Pilot of Aptitude Testing for University Entrance

Chris Whetton , Angus McDonald , Paul Newton

01 February 2001

Apptitude testing for university entrance: a literature review

In the USA, many universities use the Scholastic Assessment Test to select students. The SAT is an objective test with two sections, verbal and mathematical reasoning. This study examined the use of the SAT with three groups of pupils who were taking A-levels.

The aims of the study were to:

  • discover whether the SAT and A-levels measure different sets of abilities investigate claims that the SAT could be used to assess potential for higher education independently of a student's educational, social and ethnic background
  • test the reliability of the SAT if it were to be introduced in England discover the extent to which students, particularly in low-achieving schools, scored well on the SAT but did not achieve top grades at A-level.

The report examines differences between pupils in independent schools, high-achieving state schools and low-achieving state schools. It compares the results of male and female students, ethnic minorities and students from differing socio-economic backgrounds.

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