Factors Influencing Academic Success of High Achievers and Low Achievers in Physiology JC11-JC15
Dr. Reem Rachel Abraham,
Professor, Melaka Manipal Medical College, Manipal Campus, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India.
Introduction: Academic success of medical students is influenced by several factors.
Aim: To determine whether academic success of, high as well as low achievers, in physiology, in the present academic context is influenced by pre-reported factors.
Materials and Methods: Focus Group Discussion (FGD) sessions were conducted to explore perceptions of high as well as low achievers in physiology, regarding seven pre-reported factors influencing academic success. These factors were: attitude towards medical school, attitude towards teachers, interest in subject, time-management, strategic studying, academic self-perceptions and test competence. First year students (n=13) who had scored distinction (>75%) in physiology, in three block-end examinations and second year students (n=7) who had distinction in all four block-end examinations when they were in first year, were categorized as high achievers. Students (n=14) who were unsuccessful in first year final summative examination, were grouped as low achievers.
Results: The FGD data which was analysed using a deductive analysis framework revealed a positive link between responses for all pre-reported factors with the academic success of high achievers, except time management and strategic studying. Even though the responses from low achievers regarding medical profession, teachers, and interest in subject were positive, these could not be linked to their academic performance in first year. The low achievers in the present study believed that with continuous teacher support, their understanding of physiology could be improved, which in turn could lead to an increased interest in the subject which could motivate them to work hard and improve their academic performance.
Conclusion: Academic success of both high and low achievers in the present academic context were influenced by pre-reported factors. Through this study, students were provided with an opportunity to reflect upon the learning process which is reported to be a learning supportive process. This study also gathered evidence for the fact that medical students need to be made aware of and has to be trained in effective time management skills.