Undergraduate medical course applicants' ratings of the value of a Situational Judgement Test (SJT) as a selection tool

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Title: Undergraduate medical course applicants’ ratings of the value of a Situational Judgment Test (SJT) as a selection tool

Name: Irene Lichtwark, Margaret Hay

Origin: Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

Candidate reactions to the SJT as a selection tool have been assessed in post-graduate medical selection, and teacher training, but not in undergraduate medical course applicants.

MBBS applicants at Monash University completed an online 80 scenario SJT (N=503, 57.9% female, mean age 18.2 years, SD 0.49). Candidates rated the difficulty of the SJT relative to the Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admissions Test (UMAT). Face validity of the SJT was assessed via ratings of scenario relevance, suitability as a selection tool, and ranking of the SJT relative to the UMAT, MMI, and Year 12 score.

Most (72.3%) rated the SJT as easier than the UMAT, and 70% could relate to the SJT scenarios. Nearly all (91.1%) rated the SJT questions as relevant for medical course selection, with 66.5% rating the SJT as a suitable selection test. MMI was ranked as the most useful selection tool by 56.4%, with 31.6% nominating Year 12 score. The UMAT was ranked as the least useful selection tool by 45.5%, and the SJT by 23.6%. Candidates preferring the UMAT found the SJT repetitive, and lacking in variety of item type. Candidates preferring the SJT enjoyed the test, its shorter test time, realistic scenarios contextualized in medicine, and perceived relevance to future practice.

This study provides evidence of higher face validity of the SJT relative to the UMAT, but not the MMI or Year 12 score. Despite their young age, most candidates were able to relate to the medically contextualized scenarios.


  • SJT, candidate reactions, face validity

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