Over the last few years there have been discussions regarding whether the Swedish system for selection to higher education is suitable for selecting the most appropriate students. The reasons for these discussions are problems with recruitment, student completion and selection. In the light of these problems and within the limits of the alternative selection, the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education started a project in 2003, with the ambition of developing an entrance test for the technology section in higher education. The prototype consisted of three separate tests: a verbal test, a problem-solving test and a knowledge test.
The knowledge test, which was developed at the Department of Educational Measurement at Umeå University, was intended to measure general knowledge in technology. The assumption was that there is a relationship between knowledge and interest, and one related question was whether the result from this test also could be an indirect measure of interest. If there is a positive relationship between interest, motivation and study success, the idea of using such a test for recruitment and selection is supported.
The first purpose of this study was to examine if there is any evidence for a positive relationship between the score on a general knowledge test in technology and study success in education in technology. The second purpose was to find relevant psychological literature on interest and motivation which could be used in the verification of the hypotheses. For this purpose, a literature search in several databases was conducted. The third purpose was, given that there was a positive relationship between knowledge and study success, to describe the possible uses of the test in the Swedish selection system.
The result, concerning the first purpose, indicated evidence for the hypotheses and therefore the conclusion was that there is also a positive relationship between knowledge and study success. Regarding the third purpose, the conclusion was that the knowledge test could work as an instrument for recruitment, selection and prediction, with a few exceptions.
Finally, some limitations of the study were discussed and some suggestions for further research were given.
Umeå: Institutionen för beteendevetenskapliga mätningar , 2009. , 51 p.