Standardized test scores as an admission requirement

Clin Lab Sci. 2004 Winter;17(1):19-24.


Objective: The usefulness of standardized test scores as an admission requirement for the University of Washington Medical Technology Program (UWMTP) was evaluated. Scores from the Allied Health Professions Admissions Test (AHPAT) were used.

Design: Student data (n = 183) were analyzed and evaluated statistically using Pearson correlation and Cox proportional hazards regression analyses. Sensitivity and specificity for several admissions criteria were calculated.

Setting: The UWMTP is a 2 + 2 medical technology program (MTP) located in a large public university.

Participants: Student records for classes of 1993 through 2000 were reviewed. Eligibility for inclusion was based on completeness of student record.

Main outcome measures: Several admission criteria were analyzed for their ability to predict success in the UWMTP and on the ASCP Board of Registry (BOR) certification examination, and for their sensitivity and specificity.

Results: Pearson correlations for the AHPAT total score were r = 0.402 with the MTP GPA and r = 0.414 with the BOR exam. Cox proportional hazards regression analysis defined the decreased likelihood of failure for each unit increase in the test score. For the MTP GPA, the risk decrease was 0.8% for the AHPAT total and 2.8% for the Biology subtest. For the BOR exam, the risk decrease was 0.8% for the AHPAT total and 2.8% for the Verbal subtest. The admissions criteria selected based on specificity (26.7%) and maximum sensitivity (100%) was one in which the student must achieve at least two of the following three scores: AHPAT total > or = 150, Biology subtest score > or = 10, Verbal subtest score > or = 5.

Conclusions: Scores on a standardized test can be used to predict success in a MTP and on the ASCP BOR exam.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Certification*
  • College Admission Test / statistics & numerical data*
  • Eligibility Determination
  • Humans
  • Medical Laboratory Personnel / education*
  • Psychometrics
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity