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Predicting academic success in optometry school

1 May 2006


Introduction: Predicting success in optometry school is a challenging task which involves evaluating many academic and non-academic qualities. This study aids in the process of selecting candidates who are likely to be successful in the challenging optometric curriculum.

Methods: Optometry Admission Test (OAT) scores, interview scores, and undergraduate and optometry grade point averages (GPA) were gathered for 175 students admitted to Pacific University College of Optometry in 2001 and 2002. At-test compared characteristics of students who failed at least one didactic course in optometry school with students who passed all optometry courses. Regression analysis was then used to establish equations to predict academic performance.

Results and Discussion: All undergraduate GPA variables and most OAT subsections demonstrated a significant difference between students who failed an optometry course and those who did not. Reading Comprehension OAT, Physics OAT, and the interview score did not demonstrate a statistically significant difference between the two groups. Three equations were developed to help predict GPA in optometry school and to predict the probability of a student failing an optometric course.

Conclusion: The equations discussed can be used by admission committees as one tool to help in the application process and to predict success prior to admitting optometlic students.


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