Factors potentially influencing academic performance among medical students
Authors Al Shawwa L, Abulaban A, Abulaban A, Merdad A, Baghlaf S, Algethami A, Abu-shanab J, Balkhoyor A
Received 12 June 2014
Accepted for publication 22 August 2014
Published 29 January 2015 Volume 2015:6 Pages 65—75
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single-blind
Peer reviewer comments 3
Editor who approved publication: Dr Anwarul Azim Majumder
Lana Al Shawwa,1 Ahmad A Abulaban,2 Abdulrhman A Abulaban,3 Anas Merdad,3 Sara Baghlaf,3 Ahmed Algethami,3 Joullanar Abu-shanab,3 Abdulrahman Balkhoyor3
1Department of Medical Education, College of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, 2Department of Medicine-Neurology, King Fahad National Guard Hospital, King Abdulziz Medical City, Riyadh, 3Department of Medical Education, College of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Background: Studies are needed to examine predictors of success in medical school. The aim of this work is to explore factors that potentially influence excellence of medical students.
Methods: The study was conducted in the Medical Faculty of King Abdulaziz University during October 2012. A self-administered questionnaire was used. Medical students with a grade point average (GPA) ≥4.5 (out of 5) were included and compared to randomly selected medical students with a GPA <4.5, who were available at the time of the study.
Results: A total of 359 undergraduate students participated in the study. 50.4% of the sample was students with a GPA ≥4.5. No statistically significant difference regarding the time spent on outings and social events was found. However, 60.7% of high GPA students spend less than 2 hours on social networking per day as compared to 42.6% of the lower GPA students (P<0.01). In addition, 79% of high GPA students prefer to study alone (P=0.02), 68.0% required silence and no interruptions during studying time (P=0.013), and 47% revise their material at least once before an exam (P=0.02).
Conclusion: Excellent medical students have many different characteristics. For example, they do not use social networking for prolonged periods of time, and they have strong motivation and study enjoyment. Further studies are needed to examine whether these differences have a real impact on GPA or not.
Keyword: King Abdulaziz University KAU, medical school, study habits, exam habits
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