WHAT WENT WRONG: WHY DID I FAIL
Why Did I Fail?
Keywords:Medical education, Students, Student failure
Objective: To document the perceptions and views of undergraduate medical students on why did they fail in their annual examinations.
Study Design: Cross-sectional descriptive study.
Place and Duration of Study: Army Medical College, National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST) Islamabad, Pakistan from March 2013 to March 2014.
Participants and Methods: Data had been obtained from undergraduate students who failed at least once during their MBBS course and volunteered to participate in this study. Students who did not come across any academic failure during their MBBS course were excluded. A structured questionnaire was used which included following items: knowledge overload of failed or other subjects, poor time management for their studies, their own ineffective communication and expression skills (oral/ written), poor teaching skills of teachers/facilitators and boarding problems.
Results: One hundred and seventy nine students gave consent to participate in this study. Factors leading to their failure and identified by students were: poor time management with regards to their studies: 81.6%, lack of revision time due to co-curricular activities: 73.7%, poor output in written assignments/assessments: 62.6%, knowledge overload of the failed-in subject: 47.5%, poor motivation to make serious efforts to understand and learn the subject: 57%.
Conclusion: The reflections of medical students signify a variety of causes. It would be pertinent to organize strategies to rectify and address the basis of these expressed specific causes, especially those that had the highest impact towards the failure of these students. Such measures will help to rescue majority of these medical students and prevent them from failing in their examinations. Remedial steps when in place, shall also equip them with required skills to work on their weaknesses and turn them into strengths for their academic successes.