Ricochet News

Testing continues for prospective NMMU students

Nov 22, 2016
Testing continues for prospective NMMU students

Access testing of prospective students to Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) for 2017 is continuing despite the challenges associated with the national #FeesMustFall movement.

The University has provided alternative venues from its usual South Campus testing site to ensure that it is able to continue to offer this service to prospective students.

Annually about 10 000 students who do not meet direct access requirements to the programme of their choice but whose Admission Point Scores (APS) falls within the testing band, are given the opportunity of writing a test that establishes whether the student has the potential to succeed in the chosen field.

NMMU is the only institution nationally to offer this opportunity, viewed by many as providing a “second chance” to those who might not have been considered elsewhere.

To date this year, some 3630 applicants have been tested both in Port Elizabeth and eight other sites around the country. This is slightly behind its usual numbers for mid-November.

“We are doing all that we can to continue our testing in support of our admissions process,” said Dave Jenkings, Director of the Centre for Access Assessment and Research (CAAR), which runs the testing.

NMMU has received more than 100 000 applications for study in 2017. The University is utilising all available resources and working extra hours to process the applications, most of which have been received online.

According to Mr Jenkings, testing of candidates for the 2017 intake began in June but will increase in intensity from now until mid-December and from mid-January and even through to early February.

Apart from giving students a second chance, the testing, along with the candidates’ school marks, subject choices and other information, allows the CAAR team to also offer candidates who do not qualify for their first choice alternative study options.

“A profile of each candidate is created allowing for decisions to be made on a holistic basis. It also informs possible developmental support going forward,” says Dr Jenkings. 

The success of the CAAR support function which forms part of the NMMU’s commitment to widening access, is such that almost half of those who register in the first year do so via the access testing method. About 40% of those who graduate annually sat the CAAR test at the beginning of their studies.

The majority of those tested (56%) live outside of Port Elizabeth and are tested in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Umtata, George, Polokwane, Durban, Queenstown and Bloemfontein.   

All candidates who qualify for testing are informed by Admissions to book a test session as soon as possible, which can be done telephonically (041 504 2918) or online (http://caar.nmmu.ac.za/Book-Your-Test-Session.