Elite universities are to introduce their own admissions tests to spot top-flight candidates following controversial reforms after the London Schools of Economics and Warwick said they may use additional assessments to decide on applicants from this year.
It came as institutions are going against government reforms this summer by asking students to keep taking AS levels to gain an 'advantage' over rivals.
Education experts said even more Russell Group universities are expected to do the same in efforts to identify the best candidates for their yearly intake.
Previously universities have relied on AS levels, which are taken half way through an A-level qualification as an indicator of the final grades a student will get, and would offer places based on that.
But for the first time since the introduction of AS levels in 2000 universities are pressing ahead with an admissions revolution – introducing their own admissions examinations, interviews and extra tests to decide on candidates.
New reforms have meant that for the first time AS levels in key subjects do not count towards an A-level in a bid to make the qualification harder and many youngsters increasingly don’t see the need to take them.
The take up of AS levels went down 14 per cent this year compared to 2015.
Ahead of the drop Cambridge has already said it is introducing new written tests earlier this year following the reforms which mean a lack of AS-level results will make it harder for the institution to decide on offering a place.
Top universities need to collect as much information as possible when deciding on applicants. However, experts have warned that these new tests shouldn’t disadvantage pupils from underprivileged backgrounds.