Psychometric Assessment of Computing Undergraduates

Jim Ivins; Michele PoySuan Ong

Abstract. This paper describes three studies of students in computer science, information technology, and software engineering degree courses. Aim. The aim of these studies was to evaluate the usefulness of aptitude testing as a means of recruiting undergraduate students into these courses. Method. At the start of the academic year, student volunteers were invited to complete a demographic survey and/or part of the Aptitude Profile Test Series (APTS) developed by the Australian Council for Education Research. At the end of the year, the survey and APTS data were combined with examination results, and a statistical analysis was performed. Results. The demographic survey yielded several potential predictors of academic performance. Furthermore, the APTS was a statistically significant predictor of academic performance (p < 0.001). Conclusions. The results suggest that the APTS could be used to recruit students into computing degree courses, reducing the withdrawal and termination rates, and increasing the number and quality of graduates from these courses.

Type of Publication: Paper
Conference: PPIG 2005 - 17th Annual Workshop
Publication Year: 2005
Paper #: 25
TitlePsychometric Assessment of Computing Undergraduates
Publication TypePaper
AuthorsIvins, J, Ong, MPoy-Suan
PPIG Workshop: 
2005-06-17th