Search tips
Search criteria

Results 1-25 (451736)

Clipboard (0)

Related Articles

1.  Association of the pre-internship objective structured clinical examination in final year medical students with comprehensive written examinations 
Medical Education Online  2012;17:10.3402/meo.v17i0.15958.
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the association of the pre-internship Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) in final year medical students with comprehensive written examinations.
Subjects and material
All medical students of October 2004 admission who took part in the October 2010 National Comprehensive Pre-internship Examination (NCPE) and pre-internship OSCE were included in the study (n=130). OSCE and NCPE scores and medical grade point average (GPA) were collected.
GPA was highly correlated with NCPE (r=0.76 and P<0.001) and moderately with OSCE (r=0.68 and P<0.001). Similarly a moderate correlation was observed between NCPE and OSCE scores(r=0.6 and P<0.001).Linear stepwise regression shows r 2 of a model applying GPA as predictor of OSCE score is 0.46 (β=0.68 and P<0.001), while addition of gender to the model increases r 2 to 0.59 (β=0.61 and 0.36, for GPA and male gender, respectively and P<0.001). Logistic forward regression models shows male gender and GPA are the only dependent predictors of high score in OSCE. OR of GPA and male gender for high OSCE score are 4.89 (95% CI=2.37–10.06) and 6.95 (95% CI=2.00–24.21), respectively (P<0.001).
Our findings indicate OSCE and examination which mainly evaluate knowledge, judged by GPA and NCPE are moderately to highly correlated. Our results illustrate the interwoven nature of knowledge and clinical skills. In other words, certain level of knowledge is crucial for appropriate clinical performance. Our findings suggest neither OSCE nor written forms of assessments can replace each other. They are complimentary and should also be combined by other evaluations to cover all attributes of clinical competence efficiently.
PMCID: PMC3338186  PMID: 22547924
OSCE; clinical skills; written examination; reliability; validity
2.  A Predictive Validity Study of the Pharmacy College Admission Test 
To examine the validity of Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) scores for predicting grade point averages (GPAs) of students in years 1-4 of pharmacy programs.
Data were collected from 11 colleges and schools of pharmacy: entering cumulative and math/science GPAs, PCAT scaled scores, pharmacy program GPAs for years 1-4, student status after 4 years. Correlation, regression, discriminant, and diagnostic accuracy analyses were used to determine the validity of the PCAT for predicting subsequent GPAs.
PCAT scaled scores and entering GPAs were positively correlated with subsequent GPAs. Regression analyses showed the predictive value of the PCAT scores, especially in combination with entering GPAs. Discriminant and diagnostic accuracy analyses supported these findings and provided practical suggestions regarding optimal PCAT scores for identifying students most likely to succeed.
Both PCAT scaled scores and entering cumulative GPAs showed moderate to strong predictive validity as indicators of candidates likely to succeed in pharmacy school.
PMCID: PMC1636944  PMID: 17136174
Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT); predictive validity
3.  Impact of Previous Pharmacy Work Experience on Pharmacy School Academic Performance 
To determine whether students' previous pharmacy-related work experience was associated with their pharmacy school performance (academic and clinical).
The following measures of student academic performance were examined: pharmacy grade point average (GPA), scores on cumulative high-stakes examinations, and advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE) grades. The quantity and type of pharmacy-related work experience each student performed prior to matriculation was solicited through a student survey instrument. Survey responses were correlated with academic measures, and demographic-based stratified analyses were conducted.
No significant difference in academic or clinical performance between those students with prior pharmacy experience and those without was identified. Subanalyses by work setting, position type, and substantial pharmacy work experience did not reveal any association with student performance. A relationship was found, however, between age and work experience, ie, older students tended to have more work experience than younger students.
Prior pharmacy work experience did not affect students' overall academic or clinical performance in pharmacy school. The lack of significant findings may have been due to the inherent practice limitations of nonpharmacist positions, changes in pharmacy education, and the limitations of survey responses.
PMCID: PMC2865408  PMID: 20498735
work experience; performance admissions; academic performance; high-stakes testing
4.  Predicting academic outcomes in an Australian graduate entry medical programme 
BMC Medical Education  2014;14:31.
