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Australian Journal of Clinical Education

Abstract

Aim: Undergraduate GPA (UGPA) is commonly used to select students into postgraduate physiotherapy programs. The aim of this study was to explore the relationships between UGPA and the academic and clinical performance of postgraduate entry-level physiotherapy students.

Method: A retrospective cohort study of students from four cohorts (2010-2013) of a postgraduate entry-level physiotherapy program. UGPA, average pre-clinical coursework marks and clinical performance scores were investigated. Clinical performance was measured by the Assessment of Physiotherapy Practice. Normality tests, descriptive analysis and correlations between variables were calculated. Participants were then grouped according to UGPA and a one-way ANOVA was performed to determine differences in clinical or coursework performance between groups.

Results: Data from 121 students were analysed. There were no significant relationships identified between UGPA and pre-clinical coursework or clinical performance scores. There were no significant differences in academic or clinical performance between groups when students were classified by UGPA.

Conclusion: These findings indicate a need to reconsider the use of UGPA as a sole selection criterion and supports the inclusion of other criteria to select students into competitive programs. Minimum UGPA entry requirements for postgraduate physiotherapy programs should be reviewed to ensure all suitable applicants are eligible for admission.

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