The relationship between preadmission indicators and basic math skills at a new school of pharmacy

Ann Pharmacother. 2001 Feb;35(2):167-72. doi: 10.1345/aph.10205.


Objective: To examine the relationship between preadmission indicators of 49 PharmD students entering their first professional year at a new school of pharmacy and their scores on a Basic Math Skills Test (BMST). A secondary objective was to determine what factors, if any, contributed to the successful completion of the BMST.

Methods: This cross-sectional investigation used a convenience sample of PharmD students entering the first professional year at a three-year-old, private, southeastern school of pharmacy. All first-year students who took the mandatory BMST, as part of a math mentor plot program, were eligible for enrollment. The BMST covered nine different competencies and was validated at the grade-8 level. Math test scores, the student's Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT), and other demographic and scholastic information was obtained from the student's application file in a retrospective manner. All identifiers were removed before the data were submitted to the investigators.

Results: Statistical analysis suggested that two preadmission indicators strongly influenced BMST performance: percentile scores on the quantitative section of the PCAT (POAT-OP) and whether the student attended a private or public university prior to admission to the pharmacy school. In addition, four factors significantiy contributed to successful completion of the BMST: math/science grade point average (MS-GPA), PCAT percentile scores, PCAT-QP percentile scores, and the number of BMST Items left blank.

Conclusions: A relationship exists between preadmission indicators of PharmD students entering their first professional year and their BMST score. In addition, certain identifiable factors impact BMST scores of first-year PharmD students. Admissions committees may find this useful in identifying students who may need remedial math assistance prior to beginning math-intensive courses such as pharmaceutical calculations and pharmacokinetics.

MeSH terms

  • Mathematics*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • School Admission Criteria / statistics & numerical data*
  • Schools, Pharmacy*