Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy

No 2012:21: University entrance selection and age at admission

Cristina Wikström () and Magnus Wikström ()
Additional contact information
Cristina Wikström: Department of Applied Educational Science, Umeå University, Postal: , Sweden
Magnus Wikström: Department of Economics, USBE, Umeå University

Abstract: This paper focuses on the predictive validity of the upper secondary grade point average (GPA), when used as selection instrument to higher education. The purpose of the paper is to find out if the predictive strength of the GPA is affected by time, here measured as the time that has passed between when the grades were received (graduation) and university entrance. The data includes approximately 5 900 students admitted to a Business administration or an Economics programme in a Swedish university between the years 1993 to 1996. The predictive validity is studied by correlating the GPA from upper secondary school for the students from each age group with their academic performance, measured by university credits. The results show that there is a weak positive correlation between grades and university credits, but that the predictive strenght decreases with time, to be insignificant about three years after upper secondary school completion. Implications are discussed.

Keywords: admission; selection; prediction; higher education; validity

JEL-codes: I21

22 pages, November 24, 2012

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