Preliminary Stages of a Validity Study of the use of an Aptitude Test in University Entrance

Chris Whetton , Ian Schagen , Catherine Kirkup , Rebecca Wheater , Jo Morrison

16 September 2007

This is a report on the first stages of a research study to examine the validity of an aptitude test in higher education admissions in England. It describes and explores the relationships between scores on the SAT Reasoning Test TM and attainment measures (A levels and GCSEs) together with background characteristics of the student sample.

The analysis initially focussed on overall attainment and broad background variables. Further analyses will be described which look at differences between students according to their A level subjects and examining their social, educational and economic background variables using more complex statistical modelling of the data.

The primary aim of the study is to examine whether the addition of the SAT Reasoning Test TM, alongside A levels is better able to predict university participation and outcomes. The final report in 2010 will follow the data collection of degree outcomes. It will attempt to relate these to the SAT scores and the A-level outcomes, adjusting as far as possible for the loss of those not selected for university places.

This paper was presented at the 33rd International Association for Educational Assessment Conference held in Baku, Azerbaijan on 16-21 September 2007.