It was around 2009 that the so-called era of free college admissions began due to a shortage of college applicants. Along with this situation, the introduction of different types of admissions, such as Admission Office Examination (AO) and recommendation-based examinations, which may not require ordinary forms of written examination, raised the issue of widening ability gaps among new students. To cope with the situation, many universities implemented placement tests to place students according to their proficiency levels. Such strategies are believed to help students gain the needed support. At the same time, the placement tests can help instructors adjust the levels and contents of the classes accordingly.Like many other universities, the target university has implemented English and mathematics placement tests over the past ten years in response to lower academic proficiency and wider gaps among students. Recently a placement test for Japanese has been introduced since some students' were found to have limited general academic skills. The current study analyzes these three kinds of placement test results. The analysis involves numerical presentation, distributions, frequency, and correlations. The study found correlations between the three test results. Moreover, unique characteristics in placement test scores for different majors were revealed. It is believed that the results of the study can help review and improve current planning for support programs responding to continuously declining academic levels and widening gaps among students. The study, however, also raises the issue of supporting other students, especially those who have higher academic levels.
Minako Inoue, Health Science University, Japan
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