The validity of scores from the new MCAT exam in predicting student performance: Results from a multisite study

Kevin Busche, Martha L. Elks, Joshua T. Hanson, Loretta Jackson-Williams, R. Stephen Manuel, Wanda L. Parsons, David Wofsy, Kun Yuan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose The new Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) was introduced in April 2015. This report presents findings from the first study of the validity of scores from the new MCAT exam in predicting student performance in the first year of medical school (M1). Method The authors analyzed data from the national population of 2016 matriculants with scores from the new MCAT exam (N = 7,970) and the sample of 2016 matriculants (N = 955) from 16 medical schools who volunteered to participate in the validity research. They examined correlations of students’ MCAT total scores and total undergraduate grade point averages (UGPAs), alone and together, with their summative performance in M1, and the success rate of students with different MCAT scores in their on-time progression to the second year of medical school (M2). They assessed whether MCAT scores provided comparable prediction of performance in M1 by students’ race/ ethnicity, socioeconomic background, and gender. Results Correlations of MCAT scores with summative performance in M1 ranged from medium to large. Although MCAT scores and UGPAs provided similar prediction of performance in M1, using both metrics provided better prediction than either alone. Additionally, students with a wide range of MCAT scores progressed to M2 on time. Finally, MCAT scores provided comparable prediction of performance in M1 for students from different sociodemographic backgrounds. Conclusions This study provides early evidence that scores from the new MCAT exam predict student performance in M1. Future research will examine the validity of MCAT scores in predicting performance in later years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-395
Number of pages9
JournalAcademic Medicine
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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    Busche, K., Elks, M. L., Hanson, J. T., Jackson-Williams, L., Manuel, R. S., Parsons, W. L., Wofsy, D., & Yuan, K. (Accepted/In press). The validity of scores from the new MCAT exam in predicting student performance: Results from a multisite study. Academic Medicine, 387-395. https://doi.org/10.1097/ACM.0000000000002942