A cross-sectional comparative study to determine the factors contributing to the academic performance of the high performers and low performers in 2nd year medical students

Yogeeta Sushant Walke, Lois James Samuel, Laveena Vassant Bandodkar


Background: MBBS course content is extensive and requires immense and strenuous effort on the part of the medical students to complete it. Some students excel in their academics while others strive to pass and some even drop out. If the factors contributing to the excellent academic performance could be identified, these factors then can be incorporated to upgrade the struggling medical students. Hence, early identification of low achievers and the factors responsible for their poor performance is crucial. We undertook this study to identify the various factors influencing the academic performance of these two groups of students.

Methods: We identified the top thirty percentile and bottom 30 percentile students in the subject of pharmacology based on their third semester examination marks. All the 62 students opted to participate in the study, and their informed consent was taken. They were then given the questionnaire and allowed to answer in a stress free atmosphere.

Results: Factors which were statistically significant in contributing to the good performance of high achievers were the use of reference books from the library, learning from other sources such as patients, avoiding repetition of mistakes made in the past, proper time management skills, and having immense intrinsic motivation to study.

Conclusion: Through our study, we identified important factors contributing to high performance in academics, and we concluded that students should incorporate all the factors in a well-coordinated manner rather than focusing on any single factor. If executed, appropriately it will definitely upgrade their academic performance and prevent undesirable failures.


High achievers, Low achievers, Academic performance, Learning strategies

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