Predictive validity studies for selection criteria into graduate entry courses in Australia have been inconsistent in their outcomes. One of the reasons for this inconsistency may have been failure to have adequately considered background disciplines of the graduates as well as other potential confounding socio-demographic variables that may influence academic performance.
Graduate entrants into the MBBS at The University of Western Australia between 2005 and 2012 were studied (N = 421). They undertook a 6-month bridging course, before joining the undergraduate-entry students for Years 3 through 6 of the medical course. Students were selected using their undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA), Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test scores (GAMSAT) and a score from a standardised interview. Students could apply from any background discipline and could also be selected through an alternative rural entry pathway again utilising these 3 entry scores. Entry scores, together with age, gender, discipline background, rural entry status and a socioeconomic indicator were entered into linear regression models to determine the relative influence of each predictor on subsequent academic performance in the course.
Background discipline, age, gender and selection through the rural pathway were variously related to each of the 3 entry criteria. Their subsequent inclusion in linear regression models identified GPA at entry, being from a health/allied health background and total GAMSAT score as consistent independent predictors of stronger academic performance as measured by the weighted average mark for the core units completed throughout the course. The Interview score only weakly predicted performance later in the course and mainly in clinically-based units. The association of total GAMSAT score with academic performance was predominantly dictated by the score in GAMSAT Section 3 (Reasoning in the biological and physical sciences) with Section 1 (Reasoning in the humanities and social sciences) and Section 2 (Written communication) also contributing either later or early in the course respectively. Being from a more disadvantaged socioeconomic background predicted weaker academic performance early in the course. Being an older student at entry or from a humanities background also predicted weaker academic performance.
This study confirms that both GPA at entry and the GAMSAT score together predict outcomes not only in the early stages of a graduate-entry medical programme but throughout the course. It also indicates that a comprehensive evaluation of the predictive validity of GAMSAT scores, interview scores and undergraduate academic performance as valid selection processes for graduate entry into medical school needs to simultaneously consider the potential confounding influence of graduate discipline background and other socio-demographic factors on both the initial selection parameters themselves as well as subsequent academic performance.
PMCID: PMC3931285  PMID: 24528509
5.  Assessment of scientific thinking in basic science in the Iranian second national Olympiad 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:61.
To evaluate the scientific reasoning in basic science among undergraduate medical students, we established the National Medical Science Olympiad in Iran. In this Olympiad, the drawing of a concept map was used to evaluate a student's knowledge framework; students' ability in hypothesis generation and testing were also evaluated in four different steps. All medical students were invited to participate in this program. Finally, 133 undergraduate medical students with average grades ≥ 16/20 from 45 different medical schools in Iran were selected. The program took the form of four exams: drawing a concept map (Exam I), hypothesis generation (Exam II), choosing variables based on the hypothesis (Exam III), measuring scientific thought (Exam IV). The examinees were asked to complete all examination items in their own time without using textbooks, websites, or personal consultations. Data were presented as mean ± SE of each parameter. The correlation coefficient between students' scores in each exam with the total final score and average grade was calculated using the Spearman test.
Out of a possible score of 200, the mean ± SE of each exam were as follows: 183.88 ± 5.590 for Exam I; 78.68 ± 9.168 for Exam II; 92.04 ± 2.503 for exam III; 106.13 ± 2.345 for Exam IV. The correlation of each exam score with the total final score was calculated, and there was a significant correlation between them (p < 0.001). The scatter plot of the data showed a linear correlation between the score for each exam and the total final score. This meant that students with a higher final score were able to perform better in each exam through having drawn up a meaningful concept map.
The average grade was significantly correlated with the total final score (R = 0.770), (p < 0.001). There was also a significant correlation between each exam score and the average grade (p < 0.001). The highest correlation was observed between Exam I (R = 0.7708) and the average grade. This means students with higher average grades had better grades in each exam, especially in drawing the concept map.
We hope that this competition will encourage medical schools to integrate theory and practice, analyze data, and read research articles. Our findings relate to a selected population, and our data may not be applicable to all medical students. Therefore, further studies are required to validate our results.
PMCID: PMC3292993  PMID: 22270104
6.  Same admissions tools, different outcomes: a critical perspective on predictive validity in three undergraduate medical schools 
BMC Medical Education  2013;13:173.
Admission to medical school is one of the most highly competitive entry points in higher education. Considerable investment is made by universities to develop selection processes that aim to identify the most appropriate candidates for their medical programs. This paper explores data from three undergraduate medical schools to offer a critical perspective of predictive validity in medical admissions.
This study examined 650 undergraduate medical students from three Australian universities as they progressed through the initial years of medical school (accounting for approximately 25 per cent of all commencing undergraduate medical students in Australia in 2006 and 2007). Admissions criteria (aptitude test score based on UMAT, school result and interview score) were correlated with GPA over four years of study. Standard regression of each of the three admissions variables on GPA, for each institution at each year level was also conducted.
Overall, the data found positive correlations between performance in medical school, school achievement and UMAT, but not interview. However, there were substantial differences between schools, across year levels, and within sections of UMAT exposed. Despite this, each admission variable was shown to add towards explaining course performance, net of other variables.
The findings suggest the strength of multiple admissions tools in predicting outcomes of medical students. However, they also highlight the large differences in outcomes achieved by different schools, thus emphasising the pitfalls of generalising results from predictive validity studies without recognising the diverse ways in which they are designed and the variation in the institutional contexts in which they are administered. The assumption that high-positive correlations are desirable (or even expected) in these studies is also problematised.
PMCID: PMC3880586  PMID: 24373207
Selection; Predictive validity; Admissions policy
7.  Impact of extended course duration and stricter study organization on attrition and academic performance of medical students 
Croatian Medical Journal  2013;54(2):192-197.
To assess whether extended medical school duration, block/modular structure of subjects, not allowing students to transfer exams into the higher course year, and curriculum implementation in line with the Bologna Accord are associated with lower attrition and better academic outcomes of medical students.
We retrospectively investigated curricula at the University of Split School of Medicine and academic outcomes of 2301 medical students during a 33-year period (1979-2011). The following data were obtained: grade point average (GPA) at the end of the studies, duration of studies, graduation on time, and whether the student graduated or not.
After extension of medical curriculum from 5 to 6 years, students had significantly better grades (3.35 vs 3.68; P < 0.001), shorter study duration (7.0 vs 6.0 years; P < 0.001), and more students graduated on time (6.5% vs 57%; P < 0.001). Changes in the 6-year curriculum, such as stricter study regulations and adoption of Bologna Accord, were associated with better indicators of students’ academic success. The lowest attrition and the highest grades during the studied period were observed after the implementation of the Bologna Accord in 2005.
Introduction of a longer medical curriculum, block/modular subject structure, stricter regulations of exam transfer, and curriculum in line with the Bologna Accord may contribute to better academic outcomes and lower attrition of medical students.
PMCID: PMC3641877  PMID: 23630147
8.  Predicting Performance in the First-Year of Pharmacy School 
Objectives. To determine the predictive validity of the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) scores and other variables for students’ success in the first year of doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) programs.
Methods. PCAT scores, entering grade-point averages (GPAs), demographic characteristics, and GPAs for the first year of pharmacy curriculum were collected from the Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS) and from 22 pharmacy programs.
Results. PCAT scores and entering GPAs were positively correlated with subsequent GPAs after the first year. Regression analyses showed the contribution of PCAT scores and entering GPAs in predicting first-year pharmacy GPAs.
Conclusions. PCAT scores and prepharmacy GPAs both showed moderate predictive validity in indicating candidates likely to succeed in the first year of the pharmacy program. These findings are consistent with those of previous similar studies.
PMCID: PMC3142965  PMID: 21829255
Pharmacy College Admission Test; predictive validity; grade point average; assessment; student performance
9.  Obstetrics and gynecology clerkship for males and females: similar curriculum, different outcomes? 
Medical Education Online  2013;18:10.3402/meo.v18i0.21506.
To determine if performance differences exist between male and female students on a 6-week obstetrics and gynecology (Ob/Gyn) clerkship and to evaluate potential variables that might underlie any observed variations.
Study Design
Final clerkship grades and component scores (clinical evaluations, objective structured clinical examination [OSCE], oral examination, and National Board of Medical Examiners [NBME] subject examination) from July 2007 to June 2010 were matched by student and analyzed by gender. Basic science grade point average (GPA) and initial United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) Step 1 scores were used to establish students’ baseline medical knowledge. On a post-clerkship questionnaire, a subset of students reported the numbers of procedures they performed during the clerkship; students also completed online pre- and post-clerkship questionnaires reflecting their self-assessed confidence in women's health clinical skills.
