Making online math admission exams more accessible

At OMPT, we aim to make the admission process fair and accessible for every applicant. We want to ensure that all students, regardless of their background, abilities, learning needs, and other variables, have equal opportunities to apply to their chosen institutions by simplifying the admission process and removing obstacles.

Our expertise in designing STEM educational and assessment materials has taught us how diverse students and their needs are. We know every applicant’s journey is different, and we design our products keeping these differences in mind.

These accessibility initiatives help universities to have access to a wider potential pool of candidates and give them fair chances to showcase their potential. We strive to contribute to the collective responsibility of ensuring inclusion in higher education.

This blog post communicates the accessibility efforts we are making to deliver an inclusive online math admission test.

How do we improve accessibility in our math admission test?

Giving opportunities anywhere and anytime throughout the year

Traditional admission processes include alternatives like traveling to overseas campuses and doing final exams at a test center. Since students can take our math admission test at any moment and location, this solution is cheaper, more sustainable, and reduces economic barriers.

OMPT welcomes early birds, night owls, people balancing different jobs with their studies… We offer our applicants the flexibility they need. Likewise, this online math exam enables students with reduced mobility to take their tests in an obstacle-free environment.

Bringing gaps between international curriculums

Defining whether an international applicant meets the required mathematics level is complicated when admission offices can’t recognize foreign diplomas or certificates.

Therefore, we provide institutions with an online math entry test that exclusively assesses students’ math proficiency regardless of their nationality or previous qualifications.

Our admission tool prevents time-consuming verifications and biases and helps students avoid taking resource-intensive options like foundation years while facilitating the admission process for both parties.

Helping students cope with their anxiety

We know that math is a particularly scary topic for a large number of students. Math anxiety is a common problem that causes students distress and hinders their personal and professional development. On top of that, the admission process can be a source of anxiety for many learners.

To help students who experience math anxiety, our educational experts have designed features like personalized automated feedback in our practice materials.

This functionality encourages students, boosts their confidence, and helps them progress in a safe and supportive environment. Feedback motivates students to keep trying, allows them to cope with this situation, and prepares them for their math admission exam.

Adapting our math admission exam for students who need it

Mathematics can be especially hard for students with dyscalculia, dyslexia, ADHD, and other learning difficulties. We make exceptions for students who need them, like giving extra time to complete the test. Although we need documents that prove these conditions, we do our best to ease these procedures.

Providing more options with our in-person math admission exam

Although OMPT is an online admission test for mathematics, we want to support a more comprehensive number of students by increasing our options. We have made it possible to do this exam in in-person testing centers in the Netherlands. Since not everybody can access a quiet and safe place with a good Internet connection, our in-person testing locations allow applicants to take their admission tests in suitable conditions.

Ensuring our communications are easy to understand and inclusive

Our accessibility steps are not limited to our products and services. We also try to ensure our communications and marketing materials are inclusive. We aim to make information about OMPT readily available and understandable and use diverse representations of people in our marketing materials. Besides, we avoid gendered and ableist language and stereotypes in our communications and educational resources.

Work in progress: Designing a math admission exam for everyone

Our approach towards accessibility is a work in progress, and we rethink together how to improve every applicant’s experience on an ongoing basis. For example, recently, we implemented a text-to-speech feature in the practice materials, and now we are working on enhancing our functionalities for people who are color-blind.

We keep listening to our users, educating ourselves about mathematics learning and accessibility, re-evaluating our products and processes, and developing new user-friendly accessible features. We will keep updating you about our progress!

We welcome any feedback from our colleagues, students, and institutional partners. If you want to share any suggestions, please, let us know.

Are you interested in providing applicants with a safe and easy check of their math competency? Do you need accommodations to take our online math admission exam? Contact us.

To know more about how to make recruitment and admissions more accessible, we also recommend this checklist by DO-IT (University of Washington).

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