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Academic Preparation Analysis

Each year, just before summer orientation sessions begin in June, PBA produces an Academic Preparation Analysis (APA) for each confirmed freshman in Arts and Sciences. These are intended for use by the student and his/her advisor in selecting courses for the first semester. They are placed in the student's electronic record via Singularity

The APA lists an estimation of the student’s probability of success (defined as earning a C- or better) in each of 100 courses often taken by first-term freshmen. The estimates come from regression analyses in which academic preparation and course grade data from prior years are used to produce predictor weights for the academic preparation variables. These weights are in turn used to generate a predicted grade for each course for each confirmed freshman. The point estimate thus generated is then applied to a normal distribution curve to compute the probability of earning a C- or better, on a 0-to-1 scale.

On the form itself, the success probability for each course is displayed as one of three categories of “level of challenge.” If the student’s success probability in a course is .7 or better, the course is labeled a “Standard college course.” A success probability of at least .5 but less than .7 is labeled “Moderately challenging.” Any course with a success probability for the student of less than .5 is labeled “Extremely challenging.”

Each report also shows the data used to generate the grade estimates, i.e., the student’s academic preparation (high school GPA, standardized test scores, number of high school units in English, math, chemistry, physics, geography, foreign languages, French, and Spanish).

Click here to see two sample forms (with fictitious names and student ID numbers), the first for a very well prepared student, the second for a less prepared student. The 2012 APA forms match the 2008 forms in format

PBA ref: L:\ir\consult\as\crsdiff\documentation\

Last revision 08/17/12


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