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Do standardized tests accurately predict future outcomes in graduate faculty for biomedical programs?
A research group at the UNC school of medication found that the Graduate record exam (GRE), which is required for admission to graduate and doctorate programs across the nation, isn't the foremost indicator for predicting a scholar's success whereas pursuing a doctorate within the experimental life sciences. And from that research, the crew recommends devaluing - if now not disposing of altogether - the GRE from the functions technique for biomedical PhD candidates.
The group become led by means of Jean prepare dinner, PhD, professor of biochemistry and biophysics, and the associate dean for graduate training at UNC school of medicine. Joshua corridor, PhD, director of the countrywide Institutes of health-funded submit-baccalaureate research schooling software (PREP) at UNC, and Anna O'Connell, director of UNC's biological and Biomedical Sciences application (BBSP), have been co-authors in the research paper, which become published today in PLOS One.
"My original activity in desirous to do a examine like this actually stemmed from my function directing their PREP program, which is the place they have underrepresented minority college students who're applying to PhD programs," corridor observed. "I work closely with them and see them working as researchers and taking graduate coursework right here at UNC, then they might apply to definite classes, but not get accredited. it could be frustrating to me to peer college students who were performing definitely well within the lab and in graduate coursework right here, however they'd low GRE rankings and that stored them from getting presents to graduate programs.
"There become a correlation the place college students with greater GRE ratings would get more presents than college students who were preforming at a good looking high degree as a researcher however who had lower GRE scores."
After completing a research study that evaluated a cohort of 280 college students who matriculated into UNC throughout the BBSP, the crew determined that quantitative metrics like GRE scores and - to some extent - GPAs were carrying extra weight within the utility system than they should still.
The study examined various factors that had been being considered by admissions committees in UNC's BBSP, which is an umbrella admissions software for 14 PhD programs within the UNC school of medicine, the UNC Eshelman school of Pharmacy, the UNC college of Dentistry, and the UNC school of Arts and Sciences. The team's findings have been specific to students pursuing graduate degrees in the experimental lifestyles sciences fields and who had been accepted into the application, cook pointed out.
"I do not know if any of their suggestions is vital in the humanities, or the arts or even engineering," prepare dinner said. "We most effective know concerning the individuals that they instruct, and it's viable that an entire diverse set of metrics might be advantageous in distinct disciplines."
The look at followed the same one carried out on the college of California at San Francisco in 2015, which determined that a student's historical past in analysis - and never the GRE ranking - appeared to be the strongest indicator of future success in PhD programs.
"We analyzed a a whole lot larger number of purposes and they got here to largely equivalent conclusions," cook mentioned. "We wanted to grasp what part of the application that they compile really matters for the issues they care about in graduate school."
First, prepare dinner's group tried to outline what made a "effective" scholar, then the team checked out what unusual these college students from folks that weren't as mighty.
"This become hard to outline," cook dinner noted. "Graduate school in the sciences is not about taking classes and doing smartly on a few tests. in reality, there are only a few courses."
as an alternative, they relied on commencement prices and first-creator publications, which are a common graduation requirement for most biomedical PhD programs.
"We found that GRE rankings with no trouble didn't correlate with pupil success," cook said. "Our message then to their admissions committee is: 'If the examine ranking is stunning, do not be seduced into pondering that it means they're going to be a great scientist whereas they may be part of a lab at UNC.'"
O'Connell added: "And if their score is low, do not be tricked into considering that they are not in a position or they might not be productive."
The UNC conclusions were corroborated with the aid of a related look at in the identical issue of PLOS One from Vanderbilt school scientific school that mainly focused on the GRE.
If the GRE have been to be eradicated from the application method, then most likely a further metric would take its vicinity. The crew plans to behavior comply with-up reports on simply what that should still be.
