Predicting achievement in medical school: The role of selection measures and student characteristics

Project Details

The Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test is a cognitive test used by nine of the graduate entry medical schools in Australia. The test consists of three sections (Reasoning in the Humanities and Social Sciences; Written Expression and Reasoning in the Biological and Physical Sciences) and  provides a broad measure of candidates' knowledge and skills in a number of defined content areas. When used with other information it provides a basis for assessing suitability for medical study. To date, a number of small studies of the predictive validity of the GAMSAT using data from a single or a small number of participating universities have shown mixed results for the test's relationship with achievement throughout a medical course.

The current study aims to assess the predictive validity of the GAMSAT as a test of suitability for medical study alone and when combined with other selection instruments. All graduate medical schools currently using GAMSAT and who are members of the GEMSAS Consortium will participate in the study and provide detailed information on their use of various selection instruments and assessment results for student cohorts from 2010 to 2105. Confidentiality of data will be maintained by using a third party to de-identify all data and match selection scores with assessment results for all students. Analyses will  involve developing a series of models, using strucutural equation modelling,  investigating the relationship between selection measures, student characteristics (such as gender and socio-economic status) and student achievement.

Outcomes of the study will be a report to the GAMSAT Board, a presentation to the GAMSAT Policy Committee, and peer reviewed journal articles. Outcomes will also include case studies of each medical school which will be returned to them at the conclusion of the study. The study has been funded by the GAMSAT Consortium.



Associate Professor Annette Mercer (CI), Student Affairs, University of Western Australia,

Emeritus Professor Ian Puddey (PI), School of Medicine and Pharmacology, Royal Perth Hospital Unit, University of Western Australia


$283,350. The GAMSAT Consortium

Research Group

Teaching and learning

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Medical Education

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