TM-BASE

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Questions & Answers

Frequently asked questions and our answers


About the TM-BASE
Why is this test necessary at all?

The bachelor grades of certain universities are incomparable as the requirements of the universities and their use of the grading scales are different. Thus, additional selection criteria should be applied to not disadvantage applicants from high-demanding universities or universities with strict grading practices. Here, cognitive tests proved to be most successful; this was shown by means of several surveys in different countries. Execution and evaluation of such tests is economical; they are objective and deliver a very good forecast on the academic success. Correspondingly, they are significantly superior to other selection criteria such as interviews, letters of recommendation or letters of motivation.

Which universities consider the results of the TM-BASE?

Currently, the TM-BASE is used for the following programmes:

To what extent is my test result considered for admission?

The test result is set off against your bachelor grade and further criteria, if applicable. This offers two benefits: on the one hand, measurements with ranges that are only partially overlapping will be considered (i.e. different aspects of suitability are expressed); and on the other hand, differences in the bachelor degrees or in the interpretation of the grading scale (some universities are extremely demanding and their grading is very strict; other universities are less strict) can be offset partially. Some universities set the TM-BASE off against the bachelor grade, some universities assigns bonus points depending on the test result. Regarding details on the admission procedure, please contact the corresponding departments.

When does the TM-BASE take place?

You can find all test dates here. You may only attend the test once per calendar year. There will be a test in the morning (8.15 am to approx. 1.00 pm, including registration) and a test in the afternoon (1.45 pm to approx. 6.30 pm, including registration).

Where does the TM-BASE take place?

You can find all test locations here. Your invitation letter will state the place where your test centre is located. Earlier information is not possible as the allocation of the test centres is only made after the end of the registration period.

How often may I attend the TM-BASE?

You may attend the TM-BASE several times; however, maximum attendance per year is once. If you already took the TM-BASE before, this will be noted on your certificate. If you want to know which TM-BASE result will be used by your selected university, please contact this university by yourself.

If I take the test again, which result will be used by my selected university?

This decision lies with the corresponding university. Usually, the most recent test result will be used.

Does the test always remain the same?

No, the exercises of the test are continuously changed and replaced by new and proven exercises. However, the basic structure of the test will not change over the years.

Why does the test cost 100 Euros?

The development of a test procedure that meets the high quality standards is very elaborate. The first development of the TM-BASE has been fully funded by the University of Hamburg. Furthermore, new exercises are continuously developed, tested and changed. Organisation and execution also generate costs. The variable costs include value added tax, credit card fees, costs for the online payment system, costs for the online test system, costs for the test rooms, the computer work desks, the test supervisors, the supervising personnel as well as for printing and transport of the test documents. Fixed costs include above all the personnel costs - development of new exercises, evaluation, organisation, quality assurance, our hotline etc. The universities are co-funding the procedure so that the participation fee will not exceed 100 Euros. For comparison: despite a significantly higher number of participants, the gross price of the competing U.S. product (approx. 300 Dollar) is more than twice as high.

What language should I take the test in?

The TM-BASE is designed to test cognitive abilities – not language skills – and is accordingly no substitute for a language test such as the TOEFL or TestDaF. We advise you to take the test in the language you feel more confident in. We advise the universities to accept TM-BASE results independently of which language the test has been taken in. Nevertheless, we recommend that you check with the university to which you plan to apply as to which language version(s) it accepts.

Important: For the CEMS Master's in International Management (University of Cologne) and the WHU's Master of Science Programmes you need to take the test in English.

Registering for the TM-BASE
How can I register for the TM-BASE?

The online registration portal will guide you through your registration for the TM-BASE. You must enter your personal data and your e-mail address. Subsequently, you will receive an e-mail with further information on the activation process. Now, you can preliminarily book a test city, a test date and a test period (morning or afternoon). The participation fee of 100 Euros is to be paid by means of direct debit, Mastercard or Visa. Your booking will only become binding after successful payment. If the payment is not made within 24 hours, your preliminary booking will be deleted. The exact information on the test location (address of the test centre) will only be provided on your invitation letter as from the Monday before the test.

Do you forward my personal data to third parties?

