Associations among predental credentials and measures of dental school achievement.J Dent Educ. 2008 Feb; 72(2):142-52.JD
The purpose of this study was to investigate the associations among several dental school admission criteria and several measures of dental school achievement. Data were collected for 2000-07 University of Iowa dentistry graduates, including five specific preadmission credentials and five specific measures of dental school achievement for each student. Pearson product moment correlations or Mann-Whitney U statistics were computed for the association of each of the ten variables with the nine others. The strongest correlation observed was between predental science grade point average (GPA) and overall predental GPA. Dental Admission Test (DAT) Academic Average was very strongly correlated with DAT Total Science, and both of these were each moderately correlated with DAT Perceptual Ability, predental science GPA, and overall predental GPA. Among the measures of dental school achievement, the strongest association was observed between National Board Dental Examination (NBDE) scores and dental school GPA. These were also moderately correlated with final clinical grade. All of the measures of dental school achievement were slightly stronger for candidates who passed the Central Regional Dental Testing Service (CRDTS) examination than for those who failed that exam. Of the predental credentials considered, predental science GPA and overall predental GPA were the best predictors of dental school GPA. DAT Academic Average was the best predictor of NBDE scores. Although DAT Perceptual Ability was the best predictor of clinical competency at the time of graduation, these two variables were only weakly correlated. DAT Perceptual Ability scores and overall predental GPA were slightly higher for candidates who passed the CRDTS examination than for those who failed that exam.