Research News

UW System, Castle Worldwide partnering to offer national placement tests

July 17, 2015

The University of Wisconsin System and Castle Worldwide are partnering to bring a comprehensive and highly successful placement testing program to the national higher education market, the organizations jointly announced Thursday, July 16.

For the past 40 years, the University of Wisconsin System has been offering placement exams to students entering into both its two- and four-year institutions. And over the past year, the UW System has offered exams globally via Internet-based testing using Castle services to their diverse campus system, while enjoying a positive response from users.

The UW System’s Center for Placement Testing is directed by Jim Wollack, an associate professor with the School of Education’s No. 1-ranked Department of Educational Psychology.

James Wollack
“The University of Wisconsin placement testing program has, for 40 years, been an amazingly exciting and collaborative enterprise, and our tests have helped nearly one million students across the UW System to transition effectively from high school to university classes,” says Wollack, who also directs UW-Madison’s Testing and Evaluation Services. “ Given the diversity of institutions within UW System, all of whom have had tremendous success using our tests, I’m confident that our placement suite will be equally effective for post-secondary institutions across the country.”

The University of Wisconsin System and Castle announced that post-secondary institutions can begin registering with Castle for placement exams in math, English and foreign languages starting on Oct. 1, 2015.

Placement exams will be available for delivery on Jan. 1, 2016.

The placement exams, developed and validated by the UW System, will be offered with three distinct and flexible Castle delivery options.  Schools may use:

• Castle test centers and proctors

• their own on-campus test sites and proctors, or

• a virtual proctor test service via any PC or laptop referred to as Live Online Proctoring (LOP).​

WCEPS logoThe Wisconsin Center for Education Products and Services (WCEPS) facilitated the partnership with Castle via legal and business guidance, and by serving as the fiscal agent. WCEPS will also provide ongoing services to the UW System’s Center for Placement Testing, including contributing to the marketing and sales efforts, and administering the obligations of the agreement. Launched by friends of UW-Madison in 2011, WCEPS helps license and market innovative products in the field of education created by faculty, staff and students.

"Jim Wollack and his team at the Center for Placement Testing have created and validated world-class placement exams,” says Matt Messinger, the executive director of WCEPS. “WCEPS is excited to distribute them to colleges and universities throughout the United States through the collaboration with Castle Worldwide. As a non-profit partner of the university, WCEPS helps innovators like Jim extend the impact of their work and generate revenue to fund their programs. We aim to do both through this collaboration between the Center for Placement Testing and Castle Worldwide."

“Working with WCEPS to market our tests nationally allows us to help other institutions share the successes we’ve had in Wisconsin, while also offering us the opportunity to ensure that the program remains cost-effective and psychometrically sound for our students here at home,” adds Wollack.

The UW System is regarded as one of the nation’s preeminent university systems, and Castle Worldwide is a premier, full-service testing solutions provider.