Date of this Version
High school graduates have been demonstrating less skills in mathematics at the same time that students entering colleges and universities need to have more of those skills to be able to succeed in an increasing variety of disciplines. One way to ease that problem is to develop criterion-referenced diagnostic tests together with remediation keyed to the results of such tests. Diagnostic tests of that type contrast with norm-referenced tests in that they provide a profile of strengths and weaknesses in each essential topic for every student. Such a profile has several important advantages. Students can receive advice in terms of their demonstrated competency in skills needed to succeed. Efficient remediation can be designed to fit the needs of each student. Instructors in subsequent courses can be provided information about the strengths and weaknesses of their entering students in a manner that helps them respond instructionally. High schools can be provided information about the performance of their graduates in a way that can help them strengthen their programs.