"maybe this may drive us to start considering of alternative metrics that most likely are more advantageous symptoms of the issues we're definitely trying to measure and search for in an applicant - things like grit, optimism, perseverance, and resiliency," hall pointed out.
discover extra: Campus composting classes positive in instructing students
A computational approach has the advantage to aid clinicians in intensive care contraptions make superior selections about ordering regular blood assessments.
outcomes of their study, presented previous this month at the 2019 Pacific Symposium on Biocomputing, showed that the use of a computer getting to know algorithm developed through Princeton institution researchers might have decreased the number of lab orders for white blood mobilephone checks via as tons as forty four %.
furthermore, researchers validated that their strategy would have helped inform clinicians to intervene once in a while hours sooner when a affected person’s circumstance begun to deteriorate.
“With the lab examine ordering policy that this formulation developed, they had been able to order labs to check that the patient’s health had degraded sufficient to need medication, on usual, four hours before the clinician in reality initiated treatment in accordance with clinician ordered labs,” says Barbara Engelhardt, senior writer of the examine and associate professor of desktop science at Princeton.
in their examine, researchers leveraged the MIMIC III database—which comprises exact medical facts of 58,000 vital care admissions at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess scientific core—and selected a subset of 6,060 statistics of adults who have been admitted to the ICU between 2001 and 2012.
“Our experiments display that they are able to estimate a coverage that reduces the frequency of lab tests and optimizes timing to lower tips redundancy,” states the look at. “We also find that the estimated guidelines typically suggest ordering lab checks neatly forward of essential onsets—corresponding to mechanical air flow or dialysis—that depend upon the lab effects.”
“there is an absence of evidence-based instructions in important care involving the acceptable frequency of laboratory measurements,” says Shamim Nemati, an assistant professor of biomedical informatics at Emory tuition, who become now not involved in the examine.
“facts-driven strategies such as the one proposed via (electrical engineering graduate student Li-Fang) Cheng and co-authors (Engelhardt and computer science graduate student Niranjani Prasad), when mixed with a deeper perception into medical workflow, have the expertise to reduce charting burden and price of extreme testing, and increase situational focus and effects,” adds Nemati.
additionally See: Boston clinical core trims unneeded exams with EHR-based mostly prompts
“Our outcomes indicate that there is considerable room for growth on current ordering practices, and the framework added here can assist recommend foremost practices and be used to consider deviations from these across care providers, driving us against more productive healthcare,” conclude the authors.
“additionally, the low possibility of those sorts of interventions in affected person healthcare reduces the barrier of trying out and deploying clinician-in-the-loop computing device discovering-assisted patient care in ICU settings,” they add.
towards that conclusion, the Princeton researchers are working with records scientists at Penn drugs to introduce an most appropriate coverage within the medical institution for ordering lab exams.
“this is some of the first times we’ll be able to take this desktop discovering approach and truly put it in the ICU, or in an inpatient sanatorium atmosphere, and suggest caregivers in a method that sufferers aren’t going to be in danger,” says Engelhardt. “That’s truly whatever novel.”
“Having access to computing device learning, artificial intelligence and statistical modeling with enormous amounts of facts” will help clinicians “make improved choices, and in the end enhance patient outcomes,” adds Corey Chivers, senior records scientist at Penn.
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Premier national engineering institution, UET Lahore, on its admissions page assumes only male applicants would apply
Every year, thousands of students across the nation enroll in medical schools and engineering universities. Many more thousands apply and aspire — only to be told that they are not good enough. The entire process is robotic and devoid of human experience, and therefore prone to accept people of a certain mould and reject those who may have a lot to offer in terms of personal stories, commitment and passion. But they are getting ahead of ourselves here; let us first look at how the admission system works in the professional higher education sector.
