Die samestelling van 'n toetsbattery vir die voorspelling van akademiese sukses van studente aan die Bestuurskool van die Witwatersrandse Technikon

Author: Malan, Jan Christoffel

AIM OF THE STUDY - The general aim of the study is to design a selection test battery that can be used to screen students for the diploma courses in Management practice and Personnel management before the enrollment at the Witwatersrand Technikon. The specific aims are twofold: namely theoretical and empirical. The theoretical aim is firstly to give some perspective as far as the use of psychometric tests in the selection procedure, and secondly to give an overview of those factors that affect academic performance. The empirical aim consists of three objectives: To determine which factors are significantly related to academic performance of first year students for the Management practice and the Personnel management courses, respectively. To determine those factors that reflect a significant difference between the successful and unsuccessful students in both diploma courses. To develop a profile of the successful and unsuccessful groups' test performances for selection purposes. METHOD OF INVESTIGATION - A study of the relevant literature was undertaken concerning the role of psychometric tests in the selection procedure, as well as the effect of different cognitive and non-cognitive factors on academic performance. As a result of the limited number of first year students in these two courses, the total first year student group was involved in this study. The psychometric tests used in this study are the 19 Field Interest Inventory, the Structured Objective Rorschach test (SORT), The Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes (SSHA), the 16 Personality factor questionnaire {16PF), the subtest Mental Alertness of the Intermediate Battery and the Academic Achievement Battery. RESULTS OF THE MULTIPLE REGRESSION ANALYSIS - The test that shows the highest correlation with academic performance for both groups is the 16PF. In the case of the Management practice group, the correlation is 0,62 and for the Personnel management group, the correlation is 0,77. The Management practice group also reflected correlations between academic performance and previous performance (r=0,48) and between academic performance and interest (r=0,63). On the other hand, correlations were also found between academic performance and the SSHA ( r=O, 5 9) and between academic performance and mental alertness (r=0,42) concerning the Personnel management group. The 16PF therefore showed the highest correlation with academic performance for both groups. As a result of these findings and the relatively small population group used in this study it was decided, for the remainder of the investigation to combine the two groups. The new combined group was then subdivided into a successful and an unsuccessful group. RESULTS OF THE PROFILE ANALYSIS - The successful group obtained average scores which were higher than those of the unsuccessful group on eight factors of the 16PF. These eight factors are: A(Sociality), B (Intelligence), E(Dominance), F(Carefreeness), H (Social venturesomeness), L(Suspiciousness), N(Astuteness) and Ql(Radicalism). Of these eight factors, the differences for the last three are very insignificant. The unsuccessful group obtained higher average scores on the remaining eight factors but once again these differences are insignificant. RESULTS OF THE t-TEST - Significant differences were found between the successful and unsuccessful groups with regard to factors A(Sociality), B(Intelligence) and F(Carefreeness) on the 0,01-level while significant differences on the 0,05-level were obtained on factors E(Dominance) and Q3(Self-control). These results can be summarised as follows: * The successful group• is definitely more social, in other words more outgoing, carefree and more participative than the unsuccessful group. * The successful group has a greater mental ability than the unsuccessful group, is more independent and shows more enthusiasm. * The unsuccessful group shows a greater degree of self-control than the successful group with the result that they experience more anxiety in the process. According to this study, personality factors seem to play a more significant role than any other factors as measured in this particular case. Biographical data should also be considered in a study like this as this might possibly lead to other factors that influence academic performance.