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Comparisons of the predictive values of admission criteria for academic achievement among undergraduate students of health and non-health science professions: a longitudinal cohort study

Authors Al-Qahtani MF, Alanzi TM

Received 12 August 2018

Accepted for publication 26 November 2018

Published 19 December 2018 Volume 2019:12 Pages 1—6


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Igor Elman

Mona Faisal Al-Qahtani,1 Turki Mashhoor Alanzi2

1Department of Public Health, College of Public Health, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; 2Department of Health Information Management & Technology, College of Public Health, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Objective: The main objective of this study was to compare the predictive value of admission criteria for students’ grade point averages (GPAs) over a 3-year period for a cohort of students enrolled in health and non-health science professions during the 2012–2013 academic year at Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University (IAU).
Materials and methods: This longitudinal, retrospective cohort study was conducted at eight colleges (four health and four non-health colleges) in IAU between December 2017 and February 2018. The high school grades, aptitude test scores, achievement test scores, and GPA scores over a 3-year period for students admitted during the 2012–2013 academic year at health and non-health colleges at IAU were used. The data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics.
Results: Positive, significant correlations (P<0.01) were found between the three admission criteria and the annual GPA scores (r ranged from 0.192 to 0.499 and from 0.359 to 0.588) for both the health and non-health colleges. High school grades were the most significant predictor of annual GPAs (β=0.340, P<0.01 and β=0.374, P<0.01), followed by achievement test scores in both health and non-health fields of study, respectively. Aptitude test scores were not good predictors of GPAs for the health and non-health colleges.
Conclusion: High school grades are the most important predictor of student GPAs at health and non-health colleges. Changing the weighting criteria in our institution to place more emphasis on high school grades, as our findings indicate, should be considered during the admission process.

Keywords: academic achievement, admission criteria, health and non-health professions, aptitude test, achievement test, predictors of grade point average score

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