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An exploratory study of the factors associated with an initial testing process

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The Skills for Tertiary Education Preparatory Studies (STEPS) enabling program has alwaysused an entrance testing program to identify prospective students’ competence in writing, mathematics and computing, alongside a statement describing their perceived readiness for university. The rationale behind the current testing process is that it allows staff to identify those students who appear ready and able to undertake, and complete the STEPS program successfully. It sits in contrast to an open entry system used by other enabling programs. The researchers in this project explore whether the current testing process is actually an accurate indicator of students’ capacity and state of readiness for study and whether it is a true indication of future success in the program. Anecdotally, some students attain a high score on the testing and yet struggle to complete the program; other students may produce lower scores but successfully complete the program. This research project collected students’ testing results over a two year period and through various forms of data extraction, subsequently analysed and collated the results. The research demonstrates that, within the present testing process, the literacy element is a highly significant indicator to whether students are likely to complete the program, and subsequently, other elements of the testing proved to be of less importance in their predictive value.

History

Volume

2

Issue

1

Start Page

2

End Page

14

Number of Pages

13

ISSN

2203-8841

Location

Australia

Publisher

English Language and Foundation Studies Centre and the Centre of Excellence for Equity in Higher Education

Language

en-aus

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

External Author Affiliations

Industry, Vocational Training and Access Education Division; Not affiliated to a Research Institute; School of Human, Health and Social Sciences (2013- );

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

International studies in widening participation.

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