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Placement testing

The NBTs provide information to assist in the placement of students in appropriate curricular routes (e.g. regular, augmented, extended, bridging or foundation programmes) and with the development of curriculum for Higher Education programmes.



Additional tests used for placement as per special request by institutions/organisations:

 Academic Literacy Test of Academic Potential

 The Academic Literacy Test of Academic Potential (ALTAP) is a test of your potential to read and write in English for academic purposes. The test consists of 3 sections that require you to read texts and to respond to a variety of verbal information (such as contained in reading comprehension texts) and quantitative information (such as contained in graphs and tables). Questions in the test are carefully sequenced to enable you to learn to respond to new tasks or to re-learn how to respond to academic tasks that you may have forgotten. The test is based on what you should have encountered in school learning, such as in subjects such as English and Mathematics Literacy. You cannot and need not prepare for the test – all the information that you require to respond to the test tasks is contained in the test itself. Typical tasks in the test require you to work out the overall meaning of a text or a paragraph; interpret visual and tabular information; reason logically; understand the meanings of words and phrases; and work out the links between one section of a text and another.


The Maths Comprehension Test

 The Maths Comprehension Test is designed to provide information about a test-taker’s potential to learn new mathematical knowledge and skills. It is designed in accordance with dynamic testing principles. The following criteria are incorporated into the design:

  • Topics that fall outside the scope of the school syllabus are selected in order that candidates who have experienced poor schooling are not disadvantaged;
  • Topics incorporate a range of facts, skills, concepts and principles which can be tested at a range of cognitive levels;
  • Text is used as the teaching medium;
  • Topics downplay the need for proficiency in school-based mathematics in order that candidates from educationally disadvantaged backgrounds are not further disadvantaged;
  • Questions are carefully graded and sequenced according to the degree of complexity;
  • The language used in the text takes account of the fact that test-takers may be  speakers of English at a 2nd or 3rd language level.