The Reliability and Validity of the Grade Point Average as an Instrument for Selection to Higher Education (di Christina Wikström) - ABSTRACT: After an educational reform in the 1990s, all upper secondary programmes in Sweden, irrespective of their orientation, are to give students the basic requirements for higher education eligibility. The grade point average (GPA) is used for ranking students in the selection process. This study empirically investigates grading patterns in upper secondary schools. The purpose is to find out if some programmes are higher or lower grading than other programmes, and also if the course compositions of the various programmes affect the students’ GPA and hence their ranking. The analysis is based on data from all students graduating from Swedish upper secondary schools in 2002. The results show that students in vocationally oriented programmes are favoured, both by easy grading and by their program’s course composition, which affects their competitive strength in the process of selection to higher education.