WiWiSet (2016-2019)

WiWiSet (2016-2019): Validation of an Entrance Examination in the Study Domain of Business and Economics – A National and International Comparative Study of Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences.

Motivation and Goals

According to the current state of research, the increase of competencies over the course of studies and study success closely correlate with domain-specific competencies at the beginning of studies. At the same time, there are deficits regarding the valid assessment of competencies at the beginning of studies, which are particularly relevant for study domains such as business and economics, where beginning students are highly varied, for example due to lacking establishment of the subject as a general educational school subject. Particularly since the abolition of the centralized procedure for the allocation of places on courses of study, higher education institutions and lecturers need instruments for objectively and reliably assessing beginning students’ competencies at the beginning of studies. The research project WiWiSET aims to comprehensively validate a newly developed higher education entry test for the study domain business and economics. To do so, two surveys (at the beginning of studies and after the first years of studies) are conducted with the following goals:

  1. Evaluation of the entry tests’ predictive abilities regarding study success for assessing economic competencies at the beginning of studies in relation to intelligence and university entrance qualifications.
  2. Analysis to determine whether subject-related competencies at the beginning of studies can be empirically differentiated from general cognitive abilities.
  3. Examination whether the test enables measurement-invariant assessment of economics-related competencies at the beginning of studies.


  1. Preparation and conduct of the questionnaire survey (winter term 2016/17, T1 N=3969, 41 higher education institutions).
  2. Data entry and plausibility analysis .
  3. Implementation of a feedback system for students and higher education institutions.
  4. Descriptive statistical analyses (IRT modelings and dimensional analyses).
  5. Measurement invariance analyses and group comparison analyses.
  6. Confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) and structural equation modeling (SEM) of economic competencies at the beginning of studies and general cognitive abilities.
  7. Preparation and conduct of a second survey with online questionnaires for assessing study success (or lack thereof).
  8. CFA modeling, SEM und MEM for analyzing the prognostic and incremental validity of the new entry test.
  9. Subsequent collection of non-responses.
  10. International comparative analyses.
  11. Transfer workshop.