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Admission to medical schools in Sri Lanka: predictive validity of selection criteria

Authors:

NR de Silva ,

Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, LK
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A Pathmeswaran,

Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, LK
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N de Silva,

Faculty of Medicine, University of Ruhuna, LK
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JS Edirisinghe,

Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, LK
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PVR Kumarasiri,

Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, LK
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SV Parameswaran,

Faculty of Medicine, University of Jaffna, LK
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R Seneviratne,

Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, LK
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N Warnasuriya,

Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayawardenepura, LK
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HJ de Silva

Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, LK
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Abstract

ss in Sri Lanka's medical schools.

 

Methods The study sample consisted of all students selected to all six medical schools in two consecutive entry cohorts. The aggregate marks of these students at the General Certificate of Education (GCE) Advanced Level examination, the district of entry, admission category, candidate type (school/private) and gender, were identified as entry point variables. Success in medical school was measured in four ways: the ability to pass the first summative examination and the final examination at the first attempt, and obtaining honours in either examination. Multivariate analysis using logistic regression was used to assess the extent to which these entry point factors predict variability in outcome measures.

Results Aggregate scores among the 1740 students in the study sample ranged from 212 to 356, with a median of 285. The male:female ratio was 1.4:1. Private candidates (taking the examination for the third time) accounted for 22% of students. Being a school candidate, female and having a higher aggregate score, were the only independent predictors of success for all four outcome measures. The aggregate score alone accounted for only 1-7% of the variation in performance in medical school.

Conclusions Marks obtained at the A Level examination (the only academic criterion currently used for selection of medical students in Sri Lanka) is a poor predictor of success in medical school.

Key words: Medical education; medical school admissions; predictors; selection

doi: 10.4038/cmj.v51i1.1371

Ceylon Medical Journal Vol.51(1) 2006 17-21

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v51i1.1371
How to Cite: de Silva, N., Pathmeswaran, A., de Silva, N., Edirisinghe, J., Kumarasiri, P., Parameswaran, S., Seneviratne, R., Warnasuriya, N. and de Silva, H., 2009. Admission to medical schools in Sri Lanka: predictive validity of selection criteria. Ceylon Medical Journal, 51(1), pp.17–21. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v51i1.1371
Published on 07 Dec 2009.
Peer Reviewed

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