Situational Judgment Tests, MCAT & GPA more likely to select applicants motivated by status, financial gains, and familial pressure to pursue medicine and may result in bias against applicants from lower income levels, new SortSmart study suggests.

admissions screening, situational judgment tests, mcat, gpa, bias, motivation

3 Options to Review the Study Results:

Option #1: Full Report (Time to read: 20 minutes)

Includes all data.

Click here to read the full report. (For best viewing experience, click the full screen icon to read the report in full screen mode.)

Option #2: Video Presentation (Time to watch: 25 minutes)

Live-recorded presentation of the results including background, rationale, hypothesis, select results and analysis.

Click here to watch the presentation.

Option #3: Brief Overview (Time to read: 15 minutes)

Background:

The stakes in the medical school admissions process are high and research in areas of medical education and medical school admissions process have been intense for decades. Universities spend a lot of time and resources hoping to select applicants most likely to become fantastic doctors in the future, possessing the essential core competencies & frameworks valued in the profession.

Professional misconduct and burnout could be prevented during the selection process by selecting the best-suited applicants for admission. However, professional misconduct and burnout remain of great concern for the profession, its reputation, and the healthcare recipients. Furthermore, previous reports suggest that the admissions process may cause bias against certain applicants and may not be able to detect intrinsic motivation. For example, our last 2 studies suggest that medical school admissions practices in Canada and the US are more likely to select extrinsically motivated applicants and may result in bias against applicants from lower income levels. Read more...

TEDx by SortSmart CEO: How to Use Intrinsic Motivation to Select Top Applicants During Admissions Screening While Promoting Diversity

tedx, sortsmart ceo, Behrouz Moemeni, admissions screening

In this thought-provoking TEDx talk, our CEO, Dr. Behrouz Moemeni, makes a case for the use of intrinsic motivation in university admissions screening and employee selection to make the selection process more valid, fair, all the while promoting diversity. Click here to watch the video on YouTube. 

To your success,

Your friends at SortSmart

SortSmart Candidate Selection

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Motivation-Based Medical School Admissions: How to Reduce Admissions Bias While Selecting Higher-Performing, More Satisfied Physicians

medical school admissions, intrinsic motivation based selection, bias, burnout, medical education, intrinsic motivation, admissions screening

The stakes in the medical school admissions process are high and research in areas of medical education and medical school admissions process have been intense for decades. Universities spend a lot of time and resources hoping to select applicants most likely to become fantastic doctors in the future, possessing the essential core competencies & frameworks valued in the profession.

Professional misconduct and burnout could be prevented during the selection process by selecting the best-suited candidates for admission. Our physicians accumulate a vast amount of training and expertise, which they use in service of their communities. I personally have tremendous respect for medical doctors both because of my own personal history with medical doctors who have literally saved my life and allowed me to enjoy a quality of life that would not have been possible otherwise, but also because I have been fortunate enough to work with, learn from, and teach with over 50 medical doctors over the past several years. However, professional misconduct and burnout remain of great concern for the profession, its reputation, and the healthcare recipients. Is it possible to prevent these problematic issues at the earliest stage of the training process, at candidate selection? Selecting the right candidates during admissions could reduce these problems, AND produce higher performers who are happy at their job. However, this difficult task has eluded admissions thus far.

But why is it so hard to select future doctors that possess the essential core competencies given decades of research? Read more...

Top 5 Dangers of Situational Judgement Tests (SJTs)

situational judgement tests, sjt, top reasons to avoid situational judgement tests, admissions screening

Web-based situational judgment tests (SJTs) present an outdated technology, which has been used by businesses for decades with no avail. Sadly, a handful of for-profit companies have started marketing them as a "novel solution". In such tests, applicants are shown hypothetical real-life situations in a video or written prompt and asked to indicate how they would respond. These tests are claimed to examine “non-cognitive” abilities like problem solving, decision-making and interpersonal skills. But, in our opinion, the evidence against the use such tests is overwhelming for reasons we'll discuss below:

  • Danger #1: Hypothetical Questions Lead to Hypothetical Applicants

Asking hypothetical questions, generally leads the applicants to provide socially acceptable responses and those with higher socioeconomic status normally do better on such tests as a result. This is called the “context principle”. Our behaviors are modified by the context of our environment. Therefore, asking applicants in a test setting how they would react to some hypothetical situation might not be of any value because the applicants know they are being tested and they know that their response has to be a response that brings a favorable outcome, such as being accepted to their program of choice. This means that the applicants might not necessarily act in the same way under real-life situations when there are no supervisions and test pressures. This is the same reason that someone who may be shy in one setting might be fully outgoing in another setting. Read more...

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