Scores were analyzed for 136 women and 220 men. Final clerkship grades were significantly higher for females than for males (89.05 vs. 87.34, p=0.0004, η 2=0.08). Specifically, females outscored males on the OSCE, oral, and NBME subject examination portions of the clerkship but not clinical evaluations. Males reported completing fewer breast examinations (p=0.001, η 2=0.14). Pre-clerkship, males were significantly less confident than females in women's health clinical skills (p<0.01) but reached similar levels upon completion of the clerkship. No gender differences were detected for basic science GPA and USMLE Step 1 scores.
Student gender is associated with final grades on an Ob/Gyn clerkship. Further research regarding these differences should be explored.
PMCID: PMC3849500  PMID: 24300748
clerkship; gender; grades; obstetrics and gynecology clerkship; performance
10.  The impact of nonacademic variables on performance at two medical schools. 
Recent research shows that nonacademic variables must be taken into account when analyzing the indicators of medical student success. However, most previous studies have been limited to a single institution or population. This study investigated the relationship between nonacademic variables and performance at two very different medical schools. The Noncognitive Questionnaire was administered to 104 students at School A (predominantly white and historically oriented toward women) and 102 at School B (predominantly black). Correlation and multiple regression analyses were conducted to determine the relationship among nonacademic variables, undergraduate academic variables (Medical College Admission Test, undergraduate grade point average, and college quality), basic science grades, and US Medical Licensure Exam Step I (USMLE 1) scores. At School A, leadership/decisiveness, expected difficulty, and motivation predicted higher USMLE I scores and higher basic science grades each semester. At School B, expected difficulty was correlated with higher first semester grades only. For School A women, initiative/commitment was positively associated with both higher grades and higher USMLE scores. For black students of School B, expected difficulty was positively associated with higher grades. Identifying school-specific nonacademic variables of performance is critical to developing improved student support services.
PMCID: PMC2608243  PMID: 9094842
11.  Predictors of Preclinical and Clinical Performance of Minority Medical Students 
Although several studies have examined the relationship between minority students' admissions profiles and performance in the preclinical curriculum, there is a dearth of information about the ability of admissions variables to predict performance in the clerkships and on National Boards, Part II. Consistent with other research, a study of 59 minority students at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine found that the Medical College Aptitude Test (MCAT) chemistry score is the most consistent predictor of performance on internal examinations in years 1 and 2, and on National Boards, Part I. On the Part II examination, however, the only significant correlation is with the MCAT reading score, while the MCAT quantitative score and the recommendation of the premedical advisor are the best predictors of clerkship grades. Since students' mean MCATs and grade point averages (GPAs) are similar to those of all minority students accepted to medical schools in 1982, these findings may be generalized to that larger population.
PMCID: PMC2571388  PMID: 3746929
12.  Causal Effects of Single-Sex Schools on College Entrance Exams and College Attendance: Random Assignment in Seoul High Schools 
Demography  2013;50(2):447-469.
Despite the voluminous literature on the potentials of single-sex schools, there is no consensus on the effects of single-sex schools because of student selection of school types. We exploit a unique feature of schooling in Seoul—the random assignment of students into single-sex versus coeducational high schools—to assess causal effects of single-sex schools on college entrance exam scores and college attendance. Our validation of the random assignment shows comparable socioeconomic backgrounds and prior academic achievement of students attending single-sex schools and coeducational schools, which increases the credibility of our causal estimates of single-sex school effects. The three-level hierarchical model shows that attending all-boys schools or all-girls schools, rather than coeducational schools, is significantly associated with higher average scores on Korean and English test scores. Applying the school district fixed-effects models, we find that single-sex schools produce a higher percentage of graduates who attended four-year colleges and a lower percentage of graduates who attended two-year junior colleges than do coeducational schools. The positive effects of single-sex schools remain substantial, even after we take into account various school-level variables, such as teacher quality, the student-teacher ratio, the proportion of students receiving lunch support, and whether the schools are public or private.
