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May 17, 1959 - Image 3

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1959-05-17

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See Tests as Guide to Curriculum


(EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the
second of two articles on inteli-
gence and aptitude tests.)
University freshmen, first ac-
quainted with Hill Auditorium
through the freshman testing pro-
gram, are entitled to know how
significant these and other apti-
tude and intelligence tests are in
determining the direction and
scope of their future.
What is the policy of this Uni-
versity regarding use of test
scores? As most University stu-
dents know, out-of-state appli-
cants are required to take the
Scholastic Aptitude Test given by
the College/ Entrance Examina-
tion- Board; students from Michi-
gan, although many do.
Byron Groesbeck, Assistant Di-
rector of University Admissions,
said that the College Board S:A.T.
results are relatively stable for a
wide range of high school students,
whatever courses their high school
programs may have included.
Measure Ability
The Scholastic Aptiture Test is
set up to measure how well the
student will do at college by test-
ing his ability "to understand and
use words, his reading ability, and
his ability to reason with words
and numbers," as a booklet pub-
lished.,by the College Entrance Ex-
amination Board puts it.
Prof. John E. Milholland, Chief
of the Evaluations and Examina-
tions Division of thei Bureau of
Psychological Services, described
the freshman testing'program of
this University as aimed at coun'-
seling ,use in planning a suitable
course of study for each student.
The American Council on Edu-1
cation Psychological Examination
is taken by all entering freshmen.
A special mathematics and chem-
istry test is given to prospective;
engineering students, and the Uni-
versity adds to, the A.CM exami-
nation a test to .measure reading
speed and comprehension, Prof.
Milholland explained.
Separates Aptitudes
The A.C.E. Psychological Exami-
nation consists of a. quantitative
part designed to measure "the kind'
of aptitude necessary for success
in mathematics a enisdeene
in mathematics and science, while
the linguistio part relates more


closely to success in languages and
English," he said,
Prof. Milholland added that a
good linguistic score is a necessity
for any student, since so much of
college instruction is verbal that
a low score in this area is a serious
disadvantage which affects the
student's academic success.
When the freshman tests are
evaluated, Prof. Milholland con-
tinued, the results are recorded on
profile, sheets showing the per-
centile rank of'the student in his
class, or where he stands relative
to the other freshmen.
Shows Trend
Freshman testing of this type is
used in almost all colleges, Prof.
Milholland commented. At the
University, he said, one of its
uses is in making reports to the
offices of the deans, showing the
general trend in the quality of
students coming to the University.
A gradual rise in test scores has
appeared in the last six to eight
years, he remarked.
"University policy is to use the
tests as counseling aids," Prof.
Milholland asserted.
As such, University policy is
exemplary of John S. Cobb's con-
clusion: "In a good school system,
the tests don't make the decisions.
They simply provide: information
that the school uses along with
other information to make deci-

Incapable of meeting Honors Pro-
gram standards.
The acceptable test score is only
one requirement; "we don't take
everybody, even with these high
scores," Prof. Angell emphasized
Prof. Angell listed the criteria
on which he bases admission to
the College Honors Program as
follows: high school grades, S.A.T.
scores, recommendation of high
school counselor and (when some
question still exists) the student's
"We do not subscribe to the
"cutting score" philosophy of ad-
missions," Groesbeck commented.
Students are completed justified,
he continued, in expecting admis-
sions counselors to give greater
consideration to the work record:
of four years than to the test
score made in four hours.
In consideration of this, the
University student can be sure that
hisr admission has been based on
the whole of his application ma-
terial; and that while aptitude test
data is contributing information
used in counseling him, it is never
a factor which decides his course



Emphasize Record
Prof. Robert C. Angell of the-
English department and director
of the Honors Council, said that
the College Board Scholastic Apti-
tude Test score is never used as
the sole deciding factor for admis-
sion to the Honors Program;
greater emphasis is placed on the
high school record and recommen-
dation of the applicant.
Prof. Angell remarked that in
the, first year of the program not
enough attention was placed on
the high school grades; students
with high test scores and lower
high school grade averages proved


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