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We use only the COMPASS ESL reading test. We decided that performance on
the grammar test has more to do with knowledge of formal grammar and
editing than with the ability to produce clear, fluent English writing.
Likewise, the listening test has more to do with comprehension than with
the ability to communicate orally. So we use a writing sample and an
interview for those parts of the placement process.

Our reading cutoffs:
COMPASS ESL Reading score 95-99 = No reading required; students are also
excused from further reading placement testing but may opt for our
critical reading course to develop skills for academic English.
COMPASS ESL Reading score 84-94 = Advanced ESL reading
COMPASS ESL Reading score 73-83 = High intermediate ESL reading
COMPASS ESL Reading score 63-72 = Intermediate ESL reading
COMPASS ESL Reading score 38-62 = Basic or low intermediate ESL (these
are integrated reading/writing/oral levels, so the placement depends on
all three evaluations.
COMPASS ESL Reading score 1-37 = In this range we feel either that the
score is invalid or that other factors are at work, such as limited 1L
literacy.

By the way, what did your standard COMPASS cutoffs turn out to be?

-----Original Message-----
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Joanne Conlon
Sent: Tuesday, February 20, 2007 9:03 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: COMPASS/ESL cut off scores

In the past, I used your suggestions for the regular COMPASS cut off
scores.
Thank you!  Our faculty verify that the cutoff scores we selected are
exactly correct for predicting student success with college level work.


Now, I have a more specific question -  I am new to the ESL arena and
believe that we will need to use the COMPASS ESL exam shortly.  What cut
off scores have you been using?  We only have one level of developmental
reading and developmental writing and no ESL courses.

I greatly appreciate your input.
Thank you!
Joanne

Dr. Joanne Conlon
Director, Student Academic Support
106 Brown Science
Rosemont College
1400 Montgomery Ave.
Rosemont, PA 19010
(610) 527-0200  x2366
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