The Blossom Model of Academic Aptitude

Cognitive tests have many advantages over other selection methods

As shown in a wide range of national and international studies, cognitive tests have proven most effective in comparison with other selection methods. They are economical in their administration and grading, they are objective, and they provide a very reliable prognosis of academic success. This makes them far superior to other selection methods such as interviews, recommendation letters or motivation letters.

What are academic aptitude tests?

Academic aptitude encompasses a wide range of individual prerequisites that enable successful study. Academic aptitude tests represent a simulation of typical university requirement situations and measure, in particular, the intellectual capacities required for a course of studies, for example analytical thinking and text comprehension. In comparison to classical intelligence tests, academic aptitude tests measure the assimilation and processing of more complex information and correspond better to the ability level of university applicants.

A distinction can be made between general and study-field-specific academic aptitude tests. While general academic aptitude tests measure skills that are important for more or less all academic courses, field-specific academic aptitude tests measure skills that are important for success in specific fields of study.

The ITB’s study-field-specific academic aptitude tests have been designed in collaboration with experts (e.g. professors, lecturers) in such a way that they reflect the subject-specific requirements of the respective courses of study.

They are based on the “Blossom Model” shown below, which illustrates the study-field-specific requirements (A), the overlap of the requirements for “neighbouring” study fields (B) and unspecific, i.e. general, requirements for a course of studies (C). The ability to recognize tonal and rhythmic structures in linguistic formations – an ability specific to the study of language and literature – is an example of area A. The ability to express a verbally described process in a mathematical formula, important for technical sciences as well as for mathematics and IT, is an example of area B. An example of area C is the ability to process and apply complex information from texts correctly.