Putting study to test (Published in Australian Doctor, 24 May 2013, page 29)
Paul Smith reports that a study published shows that 'Students coached for UCAT struggle to match their peers in medical school'. (Australian Doctor 10/05/13). The above is no different to oft-repeated claims that students from state schools perform better at university than their (well coached) private school counterparts. Equally valid conclusions that can be drawn from the above study are: UCAT coaching is effective in helping to get into medical school; coaching leads to increased motivation, resulting in higher ATAR scores reported. Finally, the authors of the study contradict themselves when they report that 'the effect of coaching on UCAT test performance appears to be relatively minimal', yet claim 'students coached for UCAT perform less well in the medical course'. The first statement implies coaching doesn't work, the second that coaching helps students to get into medical school!