Can We Predict Student Success (and Reduce Student Failure)?

Authors

  • Shahireh Sharif Department of Chemistry and School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK
  • Larry Gifford Department of Chemistry and School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK
  • Gareth A. Morris Department of Chemistry and School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK
  • Jill Barber Department of Chemistry and School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK

Keywords:

A-levels, Diagnostic tests, English, Pharmacy, Student performance

Abstract

The final year performance of the first intake to the master of pharmacy programme at the Manchester School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has been correlated with data available from UCAS forms, diagnostic tests and course examinations and attendance records. We have found evidence of factors that predispose students toward success or failure. For example, final degree classification was much more sensitive to the grade in biology A-level than to the total A-level points-score in this cohort of students. Final examination scores were essentially independent of the affluence of the students’ backgrounds (as measured by the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD)). Perhaps the most important finding was the strong correlation of final examination marks with marks in the diagnostic test in English. These and other data have been used to inform admissions policy, but their most important use is in refining the curriculum and in student support and guidance.

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Published

13/03/2003

Issue

Section

Research Article