App-based prep for university assessments becomes reality

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Online education company Advantage Learn has rolled out a new app to help local learners prepare for their university assessments, also known as the National Benchmark Tests (NBT).

The NBT Prep app gives learners access to necessary university resources and requirements to benchmark their readiness.

Christopher Muller, CTO of Advantage Learn, explains that learners take a free mathematics (MAT) and academic and quantitative literacy (AQL) quiz, and benchmark their readiness via the app, letting them know if they are well-prepared or need more practise for their test.

“The app gives learners a view into the University of Cape Town’s requirements for their degree of choice and will also link to additional universities' requirements via a downloadable PDF,” says Muller.

"Through our app, we are making available, to all students, resources that can better prepare them for their higher education demands, and ultimately, their careers one day.”

In addition, there are links inside the app where learners can access more information about what the NBTs are and other info they might need, he notes.

The National Benchmark Tests Project was commissioned in 2005 by Higher Education South Africa, now called Universities South Africa.

The NBT is a set of tests to assess a learner’s academic readiness for university, split into two three-hour exams – one is called the AQL and the other MAT. The tests are written when applying to universities, bursaries or jobs which require it.

Universities use the results from the NBTs to determine if a learner will need extra support at the institution, and they can also use the results to decide whether a learner’s university application is successful.

A good NBT result is considered as a learner’s entry ticket into university, notes the education company.

This year, there are 25 opportunities to take the tests, from mid-May to early January next year, and the results will be used to measure a learner’s entry-level academic skills in literacy, quantitative literacy and mathematics.

Furthermore, the NBTs are designed specifically to complement the National Senior Certificate, as they provide an independent and objective assessment, according to Advantage Learn.

The NBT Prep app is available for download from the Google Playstore and App Store.

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