ACT Course Placement Service

Providing information your institution can use to place students in courses appropriate to their knowledge and skills.

Helping Students Choose the Right Coursework

Information to help you advise students

Matching students with appropriate coursework can help increase retention—but knowing what’s best for students can be a challenge. The ACT Course Placement Service helps provide information you can use in advising coursework for students.

The ACT Course Placement Service can help you answer questions critical to student success, including:

  • Are my current cutoff scores too high or too low?
  • Are our first-year students being placed in the appropriate college courses?
  • If we were to raise the cutoff score for a particular course, what percentage of our entering students would be placed in the lower-level course?
  • Can we make more accurate placement decisions for a mathematics course if ACT mathematics scores and high school mathematics grades are used jointly to make the decisions?
  • How well is my locally developed placement test functioning?
  • For a given cutoff score, what are the likely success rates of students who would be placed in a course?

Take the guesswork out of course placement decisions with the ACT Course Placement Service.

Using ACT Course Placement Service

How it works

Your institution reports student grades from different courses and an overall grade point average. You then request analyses showing the relationship between end-of-term course grades and selected placement variables (e.g., the ACT or ACT Aspire® test scores). You can also obtain analyses for up to five student subgroups.

For each course analysis, the ACT Course Placement Service provides several key statistics that allow you to determine the impact of setting potential placement cutoff scores higher or lower, including:

  • Percent placed in lower-level courses—For any potential cutoff score, the percentage of all students who would be placed in a lower-level course, given that score.
  • Accuracy rate—For each potential cutoff score, the percentage of all students for whom the correct placement decision would be made. (Students placed in the standard course succeed, and students placed in the lower-level course would have been unsuccessful in the upper-level course.)
  • Success rate—For each potential cutoff score, the percentage of all students scoring at or above the cutoff score who would be expected to be successful in the standard course.

The Condition of College and Career Readiness 2016

The number of ACT test takers continues to grow and be more diverse each year. In 2016, 64 percent of the US graduating class took the ACT. This report offers our annual look at college and career readiness and education plans for those students.

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