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Aptitude Tests for Medical Students

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Aptitude tests have been used in many fields to assess the potential and capabilities of individuals. It helps to assess logical reasoning and mental abilities. These tests consist of Multiple choice questions, which have to be answered in a limited time span. Results will be out in minutes, which is devoid of human interventions and hence, is bias-free.

Types of Aptitude tests  and their pros and cons:

Further, such tests can measure different skills such as Verbal ability (English speaking skills), Numerical ability (Mathematics and interpretation of results), Abstract reasoning (questions with minimal or nil relevance in the real world), Spatial reasoning (skills to manipulate 2D,3D images), Data checking (Identification of mistakes from given data with precision and speed), Logical Reasoning (from given set of facts, you need to deduce other facts by reasoning logically).

These tests are used in many fields to know the specific skills of an individual. It is also used in many examinations like Engineering, Graduation, Government and Non-Government recruitment examinations. Based on the presence or absence of specific skills, an individual can be selected for a specific job using aptitude tests. It also helps students to know their passions and hidden talents, and hence, helps them to choose the right career. It helps in evaluating the core competencies of applicants. It also helps in recruiting better-quality candidates.

On the other hand, it is expensive to develop or administer an aptitude test and more often than not students have to pay for the involved cost. Also, We can’t rely on only one aptitude test result, because his/her test may go wrong due to some genuine reasons.

As the test does not include all other qualifications and abilities of the candidate, it may lead to an early judgment error. In addition, these tests provide reflection about mental abilities, but not about their Personality, and past work experiences. Hence, Aptitude test alone can’t determine an individual’s abilities, it should be assisted with other wide range of determinants.

A comprehensive construct of Medical Aptitude:

In the field of Medical Education, validated aptitude tests have been employed by Medical universities. McManus et al have discussed that, unlike examinations which purport to measure academic mastery and achievements based on the latest educational experience, aptitude tests assess cognitive ability by means acquired through formal and non-formal means of education.

McGaghie made one of the earliest attempts to define the construct of Medical aptitude. McGaghie described the construct with special reference to the evolution of the MCAT over a period of decades. The definition of aptitude has undergone several revisions over the years as each version embodied different components.

The definition of medical aptitude has a ‘consistent core with many peripheral variations’. The core consists of knowledge about the principles of physical, chemical, and biological science.

The peripheral content includes assessing the candidate with respect to the specific principles of verbal ability and verbal reasoning; reading ability; writing skills; general information about social sciences; discerning and formulating relationships and problem-solving skills.

Based on the 3 dimensions of the construct of medical aptitude, one can relook at the present assessment tests and the dimensions they assess, the methodology of the test (test pattern) and the weightage per section.

A comprehensive view highlights the fact that NEET-UG is the only test — among those discussed— that ascertains the consistent core, exclusively giving absolutely no weightage to the other 2 dimensions of medical aptitude. AIIMS (NEW Delhi) and JIPMER are next in allowing a higher weightage (about 90%) to this consistent core. However, unlike NEET, the peripheral content is assessed by the latter tests while communication is solely assessed by JIPMER.

The construct of medical aptitude has been socially conceptualized. Medical aptitude, thus, is a comprehensive and multifaceted term that encompasses 3 dimensions, has peripheral content and the support of a scaffold. Each of these dimensions has its importance and specific objectives in being assessed in the pre-medical student.

No specific dimension outweighs the other 2. A perfect intertwining of these 3 dimensions can prove beneficial in assessing Individuals to be fit for the profession of medical science.

Use of a Medical reasoning Aptitude test to know the performance of students in Medical School :

The medical reasoning aptitude test (MRAT) is designed to assess aptitude for clinical problem-solving in medical school applicants. It is very important to know whether the information provided by this test, when used in conjunction with college grade-point averages (GPAs) and scores on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), would improve the prediction of medical school performance.

Investigating the incremental predictive value of the MRAT relative to students’ overall performance in medical school and more specifically, to their knowledge and clinical reasoning during preclinical years and clinical performance during the clerkship years.

With the exception of the first year, the addition of MRAT scores to GPAs and MCAT scores increases precision in identifying students who performed poorly or exceptionally well in the second year and the clinical clerkship year. This last finding is especially useful since only a few other tests have provided that information.

How to get good scores in your Medical Reasoning Aptitude tests:

Getting good scores or getting a pass on any exam, sometimes becomes very stressful for students. But, if a student follows some basic tips, then he or she can score good marks in their aptitude tests.

Here are some tips to get good scores in your Aptitude tests :

  1. Practice Online aptitude tests at regular intervals of time.
  2. Be alert and stay focused.
  3. Read all questions and instructions properly.
  4. Rule out the options that are obviously wrong.
  5. Pay attention to the key verb in the question.
  6. Proper Time Management
  7. Don’t waste time on questions you don’t know.
  8. Keep a close eye on the time.
  9. Answer the easiest and scoring questions first.
  10. Lastly, everything will go best, just don’t stress.

If you want to take the Medical Reasoning aptitude test or want to practice tests, I highly suggest you go for Mercer | Mettl, they helped many students in scoring good marks in their aptitude tests.

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