UKCAT does not predict medical school performance, study finds
- By: Chris Thomas
Scores in the UK clinical aptitude test (UKCAT) do not accurately predict subsequent performance at medical school, indicate the results of a study from the University of Nottingham.1
UKCAT was designed to help medical schools distinguish between the large number of candidates with top grades, but the ability of the UKCAT to select the students best suited to studying medicine has been questioned since its launch.
The research aimed to assess whether UKCAT scores accurately predicted student performance in the latter part of the medical course, which is mainly delivered on clinical placements.
The cohort study compared the UKCAT score for 185 year five students (73% of the entry cohort) with their examination performance in the clinical phase of the course. They found that no part of the UKCAT accurately predicted clinical course marks, especially when compared with previous attainment in the course, which was a highly significant predictor (P<0.001).