A comparison of the academic performance of graduate entry and undergraduate entry pharmacy students at the course exit level

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Introduction: Graduate entry (GE) pharmacy students are trained in a shorter timeframe than undergraduate entry (UE) students. This study compares the academic performance of GE and UE pharmacy students at the course exit point. Methods: A retrospective analysis of final exam grades in written and objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) was performed between GE and UE students from three graduating cohorts. Final written examination contained clinical case study questions, whereas OSCE involved role play with simulated patients or doctors. Statistical analyses were performed by t-test and one-way analysis of variance at .05 significance level and Pearson's correlation coefficient. Results: No significant difference in academic performance was seen between GE and UE groups at course exit (P > .05). There was a trend for GE students performing marginally better in OSCE than UE students. Females showed better performances in verbal communication than males. GE males showed significantly lower empathy scores than all other groups. No significant difference was seen in problem-solving scores amongst all groups. Both UE and GE groups scored significantly better in written examinations compared with OSCE. Conclusions: Graduate entry pharmacy students from accelerated learning pathway and UE students performed similarly at the course exit point, providing empirical support for non-traditional graduate entry pathway as a viable option.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)881-886
Number of pages6
JournalCurrents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • Graduate entry
  • Pharmacy
  • Assessment
  • Communication
  • Problem-solving
  • OSCE

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