Reading Test Reveals Rise In Aptitude
The continued increase in reading ability of each successive entering class has necessitated continued upgrading of the freshman reading course, according to John W. Wideman, assistant in the Bareau of Study Counsel.
The reading class, which Wideman called a course in "examsmanship," is an elective, non-credit offering. Since the course is again over-subscribed, students with low scores on the annual reading test have been given preference.
The results of this test, although not yet formally analyzed, seem to indicate that students are arriving better prepared each year. The reading course, therefore, now emphasizes the specific problems of reading for "social-science type courses."
Wideman stated that the test results also indicate that entering freshmen are increasingly "liberal" in their attitudes toward studies. He contrasted this attitude with "authoritarianism," or the feeling that there is just "one right answer" to every question.
Students of the latter type often attempt to merely memorize lecture and reading material, Wideman remarked. The liberal student usually does better in college courses which require much writing.
An informal study of the effectiveness of the reading program has shown that its helpfulness is not always correlated with an increase in reading speed. The course now aims mainly at showing students how to read for studies, Wideman stated.