News Release
Contacts: Robert T. Tad Perry, Executive Director
Tracy Mercer, Information Research Analyst

T: 605.773.3455
F: 605.773.5320


For Immediate Release 30 June 2000


Board of Regents Hears Results of Spring 2000 Proficiency Exam


BROOKINGS- The South Dakota Board of Regents, at its regular business meeting on the campus of South Dakota State University received today a report on the results of the spring administration of the proficiency examinations taken by sophomores enrolled in the six regental universities.

The proficiency examination has been administered five times to a total of 9,133 students since the policy became effective in Spring 1998. System-wide, the average test scores have exceeded the national average in all four areas of the examination each of the five times the exam was administered.

"I believe it is a great accomplishment by our students and faculty that South Dakota students have consistently scored higher than the national norm in the five times the proficiency exam has been administered," said Regents President Harvey C. Jewett, IV.

A total of 1,983 students took the proficiency exam for the first time in Spring 2000. The passing rates for these students were:

System-wide a total of 2,097 students were required to sit for the proficiency exam for the first time in Spring 2000. Only 3.0% of the students who were required to take the exam did not. In addition to the students testing for the first time, 159 students re-tested for the first time in Spring in 2000. Over two-thirds of those students (67.9%) obtained acceptable scores. An additional 28 students took the test for the third time in Spring 2000. More than two-thirds of these students (71.4%) obtained acceptable scores.

"Now that we have the results of five proficiency examinations we are able to put together some trend analysis. We are seeing that only a small percentage of students are not obtaining acceptable scores on their first testing of the proficiency exam. We are also seeing that those same students are benefiting from remediation and are passing on the retest. In that respect the proficiency examination is continuing to be a useful tool in recognizing academic strengths and weaknesses," said Regents Executive Director Robert T. Tad Perry.

Dr. Lesta Turchen, Senior Administrator for the Regents, said, "The trend data have several benefits. We can now respond to the accountability needs of state policy makers. We can also respond to external agencies that elevate that quality of teaching and learning at our universities. On an individual basis, we have identified students who need extra assistance. Ultimately our students are demonstrating that they are learning at a rate that is above the national average."

Below are tables displaying the comparisons of South Dakota students to their reference group in Spring 2000.


Comparison of Test Score Means

Students Testing First Time Spring 2000




Comparison of System and National Average Test Score Means

First-time Test-takers: Spring 1998-2000


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