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Background: Performance in Sudan School Certificate Examination (SSCE) has been the sole selection criterion for medical students in Sudan, and only high-achievers were selected for medical schools through public admission. In 1990s selection criteria have been loosened and more students with lower marks were also admitted to medical schools through private admission.
Objective: To compare the academic performance of private admission medical students to their public admission classmates at Nile Valley University.
Materials and Methods: The records of seven batches of students admitted during the years 2000 through 2006 at Nile Valley University, Atbara, Sudan were included in this study. The academic performance of 345 Sudanese medical graduates were reviewed and compared based on the type of
Results: Female to male ratio was 4:1. There were statistically significant differences in the academic performance between private and public admission students. While only 78.4% of private admission students progressed without delay, 90% of the public admission students did so. The pass rate in all phases of medical study as well as the Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) was lower among private admission students. This difference is proportionate to the difference in grades obtained at SSCE and number of re-sits.
Conclusion: The academic performance of medical students in Sudan is related to the previous academic performance in SSCE. Early academic counseling may improve performance.
Keywords: Selection criteria, academic performance, Nile Valley University, Sudan.