A preliminary inquiry on the association between pre-admission assessments and academic performance of first year dental technology students’ within a South African university of technology
The use of selection, diagnostic, proficiency, placement, admission, manual dexterity and aptitude tests can reportedly predict students’ academic success. Predictive admission procedures help to reduce dropout rates, improve academic performance, increase success rates, and selectively exclude applicants who are unlikely to be successful in the course. There is an absence of research, however, in this area of work in Dental Technology. To examine the association between pre-admission assessments and Dental Technology students’ academic performance in a South African University of Technology. A quantitative and cross-sectional study design was used. The target populations were the 2018 and 2019 first-year Dental Technology students. Retrospective data extracted from academic records and programme files were statistically analysed to measure the correlations against students’academic performance. Despite there being no significant differences between pre-admission tests and students’ academic performance, there were significant positive correlations between first year university subjects. There are indications of horizontal coherence between the discipline-specific subjects in the first-year Dental Technology curriculum. Examining the association between pre-admission tests and students’ academic results through to graduation, together with the horizontal and vertical alignments of all subjects in the undergraduate Dental Technology curriculum, can facilitate the learning pathways for students to succeed academically at universities.
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