International Journal of Art & Design Education

Predicting Performance in Art College: How Useful are the Entry Portfolio and Other Variables in Explaining Variance in First Year Marks?

Volume 28.1   2009



This article examines if and to what extent a set of pre-enrolment variables and background characteristics predict first year performance in art college. The article comes from a four-year longitudinal study that followed a cohort of tertiary art entrants in Ireland from their time of entry in 2002 to their time of exit in 2006 (or before, for those who failed or dropped out). Using descriptive and inferential statistics, the article shows that portfolio score at entry and school leaving examination results predict performance in first year. The predictive validity of both measures, however, was not particularly strong. Combined, portfolio score at entry and school leaving examination only accounted for 15.5 per cent of variance in first year marks, leaving a large percentage of variance unexplained.