New departmental event – ‘Student Access to University, Admissions testing preparation effects’

Monday, January 14, 2019

Category: News Research Centre News

As part of the department’s 100th Anniversary celebrations a special public seminar series, Student Access to University, has been convened by Professor Simon Marginson and Professor Jo-Anne Baird.

The series aims to encourage public discussion and move access forward by bringing a research-based treatment to it.

The first event is Monday 14th January at St John’s College Oxford. Deatils of all 5 seminars in the series and information on how to register your attendance can be found here.


Selection to higher education typically includes the use of information about students’ attainment, or predicted attainment, in school-leaving examinations such as A-levels .For selective universities and competitive undergraduate degree courses this information provides insufficient scope for discriminating between candidates, furthermore candidates are applying increasingly with qualifications from different international educational settings. To help provide a common point of reference across all candidates for a particular course, tests have been introduced as part of the admissions process in many courses at the University of Oxford. This project first explored the relationships between student characteristics and test performance with Oxford University admissions data before turning to study the effects of test preparation on TSA and BMAT for students applying to Oxford. How students prepare for admissions tests and whether this preparation has an impact on their performance in the test is an under-researched area.