Matric Scores as an indicator of Academic Success in an Occupational Therapy Education Programme

Pragashnie Naidoo, Nasreen Motala, Robin W.E. Joubert


Over the past two decades there has been little change in the entry requirements for undergraduate studies at the South African universities. A particular difficulty in the selection of health sciences students by the universities in South Africa is the ability to predict success, as a substantial amount of knowledge, abilities, and skills are required by the health sciences professions of their graduates. Notwithstanding this, there is evidence to both support and refute pre-admission academic grades as reliable predictors of academic success. 

The aim of this study was to investigate whether matriculation points (grade point average) could be used as a predictor to determine successful completion of the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (BOccTh) degree at the University of KwaZulu Natal.

A retrospective review of the records of 103 BOccTh student who entered the course between 2005 and 2010 was conducted. Analysis of the year of entry, year of graduation, matriculation point average, number of years taken to complete the degree and degree averages was carried out. 

It was found that graduates with lower matriculation scores took longer to complete their degrees than those with higher matriculation scores.  Graduates with higher matriculation scores had a higher degree average. The results suggest that matriculation scores may be used as a predictor of degree averages; however the authors view this finding with caution due to various confounding factors.

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ISSN 0038-2337 (print), ISSN 2310-3833 (online)

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