Cookies

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.


Durham Research Online
You are in:

Predictive validity of the UKCAT for medical school undergraduate performance : a national prospective cohort study.

Tiffin, P. A. and Mwandigha, L. M. and Paton, L. W. and Hesselgreaves, H. and McLachlan, J. C. and Finn, G. M. and Kasim, A.S. (2016) 'Predictive validity of the UKCAT for medical school undergraduate performance : a national prospective cohort study.', BMC medicine., 14 (1). p. 140.

Abstract

Background: The UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) has been shown to have a modest but statistically significant ability to predict aspects of academic performance throughout medical school. Previously, this ability has been shown to be incremental to conventional measures of educational performance for the first year of medical school. This study evaluates whether this predictive ability extends throughout the whole of undergraduate medical study and explores the potential impact of using the test as a selection screening tool. Methods: This was an observational prospective study, linking UKCAT scores, prior educational attainment and sociodemographic variables with subsequent academic outcomes during the 5 years of UK medical undergraduate training. The participants were 6812 entrants to UK medical schools in 2007–8 using the UKCAT. The main outcome was academic performance at each year of medical school. A receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was also conducted, treating the UKCAT as a screening test for a negative academic outcome (failing at least 1 year at first attempt). Results: All four of the UKCAT scale scores significantly predicted performance in theory- and skills-based exams. After adjustment for prior educational achievement, the UKCAT scale scores remained significantly predictive for most years. Findings from the ROC analysis suggested that, if used as a sole screening test, with the mean applicant UKCAT score as the cut-off, the test could be used to reject candidates at high risk of failing at least 1 year at first attempt. However, the ‘number needed to reject’ value would be high (at 1.18), with roughly one candidate who would have been likely to pass all years at first sitting being rejected for every higher risk candidate potentially declined entry on this basis. Conclusions: The UKCAT scores demonstrate a statistically significant but modest degree of incremental predictive validity throughout undergraduate training. Whilst the UKCAT could be considered a fairly crude screening tool for future academic performance, it may offer added value when used in conjunction with other selection measures. Future work should focus on the optimum role of such tests within the selection process and the prediction of post-graduate performance.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
First Live Deposit - 22 June 2017
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution.
Download PDF
(1833Kb)
Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1186/s12916-016-0682-7
Publisher statement:© 2016 The Author(s). Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Record Created:22 Jun 2017 10:28
Last Modified:11 Jul 2017 10:07

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitterExport: EndNote, Zotero | BibTex
Look up in GoogleScholar | Find in a UK Library