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

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Medicine, September 2016
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (88th percentile)

Mentioned by

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1 blog
twitter
11 tweeters

Citations

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21 Dimensions

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51 Mendeley
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Title
Predictive validity of the UKCAT for medical school undergraduate performance: a national prospective cohort study
Published in
BMC Medicine, September 2016
DOI 10.1186/s12916-016-0682-7
Pubmed ID
Authors

Paul A. Tiffin, Lazaro M. Mwandigha, Lewis W. Paton, H. Hesselgreaves, John C. McLachlan, Gabrielle M. Finn, Adetayo S. Kasim

Abstract

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. 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). 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. 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.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 11 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 51 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 51 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Bachelor 8 16%
Student > Master 7 14%
Researcher 5 10%
Student > Ph. D. Student 4 8%
Student > Doctoral Student 3 6%
Other 12 24%
Unknown 12 24%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 26 51%
Psychology 3 6%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 2 4%
Social Sciences 2 4%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 2 4%
Other 5 10%
Unknown 11 22%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 16. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 20 August 2021.
All research outputs
#1,585,053
of 18,912,409 outputs
Outputs from BMC Medicine
#1,136
of 2,836 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#32,921
of 278,473 outputs
Outputs of similar age from BMC Medicine
#1
of 1 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 18,912,409 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 91st percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 2,836 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 39.4. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 59% of its peers.
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