Thursday, 1 Jul 2004

MEDIA RELEASE For immediate release Thursday 1 July 2004 Students and employers endorse Graduate Skills Assessment The Graduate Skills Assessment is a valuable addition to the personal employment portfolio of university graduates and has become popular with both students and employers, Australian Council for Educational Research CEO Professor Geoff Masters said today. Professor Masters reported strong uptake of the GSA by both university students and employers. Recent media reports suggesting low interest in the GSA and that only four universities had used the test were incorrect, he said. “More than 9000 university students have sat the GSA and 29 universities have administered it. In addition, the test has been used by a range of employers in Australia and overseas. Australian government departments have used the GSA in recruiting employees for overseas offices.” Feedback on the GSA also has been positive. Students report that GSA results provide a useful complement to their academic record. Almost all employers who have used the test have chosen to continue using it in their recruitment programs. Several government departments, major banks and large city councils are among organisations using the GSA in the selection of applicants. The GSA, which consists of a multiple-choice test and two writing tasks, is designed to assess the generic skills of university graduates. The GSA tests critical thinking, problem solving, interpersonal understanding and written communication – skills identified by both universities and employers as important outcomes of university study. The full test is three hours in length. It is also now available in modular form to assess each of the four skill areas separately. The GSA was developed by ACER under contract to the Department of Education Science and Training (DEST) and in response to employers’ concerns that academic results alone were not sufficient in selecting university graduates for employment. Professor Masters said that GSA results were likely to become increasingly important in graduates’ applications for employment. Further information about the GSA can be obtained from the ACER website at http://www.acer.edu.au/gsa ****************ENDS*************