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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 programmes.

The AAT test is in a multiple choice; untimed format and is a proficiency test that assess an applicant’s current knowledge and skills.

The test is computer-based in Port Elizabeth and George, and paper-based at the remote sites.

All applicants referred for testing, write the following test:

  • Reading Comprehension &
  • Arithmetic

IF the programme for which the applicant has applied for, requires additional mathematical skills, then it is vital that the applicant writes the Elementary Algebra Test as well.

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 the applicant's:

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

English Reading Comprehension – It assesses how well the applicant understand what they read, by asking questions that require them 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 the applicant's 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 the applicant's 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 test is 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
  • Not be accepted