PMCID: PMC3568197  PMID: 23073751
Single-sex schools; Random assignment; Causal inferences; College entrance; College entrance exam scores
13.  Comparison of communication skills between medical students admitted after interviews or on academic merits 
BMC Medical Education  2012;12:46.
Selection of the best medical students among applicants is debated and many different methods are used. Academic merits predict good academic performance, but students admitted by other pathways need not be less successful. The aim of this study, was to compare communication skills between students admitted to medical school through interviews or on academic merits, respectively.
A retrospective cohort study. Communication skills at a surgical OSCE in 2008 were assessed independently by two observers using an evaluative rating scale. Correlations, t-tests and multivariate analyses by logistic regressions were employed. Academic merits were defined as upper secondary school grade point average (GPA) or scores from the Swedish Scholastic Assessment Test (SweSAT).
The risk of showing unsatisfactory communicative performance was significantly lower among the students selected by interviews (OR 0.32, CI95 0.12-0.83), compared to those selected on the basis of academic merits. However, there was no significant difference in communication skills scores between the different admission groups; neither did the proportion of high performers differ. No difference in the result of the written examination was seen between groups.
Our results confirm previous experience from many medical schools that students selected in different ways achieve comparable results during the clinical semesters. However, selection through interview seems to reduce the number of students who demonstrate inferior communication skills at 4th year of medical school.
PMCID: PMC3503650  PMID: 22726308
14.  Predictors of Academic Success in a Doctor of Pharmacy Program 
To evaluate the correlation between specific prepharmacy college variables and academic success in the Texas Tech doctor of pharmacy degree program.
Undergraduate and pharmacy school transcripts for 424 students admitted to the Texas Tech doctor of pharmacy degree program between May 1996 and May 2001 were reviewed in August of 2005. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS Release 11.5. The undergraduate college variables included prepharmacy grade point-average (GPA), organic chemistry school type (2- or 4-year institution), chemistry, biology, and math courses beyond required prerequisites, and attainment of a bachelor of science (BS), bachelor of arts (BA), or master of science (MS) degree. Measurements of academic success in pharmacy school included cumulative first-professional year (P1) GPA, cumulative GPA (grade point average of all coursework finished to date), and graduation without academic delay or suspension.
Completing advanced biology courses and obtaining a BS degree prior to pharmacy school were each significantly correlated with a higher mean P1 GPA. Furthermore, the mean cumulative GPA of students with a BS degree was 86.4 versus cumulative GPAs of those without a BS degree which were 84.9, respectively (p = 0.039). Matriculates with advanced prerequisite biology coursework or a BS degree prior to pharmacy school were significantly more likely to graduate from the doctor of pharmacy program without academic delay or suspension (p = 0.021 and p = 0.027, respectively). Furthermore, advanced biology coursework was significantly and independently associated with graduating on time (p = 0.044).
Advanced biology coursework and a science baccalaureate degree were significantly associated with academic success in pharmacy school. On multivariate analysis, only advanced biology coursework remained a significant predictor of success.
PMCID: PMC1637008  PMID: 17149435
academic success; pharmacy students; grade point average; graduation; prerequisites; performance
15.  Preadmission Criteria as Predictors of Academic Success in Entry-Level Athletic Training and Other Allied Health Educational Programs 
Journal of Athletic Training  2001;36(2):141-144.
To investigate preadmission criteria, Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores, and high school grade point average (HSGPA) and to determine the ability of those criteria to predict the college grade point average (CGPA) of graduates from programs in athletic training and 5 other allied health disciplines.
Design and Setting:
Descriptive data, including age, sex, year of graduation, HSGPA, CGPA, and SAT scores (SAT mathematics [SATM], SAT verbal [SATV], and SAT total) were gathered from the files of graduates (1992 to 1997) of allied health education programs.
The complete records of 373 graduates (244 women and 129 men) of 6 allied health education programs in athletic training, health management systems, occupational therapy, perfusion technology, physician assistant, and physical therapy were used in this study. Subjects with incomplete files were excluded from this study.
We collected data from official college transcripts, official high school transcripts, and SAT scores reported to the university. Descriptive statistics, analysis of variance, Pearson correlation, and stepwise forward regression analyses were used to determine the ability of SATV score, SATM score, and HSGPA to predict CGPA.
