Use of An Aptitude Test in University Entrance - a Validity Study: updated analyses of higher education destinations, including 2007 entrants

Catherine Kirkup, Rebecca Wheater, Jo Morrison, Ben Durbin

01 February 2010

2007 report | 2008 update | 2010 report | About the research

2009 update

This report updates the initial findings from the analysis of the 2006 HE entry data to include students who entered higher education in 2007. It also reports on a survey of participating students and young people carried out in December 2008.

Key Findings

  • The findings from the analysis of the combined 2006 and 2007 HE entry data are very similar to those reported previously for 2006 entrants in the 2008 report.
  • The number of students in the sample likely to graduate in 2009 is estimated to be around 3100 (revised figure), with approximately 2400 further students completing their degrees in 2010. The 2009 figure represents the likely dataset for the main analysis in 2010, which will explore relationships between prior attainment, SAT® scores and degree outcomes.
  • Performance at A level was the strongest predictor of participation in HE and of obtaining a place on a course with high entry point requirements. Prior attainment at GCSE and SAT®) scores were also significant.
  • Although small, the SAT® appears to offer some potential for providing additional information to aid the selection of HE candidates over and above the information provided by performance at GCSE and A level.
  • Of the 1427 participants who responded to the most recent survey, almost all (1315) were HE students. This represents around 20 per cent of the participants known to be in HE, these survey respondents may provide a useful sub-set of students for more detailed analysis. For example, it may be possible to examine the effect of taking some of the survey findings into account when the relationships between prior attainment, SAT® scores and degree outcomes are explored.