After being in a slump in recent days after not getting a uni offer in the early round, and for the first time starting to worry that I won’t get an offer at all, today I received something to bolster my confidence – my ALSET score – 182 out of 200.

It doesn’t translate into 91%, as I had thought. I don’t know why it’s out of 200 and not 100. It had 70 multiple-choice questions, but that shouldn’t make a difference. To get an idea of what a score of 182 actually means, the information booklet says that a score of 155 is equivalent to a percentile rank of 70. That is, 155 is a higher score than 70% of the cumulative test-taking population over the last 10 years. But that doesn’t exactly tell me much, because I don’t know how much better (percentile-wise) 182 is over 155.

Another way to think about it is comparing with my fellow hopefuls. The group I took the test with had a mean score of 159, with a standard deviation of 10. So I was a bit over two standard deviations away from the average. If you look at a normal distribution (‘bell curve’), 95% of results are within two standard deviations.

All I can surmise is that I did well. Whether it’s enough, who knows?

I also got my certificate for doing the uni prep course (which I wasn’t expecting). It vaguely looks like a diploma, with thick beige paper and coat of arms, signed by the Vice-Chancellor, so I’m considering framing it :-) It came with my first academic transcript, which isn’t printed on paper at all, but water-marked polymer, very official. Final scores, after rounding down – 83 and 85. So now I feel a little better, but the doubt still lingers….

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