Both SATV score and HSGPA were found to predict 14% of the variance in student success (CGPA) in all allied health programs; however, only HSGPA was predictive of student success in athletic training (P = .00). Both SATV score and HSGPA were predictive of CGPA in both physical (P = .02 and .03, respectively) and occupational (P = .02 and .00, respectively) therapy graduates; however, they predicted only 12% and 21%, respectively, of the variance in CGPA. The SATM score was predictive of CGPA in both perfusion technology (P = .05) and physician assistant (P = .00) graduates, accounting for 7% and 18% of the variance in outcomes.
Overall, HSGPA and SATV score were predictive of student success (CGPA) in the allied health group as a whole and should continue to be used as part of the process of admission in higher education until such time that more predictive criteria are determined. The HSGPA was predictive of CGPA (r 2 = 0.38) in athletic training graduates, predicting more than one third of the professional program success. Athletic training educators should continue to use HSGPA as a predictor of success; however, they may wish to establish similar baseline comparisons between athletic training and other disciplines at their schools before determining the importance of standardized preadmission criteria for future students. This work should be considered a pilot study for the profession of athletic training and should be repeated at individual schools to determine the findings' applicability to other athletic training education programs.
PMCID: PMC155524  PMID: 12937454
predictors of academic success; admission criteria; grade point average; Scholastic Aptitude Test
16.  High School Classmates and College Success 
Sociology of education  2009;82(4):287-314.
This paper uses administrative data from the University of Texas-Austin to examine whether the number of same high school classmates at college entry influences college achievement, measured by grade point average (GPA) and persistence. For each freshman cohort from 1993 through 2003 we calculate the number and ethnic makeup of college freshmen from each Texas high school. Empirical specifications include high school fixed effects to control for unobservable differences across schools that influence both college enrollment behavior and academic performance. Using an instrumental variables/fixed effects estimation strategy, we also evaluate whether “marginal” increases in the number of high school classmates influence college grades. Results show that students who arrive on campus with a larger number of high school classmates outperform their counterparts from smaller high school cohorts. Average effects of larger high school cohorts on college achievement are small, but a marginal increase in the number of same-race classmates raises GPA by 0.1 point. Results provide suggestive evidence that minority academic benefits from larger high school cohorts are greater for minority compared with white students.
PMCID: PMC3500972  PMID: 23172979
17.  Biology Intensive Orientation for Students (BIOS): A Biology “Boot Camp” 
CBE— Life Sciences Education  2007;6(2):172-178.
The Biology Intensive Orientation for Students (BIOS) Program was designed to assess the impact of a 5-d intensive prefreshman program on success and retention of biological science majors at Louisiana State University. The 2005 pilot program combined content lectures and examinations for BIOL 1201, Introductory Biology for Science Majors, as well as learning styles assessments and informational sessions to provide the students with a preview of the requirements of biology and the pace of college. Students were tracked after their BIOS participation, and their progress was compared with a control group composed of students on the BIOS waiting list and a group of BIOL 1201 students who were identified as the academic matches to the BIOS participants (high school GPA, ACT score, and gender). The BIOS participants performed significantly better on the first and second exams, they had a higher course average, and they had a higher final grade than the control group. These students also had higher success rates (grade of “A,” “B,” or “C”) during both the fall and spring semesters and remained on track through the first semester of their sophomore year to graduate in 4 yr at a significantly higher rate than the control group.
PMCID: PMC1885899  PMID: 17548879
18.  Pharmacy Curriculum Outcomes Assessment for Individual Student Assessment and Curricular Evaluation 
The Pharmacy Curriculum Outcomes Assessment (PCOA) is a standardized examination for assessing academic progress of pharmacy students. Although no other national benchmarking tool is available on a national level, the PCOA has not been adopted by all colleges and schools of pharmacy. Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBAU) compared 2008-2010 PCOA results of its P1, P2, and P3 students to their current grade point average (GPA) and to results of a national cohort. The reliability coefficient of PCOA was 0.91, 0.90, and 0.93 for the 3 years, respectively. PBAU results showed a positive correlation between GPA and PCOA scale score. A comparison of subtopic results helped to identify areas of strengths and weaknesses of the curriculum. PCOA provides useful comparative data that can facilitate individual student assessment as well as programmatic evaluation. There are no other standardized assessment tools available. Despite limitations, PCOA warrants consideration by colleges and schools of pharmacy. Expanded participation could enhance its utility as a meaningful benchmark.
