Predicting med school success easy as UMAT?

A FURORE has erupted over the relevance of the Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission Test (UMAT). According to a study of 339 medical students at the University of Queensland, the UMAT results bear only a weak correlation to academic performance in the medical course, and even this correlation disappears after the first year (MJA 2011; 194: 330).

We interviewed a spokesman for the body responsible for having devised the UMAT.

“It must come as a bit of a shock to discover that your test is useless.”

Oh, I wouldn’t say useless. We’ve always made it very clear that the UMAT is selective rather than predictive.

“Would you care to elaborate on that?”

No – not really.

“What are you selecting students for?”

Medicine.

“So you must be predicting that those students selected will do well.”

No, that’s

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