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Statistics for Norskprøve 2 and 3

If you are about to take a Norwegian test, these statistics probably don't have much predictive value.
Still, they do tell a lot about the profile of those who pass the test and those who don't.

If you are new to statistics in Social Statistics, they are very often flawed with confounding variables.
There is very little cause and effect in the statistics below, collected from the VOX database.
For example, test takers do worse the longer they have been in Norway. Naturally the Norwegian skills don't deterioate after staying in Norway.
Perhaps the group who only has stayed for a short time has disproportionately students who arrived to Norway with the purpose of taking the test.
Another possibility, which I happen to believe, is that studying a language more intense for a short time is more beneficial than studying even more but more sporadic. However, we can not conclude that from the data alone.

With the above mentioned difficulties to conclude from the datas, there are some clear predictors.
The strongest predictor is native language. There are only about 100 people for each of the tests from USA, Canada and Australia each year.
Their results is that well above 80% pass both Norskprøve 2 and 3 for each of the years 2009, 2010 and 2011.
The next group that does very well is people from Europe where the pass rate is in the mid 70s

Total pass rate is in the low 60s for Norskprøve 2 and mid 50s for Norskprøve 3.
What is seen in those numbers are the changes when we include the persons from Asia and Africa.
Pass rate for these groups are mid 50% for Norskprøve 2 and around 40% for Norskprøve 3
In other words, not only is there big difference in performance, but there is also a significant drop off from Norskprøve 2 to 3, where the latter test is more difficult for these groups.

Second best predictor is time in Norway. Actually, the shorter the time you have been in Norway the better one does on the test. The group performing the best are students who have been less than one year in Norway. All the way down to 40% for Norskprøve 3 for test takers who have been longer than 5 years in Norway.

Weaker predictors are that Women do somewhat better than men. People with higher education do better than people with lower education, but this is a very week predictor.

As mentioned before, it is not easy to conclude "why" results are what they are. However, it is reasonable to assume that 1) People from English speaking countries do better than other because there are close similarities between the languages and 2) Those who take the test after only being a short time in Norway are "intense students" of the language. It is my firm belief that it is much better to study the language for 250 hours in one year period than 500 hours spread over 5 years.

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