Can admissions data predict subsequent academic and clinical performance in a graduate-entry dental school?

Angela Pilley, Gillian Richardson, Karolin Hijazi, Jennifer Foley

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Aims: To assess the association between four components of the admission procedure as well as demographic characteristics and subsequent academic and clinical performance.

Materials and Methods: Ethical approval was granted from the College Ethics Research Board. Data from the admission procedure of successful candidates enrolled from 2008 to 2011 were reviewed along with their academic and clinical performance. Basic demographic data (gender, age) were also recorded for each student. Admission data were as follows: (1) a pre-admission academic score(PAS) based on the students previous qualification; (2) a score obtained at the UK Aptitude test (UKCAT); (3) the UCAS score assigned on the basis of personal statements indicating students interpersonal skills, practical skills, awareness of patient care aspects and ambitions and (4) the score obtained at multiple mini-interviews (MMI) assessing a wide range of skills. Continuous assessment and end of year examination scores were converted to the University Common Assessment Scale (CAS, 0–20). Data were analysed by multiple linear regression and Pearson correlation (IBMâSPSSâStatistics 19).

Results: Data were obtained for 75 students (F: 50; M: 25) with a median age of 26.0 (inter-quartile range 24.0, 29.0). A correlation between performance at MMI and CAS scores was identified (r=0.247, p=0.032, df=74); also between age and academic performance (r=0.447, p=0.002, df=74) where 85% of Year One students with CAS scores>15 were over 25 years. There were no significant correlations between gender PAC, UKCAT, UCAS and CAS scores.

Conclusions: This study suggests that candidate performance at MMI might be a stronger predictor of academic and clinical performance of graduate-entry dental students. Data collection is on-going to determine if a greater weighting should be applied to the MMI compared to the other three components of the selection process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70
Number of pages1
JournalEuropean Journal of Dental Education
Issue number2
Early online date11 Apr 2013
Publication statusPublished - May 2013
Event38th Annual Meeting of the Association for Dental Education in Europe: Evidence-based dentistry: from bench to clinic - Lyon, France
Duration: 29 Aug 20121 Sept 2012


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