Disadvantaged students from the worst performing schools do just as well or better in medical degrees as students from top schools, even when their A-level results are worse, a major study has found. The Independent reports.
These pupils actually outperformed their privately educated peers with the same grades and the researchers, led by the University of York, are say competitive medical school entry requirements should be lowered for applicants from a school with low average A-level results.
“This study suggests that relaxing A-level grade entry requirements for students from the worst performing secondary schools is beneficial,” said Lazaro Mwandigha, from York’s Department of Health Sciences.
These students are “just as able to keep up with the pace of a medical degree”, he added.
But the study, published in the BMJ Open journal, suggests that only focusing on top grades means the best future doctors may be missed.
The team were able to link school and university data for 2,107 students enrolled in 2008 at 18 medical schools, and compared the university selection criteria with medical school admissions test and exam results over the five year course.
“Entrants from the most poorly performing schools have achieved A-level outcomes ‘worth’ one to two grades more than those from the top performing schools, in terms of their ability to predict undergraduate achievement,” the study said.
It added that students from selective, academically high-performing schools “are grossly over-represented at medical school” and paradoxically perform worse.
Read the full article Disadvantaged students with lower grades perform just as well in medical degrees
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