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Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing
Administering our tests
The Optimising Admissions: Assessing Applicants for Medicine and Healthcare conference, organised by Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing, took place on 3 April 2017 in London, with more than 80 delegates attending.
The conference brought together a range of university academics from institutions in the UK and overseas, as well as admissions staff and researchers, to present on ways of assessing applicants for entry to highly competitive medicine and healthcare undergraduate courses.
Among the highlights from the day were:
Kirsty White, Assistant Director of the General Medical Council (GMC) gave the first presentation of the day. She spoke about the UK Medical Education Database (UKMED) which collates data on the performance of UK Medical students and trainee doctors throughout their education and also their future career. The UKMED database will soon include BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) data.
Dr Kevin Cheung’s talk on candidate preparation for admissions tests [pictured]. Dr Cheung, a Senior Research Manager at Cambridge Assessment, spoke about how effective test preparation is possible by using free preparation materials.
The availability of free preparation materials is also important in the context of widening participation, ensuring that all students have access and helping to create a level playing field. Dr Kevin Murphy, (Admission Tutor for Widening Participation in Undergraduate Medicine at Imperial College London) talked about Pathways to Medicine, an important widening participation initiative for their prospective students.
Dr Karen Grant, Director of Admissions for the medical degree programme at Lancaster University, spoke about how they introduced the BMAT into their selection process. BMAT has given the University the ability to further differentiate between applicants pre-interview. This has meant that they have not had to increase the minimum academic entry requirements, which could have undermined their widening participation agenda.
Another important theme throughout the conference was the use of Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs) in the healthcare sector. Alison Callwood (University of Surrey) discussed the reliability and predictive validity of MMIs and Aimee Aubeeluck (University of Nottingham) spoke about using webinars as a tool to keep offer holders engaged before and after their MMIs.
University colleagues from the Netherlands – Rashmi Kusurkar, Eline Dubois and Anouk Wouters – spoke about their perspectives on recent changes to selection for medicine.
Andy Chamberlain, Head of Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing, said: ‘This is the second time that we have held a conference to bring together colleagues from medicine and healthcare faculties. Its continued success shows that universities are interested in discussing diverse approaches to admissions and evaluating applicants.’