Selection of medical students on the basis of nonacademic skills: is it worth the trouble?

Niessen, A. S. M. & Meijer, R. R., Aug-2016, In : Clinical medicine. 16, 4, p. 339-342 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

In this article, we discuss the practical usefulness of selecting future medical students on the basis of increasingly popular non-academic tests (eg multiple mini-interviews, situational judgment tests) in addition to academic tests. Non-academic tests assess skills such as ethical decision making, communication and collaboration skills, or traits such as conscientiousness. Although other studies showed that performance on non-academic tests could have a positive relationship with future professional performance, we argue that this relationship should be interpreted in the context of the base rate (the proportion of suitable candidates in the applicant pool) and the selection ratio (the proportion of selected applicants from the applicant pool). We provide some numerical examples in the context of medical student selection. Finally, we suggest that optimising training in non-academic skills may be a more successful alternative than selecting students on the basis of these skills.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-342
Number of pages4
JournalClinical medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug-2016


  • Selective admission, utility, validity, medical students, SITUATIONAL JUDGMENT TESTS, MULTIPLE MINI-INTERVIEW, VALIDITY, SCHOOL, PERFORMANCE

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