Lack of basic understanding heralds age of unreason

and numerical reasoning skills among the young are in decline despite the
record numbers of A-level passes.

released today by psychometric assessment specialist SHL, shows that, despite
more children gaining top grades at A-Level and going on to university, the
average scores on tests designed to assess the ability of candidates to deal
with verbal and numerical information has declined.

data has been gathered from more than 20,000 applicants for managerial and
graduate jobs over the past eight years.

Bateson, chief executive officer at SHL Group, said: "Whatever your views
on the comparative difficulty of A-Levels, our research shows that among those
applying for typical graduate jobs the standard of numerical and verbal
reasoning is declining.

more and more job applicants having virtually identical academic records,
including high-grade A-levels and 2.1 degree passes, employers are finding it
very difficult to spot the real high achievers who will add value to their
organisations," he said.

morning, CBI director general Digby Jones said there were too many young people
who cannot read or write and do not understand the business world they are
about to go into.

is where the education system is really letting down young people,” Jones said.

By Quentin Reade

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