Unexpected benefits of pre-university skills training for A-level students

H. L. Jones, E. H. Gaskell, J. R. Prendergast, A. D. Bavage

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First-year undergraduates can find the transition from the prescriptive learning environment at school to one of self-directed learning at university, a considerable challenge. A Pre-university Skills Course (PSC) was developed to address this issue by preparing sixth formers for the university learning style. It was piloted with students in the year prior to A-level examinations at a selective state-funded school in East Anglia. The present paper examines the effect of the course on the students’ A-level tariff. Chi-squared analysis of A-level grades of students with comparable GCSE results, indicate that students who undertook the PSC performed significantly better in their A-level results than those who did not. These data demonstrate how skills training might improve A-level performance and assist in the transition to university.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-70
Number of pages4
JournalEducational Studies
Issue number1
Early online date18 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Transition
  • A-level
  • Skills
  • Pre-university
  • University

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