Impact of vocational interests, previous academic experience, gender and age on Situational Judgement Test performance

Nienke R. Schripsema*, Anke M. Trigt, van, Jan C. C. Borleffs, Janke Cohen-Schotanus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
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Situational Judgement Tests (SJTs) are increasingly implemented in medical school admissions. In this paper, we investigate the effects of vocational interests, previous academic experience, gender and age on SJT performance. The SJT was part of the selection process for the Bachelor's degree programme in Medicine at University of Groningen, the Netherlands. All applicants for the academic year 2015-2016 were included and had to choose between learning communities Global Health (n = 126), Sustainable Care (n = 149), Intramural Care (n = 225), or Molecular Medicine (n = 116). This choice was used as a proxy for vocational interest. In addition, all graduate-entry applicants for academic year 2015-2016 (n = 213) were included to examine the effect of previous academic experience on performance. We used MANCOVA analyses with Bonferroni post hoc multiple comparisons tests for applicant performance on a six-scenario SJT. The MANCOVA analyses showed that for all scenarios, the independent variables were significantly related to performance (Pillai's Trace: 0.02-0.47, p <.01). Vocational interest was related to performance on three scenarios (p <.01). Graduate-entry applicants outperformed all other groups on three scenarios (p <.01) and at least one other group on the other three scenarios (p <.01). Female applicants outperformed male applicants on three scenarios (p <.01) and age was positively related to performance on two scenarios (p <.05). A good fit between applicants' vocational interests and SJT scenario was related to better performance, as was previous academic experience. Gender and age were related to performance on SJT scenarios in different settings. Especially the first effect might be helpful in selecting appropriate candidates for areas of health care in which more professionals are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-532
Number of pages12
JournalAdvances in Health Sciences Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May-2017


  • Situational Judgement Test
  • SJT
  • Vocational interests
  • Academic experience
  • Medical school admissions
  • Medical student selection

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