change.

For answers to frequently asked questions visit here.

To find out more about placement testing in the UW System, click here.

Tags: New students