Students' perceived experience of university admission based on tests and interviews

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The aim of the study was to generate an impression, from the perspective of graduating dental students, of the individualised admissions procedures, which they had undergone 5 years before. The subjects comprised 10 randomly selected students, five male and five female, from two different admission rounds. Qualitative research was used and data were collected by means of semi-structured interviews. The results show that even 5 years later, the students remember clearly the different steps in the selection procedure and they found the procedure relevant. In particular, the admission interviews made a lasting impression. The students consider that being interviewed by one admissions committee member at a time reduces the applicant's apprehension and allows a more personal interview. Several believe that the admissions procedure influences academic achievement or improves self-confidence: implicit in their selection by a committee of experienced professionals is affirmation that they have the potential to become good dentists. The students therefore feel encouraged to aspire to higher achievement. All students believe that motivation is an important non-cognitive attribute for success and that students selected through this mode are not only highly motivated but also well informed, with realistic expectations of the undergraduate programme and their future professional career.

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