The predictive power of track recommendations in Dutch secondary education

M. A. Dijks*, M. J. Warrens, E. Fleur, H. Korpershoek, I. J. M. Wichgers, R. J. Bosker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
375 Downloads (Pure)


In the transition from Dutch primary to secondary education, two indicators are used to place students in the right track: primary school teachers' track recommendations (TTR) and standardized achievement tests (SATs) at the end of primary school. Which indicator is better for placing students is a long-standing issue among educational researchers and professionals. Since 2015, the SAT is administered after the TTR has been given; previously, SAT was administered first. In the current study, it was investigated to what extent TTR and a commonly used SAT predict students' educational attainment after three years of secondary education for multiple cohorts before and after 2015. The results were compared for educational tracks and for different socio-economic status (SES) groups, using multiple samples approaching population data. For all educational tracks and SES groups the results show that TTR is a better predictor of educational attainment than SAT. Furthermore, large differential effects for SES were found. The change of administrative sequence in 2015 had no effect on the overall predictive accuracy: TTR remained the better predictor. The results give new insights into the predictive value of both TTR and SAT before and after the change in administration sequence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-280
Number of pages18
JournalPedagogische studien
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • transition
  • track recommendations
  • standardized achievement tests
  • primary school
  • secondary school

Cite this