On the Use of Broadened Admission

Maarten van de Ven

Recently a new study on assessment for admission to university was published. The authors argue that most of the assessment methods that are used for this purpose are problematic.

In the U.S. and in Europe there is an increasing interest in the use of instruments for the selection of students into higher education beyond traditional achievement test scores or high school grade point average (GPA). Such alternative instruments often measure predominantly noncognitive constructs. Examples are ratings on interviews and assignments or scores on personality tests and situational judgment tests (SJTs).

Recently, several authors reflected on the shortcomings of traditional admission criteria and discussed research that was aimed at broadening the information obtained from traditional achievement tests through the use of alternative measures aimed at domain-general abilities that are not measured by GPA.

The purpose of using these alternative methods was either to improve the prediction of college GPA. to predict broader student performance outcomes such as leadership, social responsibility, and ethical behavior, or to predict criteria related to job performance. Supplementing traditional cognitive admission test scores with broader admission criteria can yield modest improvement in student diversity. The alternative methods may increase student diversity.

In this new study the authors distinguish the following topics: (a) the types of outcomes that are predicted, (b) broader admission criteria as predictors, (c) adverse impact and broadened admission, (d) empirical support for broadened admission criteria, (e) self-report in high-stakes assessment, and (6) an approach based on behavioral sampling for student selection.

More information
Niessen, A.S.M. & Meijer, R.R. (2017). On the Use of Broadened Admission Crite…