gms | German Medical Science

Research in Medical Education – Chances and Challenges International Conference

20.05. - 22.05.2009, Heidelberg

Admission tests for dental students - prognostic validity of different selection procedures, a systematic review

Meeting Abstract

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Research in Medical Education - Chances and Challenges 2009. Heidelberg, 20.-22.05.2009. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2009. Doc09rmeC1

doi: 10.3205/09rme11, urn:nbn:de:0183-09rme118

Published: May 5, 2009

© 2009 Scheutzel.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Student selection and recruitment play an importand role in the successful outcome of dental education. For this reason over the years a wide variety of selection criteria / admission test procedures have been developed in different countries. In Germany the universities themselves can select 60% of their freshmen according to their own admission process. However, up to now this option has been scarcely applied, admission of most students is based only on their high-school grade point average, even though the prognostic validity of the high-school grade as predictor of students’ performance at the dental school is relatively low (r=0.38) in comparison with the specific validity coefficient in medicine (r=0.58). It is assumed that the reason for this is that the high-school grade does not give the lack of information about the candidate’s psychomotoric competence required in dental education and later on in the dental practice.

Therefore, not only in Germany universities and dental schools are confronted with the task of developing a reliable, valid, objective and also economic admission test, which allows selection of the most suitable students and decrease the number of ‘dropouts’ and ‘longtime students’, as dentistry is one of the most expensive courses within the University. The present study will contribute to this situation.

Based on a systematic literature research, different selection procedures, which have been applied around the world over the years, are resumed and compared with respect to their prognostic validity regarding different parameters of study success and reliability. Based on this, the use of high-school grades in combination with ability test results and a practical test of manual dexterity is recommended for student selection in dentistry (see table 1 [Tab. 1]).