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UKCAT welcomes this paper and its findings. It is reassuring that
medical and dental schools can use the test as a reasonable proxy for A-
levels given the on-going debate regarding the speculative nature of
predicted grades and discussions regarding post-qualification admissions.
The paper shows that (similarly to A levels) the test is influenced by
gender and socio-economic factors. However, the fact that UKCAT scores are
less subject to bias than A level results alone, potentially indicates
that if combined with A level achievement, they may offer a fairer tool
The UKCAT is one of a range of selection tools used by medical and
dentals schools in their admissions processes. Further research into the
use and value of UKCAT scores in both selection and widening participation
is required. UKCAT is firmly committed to conducting and supporting
research that determines the long-term predictive validity of its tests.
This year UKCAT intends to embark on a longitudinal cohort study
following up progression in medical and dental schools for the first four
cohorts of candidates. At the same time we intend to undertake detailed
research regarding how the UKCAT has influenced approaches to widening
participation in medical and dental admissions.
The author is Chief Operating Officer of UKCAT
No competing interests
18 February 2010
Chief Operating Officer
UKCAT, Courses Office, Medical School, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, NG7 2UH