At most universities, admissions are a combination of high school record and an entrance test. An analysis of this system shows deep problems. Let us start with a public display of blatant sexism. For example, the premier national engineering institution, the University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Lahore, on its admissions page assumes that only male applicants would apply (http://uet.edu.pk/admission/admissioninfo/index.html?RID=rulesunder). In the eligibility criteria for admissions, the university website states: “He should have passed the Intermediate (Pre- Engineering) Examination with Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics from a Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education of Pakistan or an equivalent examination recognized by the University.” What about any female student? Is she not welcome? The list of requirements is too long to be reprinted here, but the only pronoun the university uses is for a male applicant. This is despite the fact that nearly 20 per cent of its current enrolled students are female. The university sends a clear message to its applicants. UET Taxila is no different (http://admissions.uettaxila.edu.pk/Admission_Eligibility.php). A society that desperately needs to integrate everyone into its innovative workforce cannot afford to be blind to its most promising sector, the female students. Just to clarify, it has nothing to do with majority of students being male, since medical schools, where majority is female, do not use a similar sexist language.
The second troubling aspect of the admission process is a deep disconnect with the applicants. As I went through the admission criteria of institution after institution, across the country, nowhere did I see any indication of the university being interested in the individual. A fundamental question, of why do you want to become a doctor, or an engineer of a particular type is nowhere to be found. The universities never bother to ask the prospective student his or her opinion on why the chosen profession matters to him or her and what major problems of the day inspire him or her? They continue to debate and speculate why so many of their graduates never become part of the workforce, but what if they never wanted to? What if it was only parental pressure? What if they were not passionate? The way things currently go — there is no chance of us finding out.
The admission test is also not particularly focused on open-ended problem solving and creative thinking ability. The English exam is particularly troubling which does not focus on writing and expression, but instead focuses on a mechanical approach to language.
At the core, the only criterion of admissions to public engineering and medical institutions is the ability to do well in a test — be it in HSSC or the entrance exam. Anyone with a real world experience in engineering or medicine would attest that assumption of this correlation is fundamentally flawed, and ability to take the test alone is not a sign of innovation, creativity and passion to solve problems.
The consequence of poor access to quality education combined with a flawed admission system is that not only they miss students, who may not do exceptionally well in an exam but may make outstanding professionals, but they also admit those who may be gifted test takers but not interested or capable of solving their grandest challenges.
Admissions is a complex process, a serious business and requires careful thought. By no means can it be relegated to a cookie-cutter formula. By using a formula, instead of focusing on the person, they have created a mismatch of what they need and what they produce. It’s time they revisited and optimised their admissions to attract those who demonstrate creativity, passion and a personal commitment.
We need leaders, not robots.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 9th, 2016.
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The Ucas gives you the opportunity to apply for over 100, 000 courses across UK. This can be a tad intimidating for a young adult. To help you in making the choice, the Ucas website has informative videos and a helpful section that gives you a low down on all courses, sandwich courses through which you can explore the world of work in the industry you are specializing in, courses with a combination of subjects, and maybe even short term diploma courses.
The shorter undergraduate courses are ideal if you want a quicker qualification. You could opt for a Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE), a two-year a Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE),a Higher National Diploma (HND) or a Foundation degree. With these, you will not be accepted directly into a Post graduate programme but into the second or the third year of a full degree.
What to explore?
The career aspirations you cherish can be achieved by exploring the section - Choose your course. Apart from this, Hotcourses.com is also an excellent resource to understand the various course options. Once you have identified the course, learn more about the course content. You can do this by following the link from the options given to you.
The pre requisites for entry
The next thing to understand is the entry requirements or the pre requisites for entry. Most University websites specify the grades required for entry; they mostly specify requirements from the British education perspective. Should you be pursuing an Indian curriculum, an American or Iranian for example, you may need to get in touch with the admissions office to seek clarity if it is not specified on the University website.
What are Tariff points?
In most websites, there is a mention of Tariff points. If you do not follow the British curriculum, it may sound confusing. Not all qualifications attract UCAS Tariff points. The university or college you are interested in may accept your qualifications as an appropriate entry route even if they don’t attract UCAS Tariff points. The UCAS website also states, that not all universities and colleges use the UCAS Tariff. To learn more, visit the Tariff section of UCAS. When in doubt, contact the University Admissions Department directly or seek guidance from UCAS. They are usually prompt about responding. Contact email@example.com or the institution you are interested in applying to.
