Relationship between admission selection tools and student attrition in the early years of medical school

Ashraf F. Hefny, Taleb M. Almansoori, Margaret El-Zubeir, Alia AlBawardi, Sami Shaban, Mohi Eldin Magzoub, Taoufik Zoubeidi, Nirmin A. Mansour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Placement in medical schools is highly sought after worldwide with fierce competition among applicants. However, some of the best students withdraw after being accepted to medical school. The aim of this study was to investigate early student attrition within the first 2 years of medical school and determine its relationship to admission selection tools. Methods: Quantitative research was conducted at the College of Medicine and Health Sciences from 2016 until 2020, during which time routine admission data and students’ examination results for the first 2 years were collected and analyzed. Results: The attrition rate during the study period was 31.7%. High school and college written examination scores were significantly related to completing the premedical program (p = 0.001 and p = 0.002, respectively). Female students scored significantly higher in multiple mini interviews (MMIs) compared with male counterparts (p < 0.001). However, the difference in MMI score was not related to student attrition (p = 0.148). Conclusion: The cause of early attrition is complex and cannot be attributed to a single factor. Undergraduate high school score and written admission examination results were statistically significant factors in relation to student attrition rate and low academic performance. The results of this study showed that the female students scored significantly higher in the multiple MMI tests compared to male students. However, MMI score alone was not significantly related to student attrition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-452
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Taibah University Medical Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024


  • Attrition
  • College admission test
  • Dropouts
  • Education
  • Medical school

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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