Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Bickerdike A, O’Tuathaigh C, O’Flynn S
6th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Irish Network of Medical Educators
An Evaluation of the Study Habits and Learning Strategies of Students in an Irish Medical School and their Correlation with
Optional Fields


Recent studies have shown that a combination of personality factors, aptitude and study habits/strategies are strong determinants of academic success at medical school. In particular, there is limited evidence to suggest that study skills such as efficient time management and self testing are associated with better overall exam performance.


To determine the successful and detrimental study habits and learning strategies of UCC medical students.


A newly-devised questionnaire instrument investigating study habits (including use of social media during study), as well as the Approaches and Study Skills Inventory for Students (ASSIST; Tait et al., 1998), were distributed to Year 2 and final year UCC medical students. Year score percentage from the preceding year was the measure of academic achievement.


A significant difference in year score percentage was found between students who study consistently (M=66.33% SD=7.84%) and those who rely on last-minute study sessions ("cramming") (M=66.33% SD=8.14%; p < 0.0001), as well as between students who used social networking sites often during study time (M=67.24% SD=9.18) vs. those who refrain from use during study (M=72.88% SD=9.11; p = 0.02). Year score percentage was positively correlated with effort management/organised studying strategy (rs[176]= 0.39, p < 0.01); conversely, a negative correlation was found between year score percentage and surface learning strategy (rs[177]= -0.34, p < 0.01).


These data indicate that effort management and organised studying should be promoted, and surface rote learning discouraged, as part of any effort to encourage development of study skills at medical school.


1. Clarke DM, McKenzie DP. Learning approaches as a predictor of examination results in pre-clinical medical students. Medical Teacher. 1994;16(2/3):221. PubMed PMID: 9410310934