ABSTRACT: Learning and study strategies correlate with medical students’ performance in anatomical sciences.
Much of the content delivered during medical students’ preclinical years is assessed nationally by such testing as the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE® ) Step 1 and Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination® (COMPLEX-USA® ) Step 1. Improvement of student study/learning strategies skills is associated with academic success in internal and external (USMLE Step 1) examinations. This research explores the strength of association between the Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI) scores and student performance in the anatomical sciences and USMLE Step 1 examinations. The LASSI inventory assesses learning and study strategies based on ten subscale measures. These subscales include three components of strategic learning: skill (Information processing, Selecting main ideas, and Test strategies), will (Anxiety, Attitude, and Motivation) and self-regulation (Concentration, Time management, Self-testing, and Study aid). During second year (M2) orientation, 180 students (Classes of 2016, 2017, and 2018) were administered the LASSI survey instrument. Pearson Product-Moment correlation analyses identified significant associations between five of the ten LASSI subscales (Anxiety, Information processing, Motivation, Selecting main idea, and Test strategies) and students’ performance in the anatomical sciences and USMLE Step 1 examinations. Identification of students lacking these skills within the anatomical sciences curriculum allows targeted interventions, which not only maximize academic achievement in an aspect of an institution’s internal examinations, but in the external measure of success represented by USMLE Step 1 scores.