Predictive power of UKCAT and other pre-admission measures for performance in a medical school in Glasgow: a cohort study

Sartania, N., McClure, J. D. , Sweeting, H. and Browitt, A. (2014) Predictive power of UKCAT and other pre-admission measures for performance in a medical school in Glasgow: a cohort study. BMC Medical Education, 14(1), p. 116. (doi: 10.1186/1472-6920-14-116)

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<b>Background</b><p></p> The UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) and its four subtests are currently used by 26 Medical and Dental Schools in the UK for admissions. This longitudinal study examines the predictive validity of UKCAT for final performance in the undergraduate medical degree programme at one Medical School and compares this with the predictive validity of the selection measures available pre-UKCAT.<p></p> <b>Methods</b><p></p> This was a retrospective observational study of one cohort of students, admitted to Glasgow Medical School in 2007. We examined the associations which UKCAT scores, school science grades and pre-admissions interview scores had with performance indicators, particularly final composite scores that determine students' postgraduate training opportunities and overall ranking (Educational Performance Measure - EPM, and Honours and Commendation - H&C). Analyses were conducted both with and without adjustment for potential socio-demographic confounders (gender, age, ethnicity and area deprivation).<p></p> <b>Results</b><p></p> Despite its predictive value declining as students progress through the course, UKCAT was strongly associated with the final composite scores. In mutually adjusted analyses (also adjusted for socio-demographic confounders), only UKCAT total showed independent relationships with both EPM (p = 0.005) and H&C (p = 0.004). School science achievements predicted EPM (p = 0.009); pre-admissions interview score predicted neither. UKCAT showed less socio-demographic variation than did TSS.<p></p> <b>Conclusion</b><p></p> UKCAT has a modest predictive power for overall course performance at the University of Glasgow Medical School over and above that of school science achievements or pre-admission interview score and we conclude that UKCAT is the most useful predictor of final ranking.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Browitt, Ms Alison and Sartania, Dr Nana and McClure, Dr John and Sweeting, Dr Helen
Authors: Sartania, N., McClure, J. D., Sweeting, H., and Browitt, A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
Journal Name:BMC Medical Education
Publisher:BioMed Central
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 The Authors
First Published:First published in BMC Medical Education 14(1):116
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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