Every school wants to admit students who will thrive in their learning environment; every student and her family should want the same thing.
How can we meet this shared goal? Research in the field provides valuable insights. According to an article published in the Journal of Educational Psychology, when Admissions staff take into account the results of report cards and self-assessment rather than test scores alone, they are able to improve their ability to predict a student’s success in their milieu by a factor of three.
Why? Because report cards and reference letters typically reflect a students’ academic abilities and the “soft skills” she has developed over a period of years, whereas standardized tests measure memorization and analytical skills, as demonstrated at the time the test is written.
As for self-assessment, according to a Yale University researcher, when students themselves reflect on their ability to manage their time, their academic success in relation to their own efforts, and their need for intrinsic or extrinsic academic motivation, they are surprisingly accurate.
At Trafalgar School for Girls we have devised an innovative admissions assessment process that is informed by this research, and grounded in best practices.