ABC School was concerned about the learners’ school performance in their Matric examination. Although the school hada 100% pass rate, the final symbols tendedto be in the lower range (below a C grade).



168 learners from grade 8 to 11 aged between 11 years to 19 years took part in this investigation. JvR administered the Ravens Standard Progressive Matrices (SPM) to the pupils.The Ravens SPMis a non-verbal test that measuresthe ability to make sense of complex situations, create meaning out of ambiguity or confusion, and perceive and think clearly. The Ravens SPM assessment was untimedso pupils worked at their own pace. An analysis was conducted in order to determine whether the Ravens SPM predictsacademic success.



On the whole, the cognitive ability of the learners at ABC School as measured by the Ravens SPM was acceptable, with results indicatingthat the Ravens SPM is able to clearly distinguish the learners in terms of those who may have problems dealing with some of their class work and those who would be able to handletheir academic work with relative ease. The results also indicated that the Ravens SPM is not only able to predict academic success in various subjects as shown in the table below, but that it is also an effective predictorof overall academic success.



Although the results indicated that the Ravens SPM successfully predictsoverall academic success for students, it did not predict academic success for some of the academic subjects. This is because subjects tend to be largely language-based. Therefore, in order to accurately predict academic success, cognitive assessments such as the Ravens SPM should also be used in conjunction with a language-based assessment, for example, an English literacy assessment.


Subject Ravens
Physical Science
Art and Culture
Economic and Management
Life Orientation
Technical Drawing  
Overall Academic success