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Measurement of New Attributes for Chile’s Admissions System to Higher Education

Santelices, Maria Veronica; Ugarte, Juan Jose; Flotts, Paulina; Radovic, Darinka; Kyllonen, Patrick C.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Undergraduate Admissions, Admissions to Higher Education, Measurement of Noncognitive Attributes, Standardized Measures, High Stakes Testing, Test Validity, Test Reliability, Chile


This paper presents the development and initial validation of new measures of critical thinking and noncognitive attributes that were designed to supplement existing standardized tests used in the admissions system for higher education in Chile. The importance of various facets of this process, including the establishment of technical rigor and political support of instrument development, piloting, and implementation is also emphasized because the results from this pilot study could affect the admissions process for some of the most prestigious and competitive universities in the country. The new instruments were pilot tested on a group of high school seniors (n = 1,568) and first-year college students (n = 1,443) during 2008. The sample included students from 20 secondary schools and 4 universities. Initial results were promising and showed that the measures were effectively assessing attributes not currently considered in the Chilean higher education admissions process. In addition, performance on the new instruments was found to be less correlated with students’ sociodemographic characteristics than were measures currently used for undergraduate admissions.

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