Personality and academic performance of three cohorts of veterinary students in South Africa
Journal of Veterinary Medical Education
P.O. Box 15547, Sinoville, Pretoria 0129, South Africa; Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X04, Onderstepoort 0110, South Africa
To aid in selecting students for admission to undergraduate veterinary training, admissions procedures often take into account students' previous academic performance as well as the results of an interview. The study reported here investigated the relationship between personality and academic success. Students from three entry cohorts to the second year of study of a six-year BVSc program at the University of Pretoria completed the 16 Personality Factor Questionnaire. A meta-analytic approach was used to estimate the relationship between academic performance in two major final-year subjects and academic performance on entry, an interview score, and the personality factors. The study confirmed the value of previous academic performance and the interview in selecting students for the veterinary degree program. The findings also indicate that the inclusion of a measure of intellectual ability could be of value. The value of various personality characteristics in predicting good study habits and examination performance is highlighted by the study results: students were more successful if they were conscientious, emotionally stable, socially adept, self-disciplined, practical rather than imaginative, and relaxed rather than anxious. It appears worthwhile to consider including an appropriate personality questionnaire in the selection process to improve the accuracy of predictions of students' success. A sound personality make-up will not only increase the likelihood of academic success but should also be beneficial in the successful management of a veterinary practice and in enjoying veterinary science as a career. © 2007 AAVMC.
article; clinical competence; cohort analysis; education; educational status; human; personality; professional competence; psychological aspect; South Africa; standard; statistics; student; veterinary medicine; Clinical Competence; Cohort Studies; Educational Measurement; Educational Status; Humans; Personality; Professional Competence; South Africa; Students; Veterinary Medicine