A Placement Test is simply a test of English which a student will take to determine their learner level.
They are often used during a needs analysis and when a new student joins a school. The result of the test will give the school a good indication of which class is most suitable for the student. Some institutions such as universities in the USA and United Kingdom will use tests such as IELTS or TOEFL to determine how good a student’s English is.
Placement Test Content
Most placement tests will check the four major language skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) and often also look at knowledge of grammar and vocabulary.
Good ones will refine as they are taken (often online) and so a test might begin with a question such as:
Before coming here I __ a cup of coffee.
c) had drunk
d) will have drunk
If the student gets it right then they move on to a more complex grammatical question; if they get it wrong then the next question is easier.