Wednesday, 20 Apr 2005

MEDIA RELEASE For immediate release 20 Wednesday 2005 ACER to collaborate on UK student test The University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES) and the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) will collaborate to develop a new test of academic reasoning for students applying to UK universities. An agreement was signed between ACER and UCLES to develop the test, to be known as UniTest, in Melbourne in March. UniTest will assist UK universities to identify students who are best able to take advantage of the educational opportunities they offer. Current assessments provide valuable measures of students’ achievements, but many of those making admissions decisions believe there is a need for additional, complementary, information. The collaboration brings together the expertise and strengths of two world-leading educational research and assessment agencies. Both institutions have a track record in researching, developing and delivering assessments for university entrance. UCLES delivers the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) for a number of institutions in the UK and also the Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA) which is used for a range of subjects at Cambridge University. ACER is the developer of medical selection tests used by universities in Australia, the UK (GAMSAT-UK and MSAT) and Malaysia, and tests used for admission into some law and business schools in Australia. Professor Geoff Masters, CEO of ACER said, “The partners in this collaboration believe that, in many UK universities, there would be value in having a measure of students’ academic reasoning skills that could be used alongside A Levels for university admission. Such a test would not be linked to the school curriculum but would provide an indication of students’ cross-curricular skills such as critical reasoning, logical reasoning and the capacity to solve problems.” Dr Ron McLone, Director General of Assessment at UCLES commented, “We have built a significant reputation in the field of assessment for university entrance. UCLES has a unique insight into the needs of Higher Education in the UK and we are looking forward to developing new solutions to the complex admissions dilemmas they face.” UniTest will be pilot tested in both the UK and Australia prior to a planned major national pilot in the UK. ****************ENDS*************