February 18, 2010

Online student application for Academic Placement Testing Program now in effect

By Undergraduate Academic Affairs

Sample Math Problem

Each year the Office of Educational Assessment facilitates college math placement tests for 10,000 students

Each year, the Office of Educational Assessment in Undergraduate Academic Affairs helps 10,000 students entering the state’s five public universities determine which math class they are academically suited for. On behalf of Washington state’s five universities—Eastern Washington University, Central Washington University, Western Washington University, Washington State University, and the University of Washington—the Office of Educational Assessment manages the Academic Placement Testing Program.

Through the Academic Placement Testing Program, math placement tests are designed, tested, administered, scored, and reported so that students may be placed into the level of college math for which they are prepared. This information is crucial to students entering college and could influence their choice of courses to enroll in and even which major they may want to declare—factors that contribute to a student’s time to degree.

Beginning this February, these students have a more seamless path through this component of preparing for college. The Office of Educational Assessment implemented a new online student application for the Academic Placement Testing Program. Developed by Trevor Leffler and Luda Kourenina, programmers in the Office of Educational Assessment, the online application enables students to securely register and pay for their placement tests, review their test scores, and request that test scores be sent to Washington state colleges and universities. Students have been able to register online for some testing sessions for a few years but could not pay for their test, update their contact information, or request score reports in that same interface. These actions were done via the postal service or phone calls. In addition to the improved service to students, the new system also brings some in-house efficiencies with fiscal processing.

Future plans include an interface for institutions to access the test data through a secure site as well as incorporating the Academic Placement Testing Program upgrades into the UW Testing Center, which helps UW students be placed in appropriate UW foreign language classes as well as Honors chemistry.

Would you get these math problems correct?

Below are a few sample problems from a set of sample math problems students may study.

From the APTP General and Intermediate Mathematics Placement Test-Sample Problems

Betty wished to build a rectangular dog run along the side of her garage. The garage will serve as one of the longer sides of the run. If she has 50 feet of fencing and wishes the run to be 3 times longer than it is wide, how many square feet will the fencing enclose?

a. 117 1/8 sq ft
b. 250 sq ft
c. 300 sq ft

From the APTP Advanced Mathematics Placement Test-Sample Problems

What are the values of x for which (x-2)(x+5) > 0?

a. -5 < x < 2
b. x > 0
c. x < -5 and x > 2

Think you got it right? Check your answers here.

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