Preliminary Performance of the Advanced Dental Admission Test (ADAT): Association Between ADAT Scores and Other Variables for Applicants to Residency Programs at a U.S. Dental School
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Abstract: Historically, dental residency programs have used numerical assessment criteria to evaluate and identify qualified candidates for admission. Recent elimination of such assessment tools has undermined many programs’ holistic evaluation process. The Advanced Dental Admission Test (ADAT) was developed and recently piloted in hopes of addressing this issue. The aim of this study was to evaluate the preliminary performance and validity of the ADAT by exploring the association between ADAT scores and other variables for a sample of applicants to residency programs. The WebAdMIT admissions database was used to identify the test scores and educational and demographic information of 92 individuals who completed the pilot ADAT and were seeking a 2017 postgraduate specialty position at Indiana University School of Dentistry. The results showed that the ADAT had strong to weak correlations with certain applicant variables (p<0.05). No significant differences were found for age, race, school location, or country of origin. However, males performed better than females (p<0.05), and non-Hispanics performed better than Hispanics (p<0.01). ADAT component scores were also higher for individuals with a history of research activity (p<0.05). This study found that significant associations existed between the ADAT and indices typically associated with competitive applicants. These findings suggest that the ADAT may serve as a useful numerical assessment instrument, with the potential to identify highperforming candidates. Furthermore, the ADAT seemed to be a plausible option for programs seeking to incorporate a quantitative assessment instrument as part of a holistic candidate selection process.