When signals are lost in aggregation: a comparison of language marks and competencies of first-year university students

A comparative analysis of National Senior Certificate marks and National Benchmark Test (NBT) Academic Literacy (AL) test results for a cohort of first-year education students at the University of the Witwatersrand, which showed that the same mark in English HL and FAL does not necessarily reflect the same level of English language academic competence as measured by the NBT AL test. On average, students who wrote the FAL papers scored between .5 and .9 of a standard deviation below students who wrote the HL paper (and probably need extensive and ongoing academic support).