Colorado College is piloting a scheme which gives school-
leavers with lower-than-average exam scores a second chance with a model making test which measures initiative, teamwork and leadership qualities.
Groups of students are given 10 minutes to examine a model of a robot and then are asked to recreate it from memory.
Thetest is one of a series of activities, including public speaking, interviews and conflict resolution exercises which are being tried out as an alternative admissions system for 100 students at nine colleges across the United States.
"These activities put more emphasis on hard-to-measure characteristics and less on standardised tests that have been a stumbling block for disadvantaged and minority students," said the college's admissions dean Terry Swenson.