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IRRELEVANT TEST, Australian Doctor (9 March 2007)

EDITOR: It is not surprising that the Graduate Australian Medical School Admission Test (GAMSAT) is not a good predictor of students' performance in medical school ('Graduate med school test doubts', 9 February).

However, a more important question that should be investigated is whether GAMSAT is a good test for predicting whether selected students become good medical practitioners.

If practising doctors in Australia were to sit the tests without preparation, at least 70% would pass the UMAT (Undergraduate Medical and Health Sciences Admission test) -- a test for school leavers -- whereas only about 1% would pass the GAMSAT (a test for graduates).

This is not because GAMSAT is harder than UMAT; it is because while UMAT tests generic skills, GAMSAT tests knowledge, much of which is irrelevant to the practice of medicine.

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