From specific subject matters at upper secondary school to university subject matters: Does studying a university subject matter that is related to a former specific subject matter result in higher academic success?
Upper secondary schools in Switzerland deliver teaching in so called “specific subject matters”, with the aim of providing an in-depth preparation for related university subject matters. Based on a sample of 1100 students from the German-speaking part of Switzerland, this study examines whether completing a related specific subject matter at the upper secondary school affects academic success. The results show that university students who study a subject matter that is related to their former specific subject matter do not perform better than those with a subject matter that is unrelated to their specific subject matter. The findings are discussed in view of the objective of the upper secondary school, which is to provide general abilities for further academic studies.