Exploring the Incoming: a comparative academic achievement study of rpeparatory and reshman origin sophomore Students

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Addis Ababa Universty


The purpose of this study is to determine whether or not there exists a significant difference in academic performance between preparatory origin and freshman origin high and low achieving students who came together as regular second year students of the Addis Ababa University (AAU) in the year 2003/ 2004, as measured by a) academic achievement b) pass rate c) dismissal rate d) withdrawal rate and e) wastage rate with and without controlling secondary school performance. Each of these groups took different paths to the second year of the AAU: 423 preparatory origin students entered AAU second year after completing general secondary education and also completing the first year equivalent preparatory school courses, whereas 303 freshman origin students entered AAU second year after completing high school and a freshman year at the university. The study also aims to see whether or not there exists a statistically significant difference, in academic achievement, between (a) faculties (b) female and male students and c) different age groups. The study showed that, regardless of the path they tool< to enter the AAU second year, either through preparatory schools or through freshman year at AAU, students in the high achieving group performed equally well at the AAU in terms of: + First semester CPA + Second semester CPA + Cumulative CPA + Pass rate + Dismissal rate + Withdrawal rate, and + Wastage rate However, some differences ·were observed in academic performance between low achieving group of the preparatory origin and the freshman origin students. "Low achiever" freshman origin students out-performed H/ow achiever" preparatory origin students at AAU second year on the following performance measures at p<. 01 level: • First semester CPA (2.57 versus 2.77) • Second semester CPA (2.53 versus 2. 79) • Cumulative CPA (2.54 versus 2.23) • Pass rate (78.08% versus 63.33%) • Dismissal rate (8.22% versus 22.38%) • Wastage rate (73.69% versus 24.76%) In all the six faculties analyzed, no statistically significant difference was observed between academic achievement, as measured by CPA, of preparatory origin female students and freshman origin female students. Nevertheless, freshman origin female students performed higher (statistically significant), as a group, than preparatory origin female students in all the three measures In seven out of nine faculties, preparatory origin male students performed equally well as their freshman counter mates .In Faculties of Science and Pharmacy, freshman origin male students performed higher (s tatistically significant) than preparatory origin male students. After categorizing students into three age groups: group 7, less or equal to 7 7 years; group 2, between 78 and 79 years inclusive; and group 3, 20 years or above the two cohorts were compared. Only between age group 2 preparatory and freshman origin students, a statistically significant difference , in favor of freshman origin students, was observed.