The Adjustment Factors: Its Validity on the Admissions Process of the University of the Philippines College of Medicine (UPCM)

  • Carlo G. Catabijan UP College of Medicine
Keywords: Medical college admission, medical education, policy review


Background. With the purpose of ensuring fairness and a level playing field in the selection process, the new admissions policy of the University of the Philippines College of Medicine (UPCM) has applied adjustment factors (AF) in the computation of the general weighted averages (GWAs) of applicants.

Objective. The objective of the study was to the determine the validity of adjustment factors in ensuring fairness in recalibrating GWAs of applicants for admissions.

Methods. This study described the mean AF scores of the different pre-medical courses of lateral entrants as well as their historic academic performance such as the mean university predicted grades (UPG), UP College Admissions Test scores (UPCAT) and high school weighted averages (HSWA), National Medical Admissions Test (NMAT) scores, pre-medical general weighted average grades (PMGWAG) and Learning Unit 3 Medicine general weighted average grades (LU3 MGWAG). Correlative analysis was done using Pearson’s correlation between the mean AF scores of the different pre-medical courses and their mean UPG, UPCAT and HSWA and LU3 MGWAG.

Results. The study showed that pre-medical courses from UP Manila obtained higher mean AF scores, while those from UP Diliman had better scholastic performance with higher mean UPG, UPCAT HSWA, NMAT, PMGWAG and LU3 MGWAG. Those who obtained a high score in the adjustment factors, namely BS Computer Science in UPM and BS Applied Physics in UPM, ranked lowest in the mean UPG, UPCAT, HSWA and low in NMAT, PMGWAG and LU3 MGWAG. The reverse was also true as those courses that ranked high in the mean UPG, UPCAT and HSWA, namely BS Molecular Biology and Biotechnology UPD, BS Psychology UPD and BS Biology UPD, acquired relatively low mean AF scores. Within statistical significance, inverse correlation was established between mean AF scores of the different pre-medical courses and mean UPG and UPCAT scores.

Conclusion. The study invalidated the use of AFs in the admissions process of UPCM. The AF did not guarantee fairness in the selection process, as it merely lowered down the GWAs of those who performed academically well in pre-medical courses. The current formula for the computation of AF is grounded on faulty assumption that high GWAs were all due to grade inflation. It is therefore recommended that implementation of the AF be immediately held in abeyance until its validity issues are resolved.