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Emily Shannon Hughes 1 Article
Mismatch between the proposed ability concepts of the Graduate Record Examination and the critical thinking skills of physical therapy applicants suggested by an expert panel in the United States  
Emily Shannon Hughes
J Educ Eval Health Prof. 2019;16:24.   Published online August 27, 2019
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AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary Material
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a general examination predictive of success in US-based graduate programs. Used to assess students’ written, mathematical, and critical thinking (CT) skills, the GRE is utilized for admission to approximately 85% of US physical therapist education (PTE) programs. The purpose of this study was to assess whether the CT skills measured by the GRE match those deemed by an expert panel as the most important to assess for PTE program acceptance.
Using a modified E-Delphi approach, a 3-phase survey was distributed over 8 weeks to a panel consisting of licensed US physical therapists with expertise on CT and PTE program directors. The CT skills isolated by the expert panel, based on Facione’s Delphi report, were compared to the CT skills assessed by the GRE.
The CT skills supported by the Delphi report and chosen by the expert panel for assessment prior to acceptance into US PTE programs included clarifying meaning, categorization, and analyzing arguments. Only clarifying meaning matched the CT skills from the GRE.
The GRE is a test for general admission to graduate programs, lacking context related to healthcare or physical therapy. The current study fails to support the GRE as an assessment tool of CT for admission to PTE programs. A context-based admission test evaluating the CT skills identified in this study should be developed for use in the admission process to predict which students will complete US PTE programs and pass the licensure exam.


Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Correlation between physician assistant students’ performance score of history taking and physical exam documentation and scores of Graduate Record Examination, clinical year grade point average, and score of Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam i
    Sara Lolar, Jamie McQueen, Sara Maher
    Journal of Educational Evaluation for Health Professions.2020; 17: 16.     CrossRef

JEEHP : Journal of Educational Evaluation for Health Professions