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Using Cognitive Ability Tests For Student Recruitment


Introducing a study which aimed to evaluate the admissions process of a leading London based business school.

In partnership with a leading business school, this project followed students’ progress from admission to the final year of their studies. The study took place between 2012 and 2015.

Psychometric assessments of applicants took place at the admission stage. Download the White Paper below.

The results

The findings indicate that prospective students displaying high general cognitive ability, coupled with strong critical thinking skills, were more likely to graduate from their respective courses with a high final grade.

Students’ performance in a written essay and during an admission interview was also evaluated.

The study found that the most effective method of identifying high potential is to ensure the recruitment process incorporates two psychometric tests (Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal and Core Abilities), a written essay and an interview before admission.

Combining compatible measurements enables a valid prediction of applicants’ learning potential and subsequent performance on the course.


Implications of the study

  • There is evidence in favour of using these tests for predicting learning potential / academic performance, especially for business courses.
  • It is beneficial to use a variety of methods to ascertain students’ potential. The inclusion of both ability tests and a structured interview is advisable - possibly also a written essay.
  • It acts as an example of how to evaluate the efficacy of a business school’s recruitment / admission processes.




Download the Whitepaper

Whitepaper: Evaluating the admissions process for a London based business school.


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