No, your data will not be forwarded to third parties. Your data can only be accessed by the project staff of ITB Consulting GmbH and the technical service providers. The staff members at the test centres will only receive the data that are required for identification. We committed all service providers to protect all personal data. If you agree at the time of registration, we will forward your results to the corresponding universities.

How can I pay?

Payment is possible by means of direct debit or credit card (MasterCard, Visa). If you want to pay by credit card, it will not be necessary that you are the holder of the credit card.

I have problems with payment. Who may I contact?

Our support team is available at tm-wiso@itb-consulting.de. Furthermore, you may contact our hotline (+49 228 93597110) during the registration period.

May I change the test date, the test place and/or test language after registering?

Yes, but only during the registration period for the corresponding date(s) and only in case the required test capacities are still available. Furthermore, the change is subject to a fee of 30 Euros.

I cannot attend the TM-BASE in Germany on any regular date; is there any possibility to attend the test?

In individual cases we can try to organise test execution abroad via our cooperation partners if you provide proof that you have no possibility to attend the test in Germany on any regular date. Here you can find all information about the application to take the test outside Germany. Please contact us as soon as possible, because the search for a test centre and the corresponding preparation may take several weeks. We cannot take account of any request that we receive after 28 February. There will be no general entitlement on test execution abroad, but we will do our best to find an acceptable solution in any single case. Up to now, we found test locations in Accra, Bangalore, Barcelona, Bradford, Bogotá, Graz, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Lille, London, Mexico City, Moscow, New York, Saint Petersburg, Sofia, Sydney and Vienna.

Prior to the test date
How should I prepare myself?

By using the online demo test. This website also includes helpful information on processing of the test. By using the TM-BASE, we try to identify cognitive abilities that are the product of a long history of learning and that cannot or only slightly be influenced on the short term. We think that the success with the application at the university should not depend on the money and time invested in expensive preparation courses. That is why we use exercise concepts that are demonstrably hard to train. However, comprehensive preparation on the basis of the demo test should still be made in order to familiarise yourself with the requirements. Preparation courses are not available (yet) as far as we know.

How do I receive my invitation letter?

Your invitation letter will be available for downloading in the registration system on the Monday before the test date. The invitation letter must be brought along to the test and includes the place where your test will be performed. Unfortunately, we are not able to inform you on the exact test location in advance as the allocation of the test centres is only made after the end of the registration period (in order to ensure optimal utilisation of the test centres).

When I try to retrieve my invitation on the registration portal, I receive an error message. Who can I contact about this problem?

To view or download the document you need Adobe Acrobat Reader which can be downloaded for free from the Adobe site. You can find the latest version here.

In case you are still unable to retrieve the desired document, please contact our support service at tm-wiso@itb-consulting.de or ring us up during our hotline hours (+49 228 93597110).

What will happen if I fall ill shortly before the test?

If you send a medical certificate to ITB Consulting GmbH (receipt at ITB Consulting one week after your test date, at the latest), you will be enabled to attend a later test. There will incur an additional fee of 30 Euros to cover the expenses for the test room, the supervisory staff and the IT support.

What do I do if I am impaired because of a handicap?

If you are afraid of being impaired during the test on account of a handicap, please contact us. We will try to find an adequate solution for you. Please contact us in due time. Requests we receive after the registration period for the respective test date expired can no longer be considered.

At the test date
What is the schedule of the test?

The test, including registration and admittance, will take approx. 5 hours. The time period for the test in the morning is 8.15 am to 1.00 pm; the time period for the test in the afternoon is 1.45 pm to 6.30 pm. Registration will be in the entrance area of the test centre (please bring along the invitation letter as well as a valid official photo identification!). Here, you will receive a stamp on the back of your hand as well as information on your test room. The log-in data for the online test as well as the concept paper will be handed out in the test room. Then, the test supervisor will provide further information on the procedure of the test. Here you can find detailed information about the test execution.

Which items are allowed to be taken into the test room?

Pens, wallet, food and drinks as well as medications, if needed. You  should always have your invitation letter and your photo identification available so that the test supervisors may check your identity. Auxiliary means such as books, dictionaries, notepaper (will be provided) or calculators as well as jackets, bags, mobile phones, cameras, watches or similar items will not be allowed.

Where can I deposit the items that I am not allowed to take into the test room?

Some test centres provide wardrobes; some other test centres provide an area within the test room for storage of your belongings.