In the British system, apart from the English proficiency test IELTS for international students, some professional programmes require you to sit entrance exams like BMAT, UKCAT, LNAT etc. Furthermore, some course providers like Oxford and Cambridge have their own tests. To understand what they are, visit the UCAS website and seek information in the Entry requirements page. As the October 15th deadline looms large for Medical College aspirants, I have put together information of use that will help you in your quest.
Dealines are crucial
All too often students come to me after the deadline is past to enquire about Medical College admissions in UK. Although it is extremely competitive, you will not even get the change to give it a shot unless you meet the stipulated deadlines. So if Medicine is your dream career, go on, register for the requisite tests and prepare for them right away.
Get a reality check
Most institutions look upon your application favourably if you have demonstrated an interest in your chosen field by taking on an internship in your area of interest or if you have shadowed a person from that discipline. Using your summer or winter break constructively will give you a peek into the profession. I have found sometimes, students have dream concepts based on TV shows they are watching or books they are reading that glamorizes the profession and jazzes it up in their mind. When one works as an intern, the real picture emerges and the student may or may not be as interested as he/she first imagined they would be.
For most 17 year olds, getting an internship opportunity may prove to be a challenge even if it is an unpaid one as per current laws of the land. Some students therefore, go overseas or to their home countries and undertake projects or internships over the summer/winter breaks. It would be both productive and informative for students if the government could give them opportunities to contribute to the community and hone their skills here. Special student permits granting them permission for such internships will ensure that students utilize their time constructively.
If you’re looking for performance based courses in music, dance or drama, you may want to consider studying at a conservatoire. While academic music, dance or drama classes are more theory based, performing arts courses are much more practical.
If you are applying for a career-based course, contact the institution directly and ask for a form, you need not go through UCAS. For HNDs and Foundation degrees, you need to enquire with the institution whether you need to apply through UCAS or directly.
Art, Design and Architecture
Most institutions would need to see your portfolio before they offer you a place in these subject areas. The institution websites have detailed information on what they expect and how the submissions can be made.
Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Sciences and related courses
As 15th October is the deadline for applications, the deadlines for registration for the pre requisite tests the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) and the UK Clincal Aptitude Test (UKCAT) are also early. The deadline for registration for UKCAT is 20th September. Key dates for BMAT is 1st October, standard entry closing date and 15th October for late entries. Test date, 6th November.
For details, download information on:
If Oxford or Cambridge is your dream study destination, be mindful that the deadline for application is 15th October. Depending on the programme you wish to opt for, there may be tests required. Check colleges in the system to learn more. Also remember, deadlines are very important so please do your research well in advance so that you do not have any unpleasant surprises later.
Entrance test details
The BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) is a subject-specific admissions test for applicants to medicine, veterinary medicine and similar courses at universities where the majority of applicants have followed a predominantly UK-based school science curriculum. The BMAT is a 2-hour, pen-and-paper test divided into three sections:
• Aptitude and Skills.
• Scientific Knowledge and Applications.
• Writing Task.
You need to enter your BMAT candidate number on all exam scripts. Your candidate number can be found on your Statement of Entry, which is provided on the day of the test. Your candidate number begins with a ‘B’ followed by five numbers. BMAT results are only accepted by universities in the year candidates apply for university. A candidate’s score from one year will not affect their chances if re-applying in later years, as each application is considered afresh.
15th October is the deadline for all Medical, veterinary medicine and similar courses. Be mindful of the dates. To understand dates, deadlines and processes, please visit: http://www.admissionstestingservice.org
The UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) is used in the selection process by a consortium of UK University Medical and Dental Schools. The test helps universities to make more informed choices from amongst the many highly-qualified applicants who apply for their medical and dental degree programmes. The UKCAT does not contain any curriculum or science content; nor can it be revised for. It focuses on exploring the cognitive powers of candidates and other attributes considered to be valuable for health care professionals. Candidates intending to apply in 2013 for entry to a relevant course in a UKCAT University in 2014 (or for deferred entry in 2015) are required to sit the UKCAT by the 4th October 2013 deadline. The requirement to take the test applies to all UK, EU and the majority of international applicants.
