n South African Journal of Higher Education - Selection tools predictive of success in the health sciences - NATED vs. NSC students

Volume 26, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



The challenge of translating equity of access into equity of outcome with students from a differentially resourced secondary education system which may have advantaged or disadvantaged them in demonstrating their academic ability in the conventional matriculation/national senior certificate (NSC) examinations necessitated that Universities undertake a review of selection and admissions criteria within the 'achievement vs. aptitude' as well as the 'NATED vs. National Curriculum Statement (NCS)' discourses. The Faculty of Health Sciences conducted a longitudinal cohort study correlating matriculation/NSC scores, composite and component Alternative Admissions Research Project (AARP) scores and Standardized Assessment Test for Access and Placement (SATAP) English for Academic Purposes scores with average first year performance of all first entry students admitted into programmes offered in the Faculty of Health Sciences in 2008 (matriculants of the NATED curriculum) and 2009 (NSC holders of the outcomes-based education (OBE) curriculum). Results allow the Faculty to confidently use NSC scores as the primary selection tool for students who have received quality secondary education and students whose first language is English. The reasoning test (RT) and placement test in English for educational purposes (PTEEP) as well as composite AARP scores may be used to inform a selection of students whose second language is English and students admitted via alternative access routes respectively, noting that the AARP has since been replaced by the National Benchmark Test (NBT) which consists of commensurate components; thereby addressing equity and redress imperatives while ensuring throughput and success.

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