Daily Israel Report

College Heads Want to Ditch Pre-College Testing

Committee of College Heads comes out against using test scores in admissions process. ‘Not a good indicator.’
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 10/31/2013, 8:38 AM

Students at Machon Lustig
Students at Machon Lustig
Yoni Kempinski

The Committee of Presidents of Public Colleges in Israel has prepared a legal opinion arguing that requiring that the Psychometric test be used as a criteria for admission is illegal.

Public college heads report that in recent years, the Committee for Higher Education has allowed them to create new programs of study only on the condition that they screen applicants based on their test scores.

The Psychometric test is a standardized test in mathematics, verbal reasoning, and English which Israeli students take as part of the college admissions process. The Psychometric score is a major factor in admissions at most Israeli universities, but many colleges have chosen not to give weight to the test results.

Rabbi Professor Nerya Gutel, the President of Orot College, spoke to Arutz Sheva about the issue. The Psychometric test has failed as an indicator of future success, he argued.

“We know that the Psychometric is not the most accurate way to predict whether a student will successfully finish his studies,” he explained. “We know students with learning disabilities, or who struggle due to their socio-economic background, or who weren’t invested in their studies as teenagers – and excelled in college.”

Instead of screening students based on pre-college test scores, colleges should make a decision after the students’ first year, he suggested. After a year of studies it will be possible to determine whether the student is suitable for the program, he said.

He expressed regret over the fact that some students avoid studying a particular subject due solely to their scores on the Psychometric test.

“In my mind’s eye I see an IDF officer from Givati, a successful young man, motivated and charismatic, who could have been an amazing teacher. He’s a man with good values who wanted to teach physical education, but I couldn’t accept him because of the requirement for a certain minimum Psychometric score – and we lost out on a good teacher,” he recalled.