May I go to the toilet during the test?

Yes. However, if you go to the toilet during the processing time of a group of exercises, this lost time cannot be added at the end. You may take a short break (max. 5 minutes) between the groups of exercises.

Are there negative points for wrong answers?

No! In case of doubt, you should guess instead of not placing any marking at all!

After the test date
How is the test evaluated?

First, the number of weighted and correctly solved exercises is determined for each group of exercises (score), with each correct answer giving one point. Wrong answers and non-processed exercises are not considered. In the next step, the score achieved by the test participant is converted into a scale with the mean value 100 and a standard deviation of 10 (standard value). The standard values of approx. 34 percent of all test participants are between 100 and 110; the same number applies to the standard values between 90 and 100. The percentage rank states the percentage of participants that achieved a lower or identical result. With a percentage rank between 30 and 70 the test result is classified as being an average result. These evaluation rules also apply to the total test.

The standard value of the total test is denominated as test value. Furthermore, a percentage rank is also stated for the test value. The result for the total test cannot be calculated from the results of the groups of exercises. Here you can find detailed information about the evaluation of the test.

How does ITB ensure that the test results of the different dates are comparable?

Despite different exercises and differing groups of participants, the results can be made comparable by means of statistical procedures. Test-method details can be researched with the keywords "item-response theory" and "anchoring".

How is the grade equivalent created?

The grade equivalent is a linear transformation of the test result into a grade scale. Mean value and standard deviation have been defined once and are based on the bachelor grades of high-demanding universities with strict interpretation of the grade scale. That is why the grade equivalent is rather strict; there is only a very low number of participants achieving a grade equivalent better than 1.5. The worst possible grade equivalent is 4.0.

I achieved a below-average result. Am I unsuitable for a master’s course?

No! The TM-BASE measures the abilities that are important for dealing with the cognitive requirements of a master’s course. In case of a good result, the probability of successfully coping with these requirements is higher as compared to a poorer result. There is no threshold for denying your ability of taking a master’s course. Furthermore, besides the cognitive abilities also many other factors not included or only partially included in this test are important for successful completion of the master’s course (e.g. interest, motivation, stamina for several months and years, social integration, handling of failures etc.). Correspondingly, do not get discouraged by a below-average test result. This only represents probability; in the individual case, the situation might be different.

When I try to retrieve my test result on the registration portal, I receive an error message. Who can I contact about this problem?

To view or download the document you need Adobe Acrobat Reader which can be downloaded for free from the Adobe site. You can find the latest version here.

In case you are still unable to retrieve the desired document, please contact our support service at tm-wiso@itb-consulting.de or ring us up during our hotline hours (+49 228 93597110).

Who will get my test result?

We will forward a file with the results of the participants who agreed to this procedure at the time of registration to one or several TM-BASE universities. Furthermore, after the test date you can download a comprehensive PDF test report (here you can find the respective dates).

What will happen if I do not agree to forwarding of my test results?

If you do not agree to forwarding to the university/universities, you will be responsible by yourself to ensure that the results are sent to the university/universities in due time. The dates for the test reports are coordinated with the universities so that the results will still be accepted if you send the results by yourself. For details and/or the exact deadlines, please contact the corresponding universities.

How long is my test result accessible?

You can retrieve your result in the four weeks after the results have been made available in your user account. If you would like to have the report of your result at a later time, you can request a duplicate here for 9 euros.

How long is my test result valid?

This decision lies with the corresponding university; usually, the certificates should be accepted for several years. Please inform yourself at the corresponding university.

If I take the test again, which result will be used by my selected university?

This decision lies with the corresponding university. Usually, the most recent test result will be used.

I lost my test certificate. How can I get a copy?

You may request a copy here. This will be subject to a fee of 9 Euros.

News

The next test date is in October.
Dates, deadlines and test locations are stated here.


As of the winter semester 2016/2017 the WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management considers the results of TM-BASE for its Master of Science Programmes.

Important: If you want to apply for these programmes you need to take the TM-BASE in English.


The prognostic power of TM-BASE has been proven in a scientific study with 247 master’s graduates. The test result predicts the final grade very well: The correlation between the test result and the final grade is r = .44.

Registering for the TM-BASE Demo test Dates & Fees
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