Cognitive tests are used to select students into dental school, yet cognitive predictors explain only part of the variance in academic performance. Therefore, interviews and personality tests are often used to measure noncognitive (e.g., interpersonal) characteristics. Recently, situational judgment tests (SJTs) have drawn attention since there is evidence that SJTs can be valid predictors in medical admission contexts. This study examines the validity of an SJT measuring interpersonal skills for predicting academic performance of dental students. Incremental validity over cognitive tests is also examined. In this study, 796 dental students who passed the admission exam for medical and dental students in Flanders, Belgium, and enrolled in one of the two Flemish dental schools were evaluated. Grade point average (GPA) in the five years of dental studies served as the criterion. Corrected correlation between the cognitive tests of the admission exam and GPA equaled .38. Their validity dropped from .45 (year 1) to .18 (year 5). However, the validity of the SJT increased from .05 (year 1) to .20 (year 5). The SJT had incremental validity in year 5. Dental admissions committees that envision assessing a broad set of capabilities might consider using an SJT as a valuable supplement to cognitive tests. Future research needs to confirm these findings with job performance as another criterion.
Dental education, dental school admissions, noncognitive assessment, situational judgment test
Human Resources Management | Organizational Behavior and Theory
Organisational Behaviour and Human Resources
Journal of Dental Education
American Dental Education Association
BUYSE, Tine and LIEVENS, Filip.
Situational judgment tests as a new tool for dental student selection. (2011). Journal of Dental Education. 75, (6), 743-749. Research Collection Lee Kong Chian School Of Business.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/lkcsb_research/5676
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