Student selection and performance in higher education: admission exams vs. high school scores

Pedro Luis Silva, Luís Catela Nunes, Carmo Seabra, Ana Balcao Reis, Miguel Alves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In many countries, students are selected into higher education institutions based on their achievement at high school, measured by scores given by their teachers and obtained on final national exams. This paper compares these two measures in terms of their ability to predict students' success in higher education. Accounting for sample selection problems, we find that the high school score is a stronger predictor of students' performance at university. However, the score obtained in the mathematics national exam still adds information. We conclude that both measures are complementary, a result that is relevant for university recruitment and selection policies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-454
JournalEducation Economics
Volume28
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sep 2020

Keywords

  • Higher education
  • national exams
  • previous achievement
  • teacher scores

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