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Centre for Access Assessment & Research

What is the Access Assessment Test (AAT)?

This is the name given to the group of measures used by the Nelson Mandela University Access Testing to admit and place students into Nelson Mandela University programs.

The AAT tests are all in a multiple choice; untimed format and are proficiency tests which assess an applicant’s current knowledge and skills.

In Port Elizabeth and George, the tests are Computer based and at the remote sites they are Paper based.

All applicants referred for testing, write the following tests:

  • Reading Comprehension &
  • Arithmetic

IF the program for which they have applied requires additional mathematical skills, then it is vital that the applicant writes the Elementary Algebra Test.

What the AAT entails?

Applicants referred for testing, complete a Biographical Questionnaire and the AAT, which assesses the following:

Biographical Questionnaire – It provides information about your:

  • Planned occupation/career choice
  • Past work experiences
  • Goals
  • Study habits
  • Written language proficiency

English Reading Comprehension – It assesses how well you understand what you read, by asking questions that require you to:

  • Reason and draw conclusions
  • Identify main ideas
  • Identify the purpose of texts
  • Identify the relationship between texts
  • Demonstrate understanding of texts

Numeracy Compulsory (No calculators) – It assesses your level of numerical functioning by asking questions that require:

  • Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
  • Working with whole numbers and fractions
  • Working with decimals and percentages
  • Solving word problems

Elementary Algebra (Only written for mathematical based programs - No Calculators) – It assesses your level of mathematical functioning by asking questions that require:

  • Working with integers and rational numbers
  • Knowledge of formulas and expressions
  • Solving equations and inequalities
  • Solving word problems

Process after testing

Once the applicants have completed the AAT, the tests are scored and double checked before being sent to the CAAR Consultant for processing.

What happens after the decision is made?

Once a decision has been made, it is captured and the following process occurs:

  • The decision is emailed to the relevant Admissions Officers within 3 weeks if there are no additional consultations or information required
  • Individual feedback reports are printed
  • Reports are posted at regular intervals

Based on the decision/recommendation the applicant may:

  • Be admitted to the chosen programme
  • Be admitted to the programme with additional modules
  • Be admitted to the applicant’s second choice degree /diploma / higher certificate
  • Be admitted for the extended programme
  • Be placed into an alternative but related programme.