The question about the predictability of a successful course of study is extremely important for you as a student. Of course, you would like to know to what extent your personal skills and resources are sufficient to successfully complete the studies of your choice. This question also receives a lot of attention from the universities, as access to the various study programmes is sometimes limited, for example, due to full capacities and the increasing number of applicants at the same time.
Universities and students alike are interested in a process of admission to the respective degree programmes that is as fair as possible and valid in terms of academic success. Of course, the question of the ability to study is of interest here. The Abitur grade as the only admission criterion is becoming more and more criticised and is losing importance. Alternatives are, for example, general or subject-specific tests of study ability, selection interviews, relevant vocational qualifications or weighted individual grades of the Abitur according to the respective subjects.
It is true, however, that the grade of the university entrance qualification has the best predictive power with regard to the successful completion of a course of study in comparison to other selection instruments. (Hell, 2008) Selection discussions or interviews, for example, usually have a subjective character and are therefore less suitable for making statements about the probable success of a course of study. Tests for the ability to study have a similarly good prognostic power as the Abitur grade. However, the quality of predictability varies from subject to subject. The predictive power is particularly good for economics or natural sciences, for example, but less good for law. (cf. Hell, 2008) But why is the school leaving grade so meaningful?
Validity of the Abitur mark
The Abitur grade is the result of a long-standing, organised and broadly based learning process. It not only represents the accumulated knowledge of a person at school, but also a whole range of personal qualities and abilities such as diligence, willingness to learn or motivation to perform, which are represented by it. Furthermore, the Abitur grade is not a single measurement that can be influenced by various factors such as the daily form, but rather the aggregation of numerous individual measurements taken by several assessors over several years in several examination modalities, oral as well as written. Furthermore, despite all the differences between school and university, their requirements are quite similar. The argument that school grades specific to (federal) states are not valid admission instruments due to their comparability is considered invalid. Moreover, the German Abitur grades are particularly meaningful in a European comparison. (cf. Hell, 2008)
However, it is also the case that the combination of different selection instruments is better than using just one. In particular, the combination of the Abitur grade and the test of ability to study seems relatively valid. However, a good Abitur is no guarantee that you will master your studies effortlessly. However, if you trust in your abilities and are able to use them purposefully for yourself, you will also achieve your goals in the long term. There are personal qualities and abilities which are particularly important and whose knowledge is not insignificant.