PMCID: PMC3058432  PMID: 21436924
curricular outcomes; assessment; milemarker; benchmark; Pharmacy Curriculum Outcomes Assessment
19.  Interactive Atlas of Histology 
An interactive atlas of histology was developed for online use by chiropractic students to enable them to practice and self-assess their ability to identify various histological structures. This article discusses the steps in the development, implementation, and usefulness of an interactive atlas of histology for students who take histology examinations.
The atlas was developed by digitizing images imported through a video-microscope using actual microscope slides. Leica EWS 2100 and PowerPoint software were used to construct the atlas. The usefulness of the atlas was assessed through a comparison of histology exam scores between four classes before and four classes after the use of the atlas. Analysis of admissions data, including overall grade point average (GPA), science and nonscience GPA, and a number of course units, was done initially to avoid any identifiable differences in the academic competency between the two being compared. A survey of the students was also done to assess atlas usefulness and students' satisfaction with the atlas.
Analysis of histology exam scores showed that the average scores in the lab exam were significantly higher for the classes that used the atlas. Survey results showed a high level of student satisfaction with the atlas.
The development and use of an online interactive atlas of histology for chiropractic students helped to improve lab exams scores. In addition, students were satisfied with the features and usefulness of this atlas.
PMCID: PMC2384180  PMID: 18483638
atlases [publication type]; chiropractic; education; histology; technology
20.  Correlation of the Health Sciences Reasoning Test With Student Admission Variables 
Objectives. To assess the association between scores on the Health Sciences Reasoning Test (HSRT) and pharmacy student admission variables.
Methods. During the student admissions process, cognitive data, including undergraduate grade point average and Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) scores, were collected from matriculating doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students. Between 2007 and 2009, the HSRT was administered to 329 first-year PharmD students. Correlations between HSRT scores and cognitive data, previous degree, and gender were examined.
Results. After controlling for other predictors, 3 variables were significantly associated with HSRT scores: percentile rank on the reading comprehension (p<0.001), verbal (p<0.001), and quantitative (p<0.001) subsections of the PCAT.
Conclusions. Scores on the reading comprehension, verbal, and quantitative sections of the PCAT were significantly associated with HSRT scores. Some elements of critical thinking may be measured by these PCAT subsections. However, the HSRT offers information absent in standard cognitive admission criteria.
PMCID: PMC3748299  PMID: 23966721
Health Sciences Reasoning Test (HSRT); critical thinking; admissions; Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT)
21.  Predictors of Attrition and Academic Success of Medical Students: A 30-Year Retrospective Study 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(6):e39144.
To determine attrition and predictors of academic success among medical students at University of Split, Croatia.
We analysed academic records of 2054 students enrolled during 1979–2008 period.
We found that 26% (533/2054) of enrolled students did not graduate. The most common reasons for attrition were ‘personal’ (36.4%), transfer to another medical school (35.6%), and dismissal due to unsatisfactory academic record (21.2%). Grade point average (GPA) and study duration of attrition students were significantly associated with parental education. There were 1126 graduates, 395 men and 731 women. Their average graduation GPA was 3.67±0.53 and study duration 7.6±2.44 years. During 5-year curriculum only 6.4% (42/654) of students graduated in time, and 55% (240/472) of students graduated in time after curriculum was extended to 6 years. Variables predicting whether a student will graduate or not were high school grades, entrance exam score and year of enrollment. Significant predictors of graduation grades were high school grades and entrance exam score. Entrance exam score predicted length of studying.
Preadmission academic qualifications and year of enrollment predict academic success in medical school. More attention should be devoted to high attrition.
PMCID: PMC3377595  PMID: 22737228
22.  Dispelling the myth of “smart drugs”: Cannabis and alcohol use problems predict nonmedical use of prescription stimulants for studying 
Addictive behaviors  2012;38(3):1643-1650.
