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The Swedish Scholastic Aptitude test

On behalf of the Swedish Council for Higher Education, the Department of Applied Educational Sciences conducts construction, analysis, evaluation and research on the Swedish Scholastic Aptitude test, the SweSAT (Högskoleprovet).

Since 1977, the SweSAT has functioned as a selection instrument in the admission to higher education in Sweden. The SweSAT constitutes an alternative to the upper secondary GPA in the selection, i.e. when there are more eligible applicants than study places. There is a great deal of interest in taking the test, often since it gives the applicant the possibility to compete in two selection groups, but for many applicants the test may be the only way to study programmes where there is competition for the study places.

The SweSAT measures knowledge and skills important for performing well in university studies. The test Is a battery of subtests divided into a verbal part, which emphasizes word and reading comprehension, and a quantitative part, which emphasizes mathematical knowledge and the ability to interpret and understand graphic information. The SweSAT is normally administered twice a year. It was open to everyone for many years but now has a lower age limit of 19 years. The test can be taken several times and if an applicant has taken the test more than once, the best result is used. Since a test result is valid for several years, it is important that test scores can be compared over time. This makes the quality and design of the test very important. Each test must be unique but still comparable to previous tests in content and difficulty. After each administration, the test result is fine-tuned based on the degree of difficulty of each test through an equating process, where the test score is transferred to a standardized scale (0.0-2.0).

It is a rigorous work to develop a test such as the SweSAT, since it is an important test for the test takers, the universities and for society. The development process takes about two years, as all items must be reviewed, tested empirically and analyzed statistically, sometimes several times. There is also extensive follow-up work after each test when the outcome is to be analyzed and the result reported. Currently, 14 people work full-time or part-time with design, development and research on the test. Find out more about the SweSAT and how it is used in the Swedish admission to higher education here: https://www.uhr.se/studier-och-antagning/Hogskoleprovet/ .