Main outcome measures: Proportion of academic performance during the medical program explained by selection criteria, and correlation between selection criteria and performance. Selection criteria were grade point average (GPA), GAMSAT (Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test) score, and interview score. Academic performance was defined as overall total in all examinations combined, in first and fourth year examinations, and in individual written, ethics and clinical components.
Results: Selection criteria explained 21.9% of variation in overall total score, falling from 28.2% in Year 1 to 17.7% in Year 4. This was highest for the written examination in Year 1 (30.5%) and lowest for the clinical examination in Year 4 (10.9%). GPA was most strongly correlated with academic performance (eg, for overall score, partial Spearman’s correlation coefficient [pSCC], 0.47; P < 0.001), followed by interviews (pSCC, 0.12; P = 0.004) and GAMSAT (pSCC, 0.07; P = 0.08). The association between GPA and performance waned from Year 1 to Year 4, while the association between interview score and performance increased from Year 1 to Year 4.
Conclusion: The school’s selection criteria only modestly predict academic performance. GPA is most strongly associated with performance, followed by interview score and GAMSAT score. The school has changed its selection process as a result.
- 1. Australian Council for Educational Research. GAMSAT Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test information booklet 2008. Melbourne: ACER, 2007. http://www.gamsat.acer.edu.au/images/infobook/GAMSAT_InfoBook.pdf (accessed Jan 2008).
- 2. Parry J, Mathers J, Stevens A, et al. Admissions processes for five year medical courses at English schools: review. BMJ 2006; 332: 1005-1009.
- 3. Ferguson E, James D, Madeley L. Factors associated with success in medical school: systematic review of the literature. BMJ 2002; 324: 952-957.
- 4. Julian ER. Validity of the Medical College Admission Test for predicting medical school performance. Acad Med 2005; 80: 910-917.
- 5. Goho J, Blackman A. The effectiveness of academic admission interviews: an exploratory meta-analysis. Med Teach 2006; 28: 335-340.
- 6. Kreiter CD, Yin P, Solow C, Brennan RL. Investigating the reliability of the medical school admissions interview. Adv Health Sci Educ Theory Pract 2004; 9: 147-159.
- 7. Norman G. The morality of medical school admissions. Adv Health Sci Educ Theory Pract 2004; 9: 79-82.
- 8. Eva KW, Reiter HI. Where judgement fails: pitfalls in the selection process for medical personnel. Adv Health Sci Educ Theory Pract 2004; 9: 161-174.
- 9. Powis DA. Selecting medical students. Med Educ 2003; 37: 1064-1065.
- 10. Harris S, Owen C. Discerning quality: using the multiple mini-interview in student selection for the Australian National University Medical School. Med Educ 2007; 41: 234-241.
Publication of your online response is subject to the Medical Journal of Australia's editorial discretion. You will be notified by email within five working days should your response be accepted.