At most universities in the United States, students are required to take placement exams to determine their developmental level in math and English. Students are placed in classes that are appropriate for a student at that developmental level in each of those disciplines. Students who are placed in non-college ready, remedial classes are required to take up to three such classes before they can enroll in courses that actually count toward their degree. Last week, the Chancellor of the California State University educational system issued an executive order doing away with placement exams. Instead, students can try their hands at classes at a higher difficulty level than the placement exam would have indicated was appropriate. Many community colleges have already moved away from the use of placement exams, but the move to this approach in the large Cal State system is noteworthy.
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