Students take aptitude test in bid for university places

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Friday, 27 Nov 2009

For immediate release Friday 27 November 2009
Students take aptitude test in bid for university places

Three of Australia’s leading universities will next week administer an aptitude test to identify candidates with the potential to succeed at university who may otherwise have been overlooked.

Flinders University will hold a sitting of uniTEST on 30 November. The Australian National University (ANU) will hold its sitting on 1 December followed by Macquarie University on 7 December to select students for their 2010 intake. Close to 700 candidates will take part.

uniTEST assesses the generic reasoning and thinking skills that are necessary for successful study at university. It has been developed by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) in collaboration with Cambridge Assessment.

This latest administration of uniTEST is taking place as part of stage two of the Federal Government’s pilot National Student Aptitude Test for Tertiary Admission (SATTA).

Candidates’ results on uniTEST are combined with their academic achievement to determine their suitability for university study.

According to ACER’s chief executive Professor Geoff Masters, the use of aptitude tests such as uniTEST assists universities gain a broader profile of the capability of university applicants by providing information that complements Year 12 academic results.

In March this year, in response to the Bradley Review, the Federal Government announced that by 2025 40 per cent of Australian 25-34 year olds will have a Bachelor level qualification or higher. In addition, by 2020 a target of 20 per cent of higher education enrolments at undergraduate level should be from low socio-economic backgrounds.

Professor Masters noted that the use of aptitude tests may assist universities in identifying students – including students from under-represented groups –who have the capacity for success, but who may not be identified through standard selection processes.

Research is underway tracking the academic performance of students accepted into university courses based on uniTEST results. This is due to be completed in 2010.

Further information about uniTest is available on the ACER websiste at