Traditionally, admissions to medical schools in Thailand have recruited prospective students through a score-based procedure in which students gaining relatively high scores from the national admission tests are prone to have a greater opportunity to get an offer. This is believed to induce stress and unfriendly competition among students. However, since 2016 onwards, a new procedure has been implemented alongside the traditional method where applicants are required to go through two selection stages. The first stage involves an intensive consideration of students’ GPAs, English proficiency test, and an internationally standardised test. Nonetheless, this only looks for those passing minimum requirements. No matter how high their scores would be, applicants have an equal chance to be selected for the next stage. In the second stage, applicants are required to submit a portfolio that shows their participation in extracurricular activities throughout high school years including research, academic activities, social services, and other special talents. This list of activities is considered in conjunction with multiple mini-interviews where they are assessed their critical thinking and communication skills. The final decision to admit applicants solely depends on their past activities and their interview results, not the scores they achieve. This new procedure helps reduce stress from exam results and encourages them to develop essential skills through activities. Also, those getting accepted are believed to possess effective communication skills, collaboration, and critical thinking which are crucial for entering higher education and the workplace in the future.
Pratchayapong Yasri, Mahidol University, Thailand
Norawit Titicharoenrak, Harrow International School Bangkok, Thailand