Background: Learning pharmacology may be challenging to medical students as drug information is expanding and students are required to adopt suitable study habits to remember pharmacological aspects to develop higher cognitive skills for better academic performance. Objective: To compare the learning habits of students of various levels of academic performances in pharmacology. Methods and Material: Study was cross sectional in which students’ learning habits and examination scores in pharmacology were collected in a questionnaire. The questionnaire had Likert type items (1: never–5: every time) related to learning habits of students that could influence academic performance in pharmacology. It was distributed to 2nd year MBBS students (n=243) after the two assessments in pharmacology. Based on the % of marks obtained in previous assessments, students were categoriesed into 5 groups (1=<50, 2=50-59, 3=60-69, 4=70-79, 5=80-100). Statistical analysis used: The categorical variables were described as median and interquartile range. Learning habits of students of various level of academic performances were compared using non parametric tests. A p value of <0.05 was considered as significant. Results: Group 1 less frequently revised the topics more than two times compared to the group 2 (p=0.015) and 5 ( p=0.002). Compared to groups 1, 2 and 3, group 5 had started the preparation >3 days before the scheduled pharmacology class test (p<0.05). Compared to failed students, students who passed had revised topics more than 2 times and had set the target score of >60% and did not momorise the topics by mere byhearting. Conclusion: Reinforcement in the form of revisions, goal setting and developing deeper understanding of concepts have emerged as major determinants of students’ performance in examination in pharmacology. Hence, students should be made aware of these aspects to improve the quality of studies.
Key words: Learning habits, Students, Academic performance, Medical, Pharmacology.