Does deviating from the standard affect the results on a language test?

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In 2018, Radboud University (RU) adapted its language policy to ensure that all students have sufficient language knowledge to follow their chosen Bachelor’s degree. Currently, first-year students of the Faculty of Arts have to take a Dutch language test. Crucially, this group of students is not homogeneous, as at least two distinct groups can be formed. On the one hand, there are students that fit the generic template of being a Dutch native student, coming from a Dutch pre-university education without physical or mental limitations. On the other hand, some students who do not fit this template. The fact that these two groups can be formed requires an extensive assessment of the test and its results. This study focuses on whether belonging to a certain group of students has consequences for the grade on the compulsory language test at RU. Results show that both tests used seem to have a negative influence on the grades belonging to students from the non-standard group. It turns out these students experience a negative effect on active language items of the test and are less likely to get a high grade. Some suggestions for handling this issue and for further research are made.
Faculteit der Letteren