This study tested the hypothesis that college students’ substance use problems would predict increases in skipping classes and declining academic performance, and that nonmedical use of prescription stimulants (NPS) for studying would occur in association with this decline. A cohort of 984 students in the College Life Study at a large public university in the US participated in a longitudinal prospective study. Interviewers assessed NPS; Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) cannabis and alcohol use disorders; and frequency of skipping class. Semester grade point average (GPA) was obtained from the university. Control variables were race, sex, family income, high school GPA, and self-reported attention deficit hyperactivity disorder diagnosis. Longitudinal growth curve modeling of four annual data waves estimated the associations among the rates of change of cannabis use disorder, percentage of classes skipped, and semester GPA. The associations between these trajectories with NPS for studying was then evaluated. A second structural model substituted alcohol use disorder for cannabis use disorder. More than one-third (38%) reported NPS for studying at least once by Year 4. Increases in skipping class were associated with both alcohol and cannabis use disorder, which were associated with declining GPA. The hypothesized relationships between these trajectories and NPS for studying were confirmed. These longitudinal findings suggest that escalation of substance use problems during college is related to increases in skipping class and to declining academic performance. NPS for studying is associated with academic difficulties. Although additional research is needed to investigate causal pathways, these results suggest that nonmedical users of prescription stimulants could benefit from a comprehensive drug and alcohol assessment to possibly mitigate future academic declines.
PMCID: PMC3558594  PMID: 23254212
academic performance; alcohol; cannabis; college students; nonmedical use of prescription stimulants
23.  Use of Preadmission Criteria and Performance in the Doctor of Pharmacy Program to Predict Success on the North American Pharmacists Licensure Examination 
Objective. To determine which student characteristics and performance criteria in the prepharmacy and doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) program predict success on the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX).
Methods. Transcripts and NAPLEX scores were reviewed for 432 graduates from the Xavier University of Louisiana College of Pharmacy between 2008 and 2011.
Results. The preadmission variables that correlated with NAPLEX scores included math-science grade point average (GPA), cumulative GPA, student type (internal or transfer), and having no unsatisfactory grades (p<0.001). In the PharmD program, cumulative GPA, on-time graduation, and having no unsatisfactory grades in the prepharmacy and PharmD programs correlated with NAPLEX scores (p<0.001).
Conclusion. Having no unsatisfactory grades in the prepharmacy program and a high cumulative GPA in the PharmD program were identified as significant predictors of success on the NAPLEX.
PMCID: PMC3831404  PMID: 24249855
North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination; admissions; grade point average
24.  Factors That Affect Academic Performance Among Pharmacy Students 
The objective of this study was to examine factors such as academic competence, test competence, time management, strategic studying, and test anxiety, and identify whether these factors could distinguish differences among students, based on academic performance and enrollment in the experiential program.
A cross-sectional study design utilizing questionnaires measuring previously validated constructs was used to evaluate the effect of these factors on students with low and high cumulative grade point averages (GPAs). Pharmacy students (N = 198) enrolled at the University of Houston participated in the study.
Academic performance was significantly associated with factors such as academic competence and test competence. Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater significantly differed in their level of test competence than those with a GPA of less than 3.0. Students enrolled in their experiential year differed from students enrolled in their second year of curriculum on factors such as test anxiety, academic competence, test competence, and time management skills.
Test competence was an important factor to distinguish students with low vs. high academic performance. Factors such as academic competence, test competence, test anxiety and time management improve as students' progress in their experiential year.
PMCID: PMC1637000  PMID: 17149433
academic performance; academic competence; test competence; time management; strategic studying; test anxiety
25.  The Predictive Utility of Nontraditional Test Scores for First-Year Pharmacy Student Academic Performance 
To determine the value of employing the Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI), Defining Issues Test (DIT), and Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal (WGCTA) in predictive models for first-year pharmacy student academic performance.
Six years of pharmacy student admission and progression data were evaluated. Additional predictive validity offered by these variables over a model of prepharmacy grade point average and pharmacy college admission test (PCAT) score was examined.
None of the 3 measures offered the ability to predict first-semester or first-year academic performance over and above GPA and PCAT.
The LASSI, DIT, and WGCTA do not appear to assess abilities that are directly related to academic performance; however, these instruments may be useful in assessing other student attributes that are highly desirable for the practice of pharmacy.
PMCID: PMC1803690  PMID: 17332854
Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI); Defining Issues Test (DIT); Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal (WGCTA); academic progression, admission requirements, grade point average (GPA); pharmacy college admission test (PCAT), performance, admission

Results 1-25 (451736)