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Doesn’t the UMAT do a poor job of predicting medical school grades?

UMAT-bashers have long liked to claim that the UMAT isn’t valuable to universities because it doesn’t predict university grades very well. They miss two important points: first, smart university admissions officers don’t want it to predict grades, and second, it correlates very well with something more important than grades—real success in academic fields like medicine.

Predicting grades is a wild-goose chase because grades are not objectively distrib­uted: almost any teacher/professor can give out grades any way he or she wishes. Many students, as we all know, get good grades without having great intellectual ability. They just learn to “play the game” of school/university—seek the easy subjects, crawl up to teachers/lecturers, and pad their transcripts.

Smart university admissions officers favour the UMAT because it often weeds the grade-grabbers out from the truly good thinkers. Rather than predicting your grades, your UMAT scores indicate your ability to read critically, write cogently, solve problems intelli­gently, and think well under pressure. These are the skills which are required to be successful in professional practice and taught in the MedEntry UMAT prep course. Thankfully, the UMAT is not designed to predict how well you will play the university grading game.

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