To determine the reading level of third-professional year doctor of pharmacy students and whether a significant correlation existed between Nelson-Denny Reading Test (NDRT) grade equivalence scores and the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) percentile scores, and to determine the reading level of selected course materials.
The NDRT was administered to third-professional year (P3) pharmacy students. Scores from the NDRT were compared to the percentile rankings of the students' PCAT scores to determine whether significant correlations existed. Chapters from a pharmacy textbook and published medical guidelines were assessed using the Gunning FOG readability formula.
Based upon the NDRT, the average reading grade level for pharmacy students was 16.5 years. There was a strong correlation between the vocabulary scores from the NDRT and the PCAT verbal percentile (ρ = 0.776, p < 0.001). The average readability grade level of the materials assessed was 18.0 years for the textbook and 19.2 years for the medical guidelines.
The verbal PCAT percentiles strongly correlate with the vocabulary grade equivalence scores on the NDRT. A moderate correlation was found between the composite PCAT percentiles and NDRT total grade equivalence scores. There was also a disparity between the average reading level of the students and that of the reading samples that were assessed.
Keywords: reading ability, Nelson-Denny Reading Test, admissions