In 2004, the College Math Project (CMP) was established by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities in Ontario in collaboration with all 24 Ontario colleges and all the 72 Ontario school boards to conduct a deliberative, research study to:

  • analyze the math achievement of college students
  • relate student achievement data to both demographic factors and to the students’ secondary school math backgrounds; and
  • support deliberations about ways in which this achievement could be enhanced.

In 2011, the Ministries expanded the project scope to examine language achievement and student progression beyond first semester.  The College Student Achievement Project (CSAP) was launched and, over the next 4 years, significant work was undertaken to examine not only the achievement of college students in first and second semester math and language courses, but also understand the secondary school pathways of these same students, and their impact on student achievement.

In addition, the CSAP project was also tasked with responding to the recommendations that emanated from the topical analysis of the foundational and/or remedial mathematics courses conducted in the latter stages of the CMP.  Rather than reveal gaps in knowledge in topics covered in the secondary school courses required for admission to college programs, the analysis revealed that “many of the topics being taught in these courses corresponded to topics found explicitly in the mathematics curriculum from Grades 6, 7 and 8” (CSAP, 2014 p. 3).  To address this issue, the following recommendations were made, contingent upon the undertaking first of a feasibility study:

  • develop a common numeracy assessment tool to be used by all colleges as part of their admissions and placement process for all incoming college students; and
  • develop a system-wide numeracy course for students whose scores on the numeracy assessment showed that they needed such a developmental course.

The feasibility study concluded that there was broad endorsement for the development of a common assessment tool, and with this endorsement, began what became known as the Assessment Development Project (ADP). Based on the principle that assessment should support student learning, the project focused not only on the creation of assessment items that could be used to assess students’ abilities in foundational mathematics, but also worked on establishing the framework necessary to develop a unique, learning program to address the numeracy gap for students in schools and colleges.

In 2013, Vretta Inc. was selected as the learning technology partner to support the ADP, and over a period of two years, the customized “Assessment for Learningprogram, known as OCMT (Ontario Colleges Math Test) was developed. Through field trials with over 10,000 students in 16 colleges and 112 secondary schools throughout Ontario, the OCMT was psychometrically analyzed and validated to ensure that the highest possible quality standards were met.

In 2015, Humber College was selected as the lead institution representing all 24 publicly funded, Ontario colleges and through a “Request for Proposal”, Vretta Inc. was selected as the official learning technology partner for the implementation of the OCMT at all of the colleges as intended by the Ministries when the CSAP project was first defined.

This website is intended to provide you with more detailed information about the Ontario Colleges Math Test, its features, and the ways in which it is being used both at the Colleges and with other partners.  We firmly believe that with a renewed focus on numeracy, and at all levels, we will be able to bridge the numeracy gap for students.