Admission and Optometry Grade Comparisons Among Students Receiving Different Types of Admission Interviews

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This retrospective study examined the interview scores, admission grades, and optometry grades of students who received one of two types of admission interviews. The INDIV-BLIND group (N=36) represented those students who had received an individual interview (i.e., one interviewer) for which the interviewer had no access to the candidate's file. The PANEL-ACCESS group (N=21) was made up of those students who had received a panel interview (i.e., two interviewers) for which the interviewers had access to the candidate's file. The two groups were compared using two admission grades and seven optometry grades. Both t-test and Wilcoxon Score statistical procedures were used to test the null hypothesis (Ho) that there were no significant grade differences (p <0.05) between the INDIV-BLIND and PANEL-ACCESS groups. The Ho was accepted. There were no indications that the homogeneity of grades in the two groups was a function of the admission process. When the interview scores in each group were considered, Spearman Correlation Coefficients showed that the interview scores of the PANEL-ACCESS group significantly correlated (p <0.05) with six of the academic grades such that better scores were associated with higher grades. No such correlations were found for the INDIV-BLIND group. The results were interpreted as evidence that interviewers can be unduly influenced in their scoring of the interview by the candidate's written file. The difference in skills reflected by the interview score and the clinic grade was suggested as an important factor in accounting for the lack of correlation between these two measures. The limitations of the study and the implication of the findings on admission decisions are discussed.

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