To understand which Universities require this test, visit the ‘Who takes the test’ section of UKCAT website through: www.ukcat.ac.uk Also, their very comprehensive official guide also has sample questions. PLEASE NOTE that the last testing date is 4th October.
LNAT or the National Admissions test for Law was developed by a consortium of UK universities as a fair way to assess a candidate’s potential to study law at undergraduate level, regardless of their education or personal background. The LNAT tests aptitude rather than educational achievement. The skills that candidates need to do well in the LNAT are also the skills that they need to do well in legal education. The test measures the verbal reasoning skills at the heart of legal education
If you are applying to Ucas in 2013-14 you must also take the LNAT during the 2013-14 testing cycle. If you take the LNAT in an earlier testing year, your result will not be transmitted to universities and you will have to take the LNAT again. All candidates should register for the LNAT on line and obtain an LNAT ID Number. This can be done only once you have registered on UCAS and have a UCAS ID number. Once you get your test result, they are sent automatically on the basis of information supplied by you. You must enter your UCAS personal identifier number (ten digits) at the time of registration. This allows your result and essay to be transmitted to the universities to which you apply on your UCAS form. You will receive an LNAT result (a score out of 42) and the university will refer to this when processing your university application.
Post Graduate Courses
To enroll in a post graduate programme, you would need the equivalent of a UK degree in a relevant subject. You may need to take a conversion Masters if direct entry is not
possible. Post graduate applications are usually submitted directly through the university’s website. It is also possible to apply through UKPASS, an online postgraduate application service also facilitated by UCAS. Visit www.ukpass.ac.uk for more information.
If you wish to pursue your interest in a specific subject area, you could opt for a research degree. Here, you would be expected to identify and develop a topic, use the guidance of a Professor or more to research and present your findings. To learn more, visit www.hero.ac.uk or www.newphd.ac.uk A lot of independent and focused work will be necessary to actualize this.
As regards securing a place in an MBA programme, most institutions would want to see professional work experience. Some students opt to undertake an MSc or MA when they do not have the required experience.
With more and more students graduating from local institutions, there is a felt need for Masters level courses. Some of the qualifications on offer include:
MA - Master of Arts/ M Sc. -Master of Science: These courses are usually 12 months long but may also extend to two years. You would need a basic degree in the subject to undertake a post grad qualification. Some institutions offer bridging courses if you are moving from one subject area to another or a related one.
PG Dip – Post Graduate Diploma – Most post graduate diplomas are 9 months in length. PG diplomas offer the same programme as a Masters level qualification but will not require a dissertation.
Conversion Masters These yearlong courses are tailored to suit those students who aspire to pursue a subject at the PG level that they have not specialized in before. They need to be graduates before being accepted for this programme.
MBA – Master of Business Administration – This most sought-after qualification is usually a year long. In most institutions, this would require professional experience. The requirement is specific to each university but most need a Managerial level experience for a period of three to five years. With changing trends, some students are opting for this degree directly after a first degree. However, the more competitive institutions would need the work experience. It is possible to specialize in a specific subject like Finance, HR or Marketing or take up a more generic MBA. The choice is yours. Web link www.mba.org.uk
Ph D – Doctoral programmes are typically four years long and allow the individual to undertake in depth research in any given area. The new Route Ph D offers a mixture of research and taught segments. Professional experience is also considered while assessing applications.
Honours Degrees: Usually three years in duration, with focus on one subject. Some programmes may entail preparation of a desertation as part of the honours requirement.
Combined Honours: Two subjects studied for three to four years.
Sandwich course: A course that includes up to one year of work experience in the industry, usually in the third year. Students return to the Uni to complete the degree in the fourth year.
Foundation degree: These are usually two years in duration and students can progress to full honours degree after further study.
Foundation course: Should a student not have the required English proficiency or marks, he/she can enroll in a foundation course and then progress into a Bachelor’s programme.
The writer is the Director and Founder of Counselling Point Training and Devolopment. a KHDA approved student counselling centre in Dubai
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