Attendance and grades

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Attendance and grades

Postby Adminnaoum » Mon Jun 15, 2009 12:45 am

Some students (and I was one) think they can do well in medical school without attending lectures.

I've just finished directing a first year med school course at a top 20 school, and I have anonymous data to share on that account.

All the students in the course did well on the MCAT, had high GPAs coming in, and all had a history of success as premeds. I asked them what percent of lectures they attended, and compared that to their final grade (which had more than just exams in it).

A couple of take home points. First, most students attend most lectures.
lecture-histogram.gif


The (what should be obvious) result - the more lectures you attend, the better you're likely to do on exams.
grade-attendance.gif


The top 3 scores attended all lectures, the bottom 3 scores attended almost none.

Can you do well without attending lectures - the numbers say no. If, knowing this, you want to try not going to lecture, you should ask yourself why.
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Re: Attendance and grades

Postby anamaky » Mon Jun 29, 2009 5:57 pm

That's interesting. anecdotally, I think that was the case at my medical school. some times I skipped lectures to catch up on reading, and some times I felt that some professors wasted my time in lecture (few and far in between), but for the most, I felt that if I read before the lecture (even if it was just skimming the notes) and then went to lecture, I did better than if I just read stuff on my own.
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Re: Attendance and grades

Postby Adminnaoum » Fri Jul 03, 2009 12:31 am

Anamaky, PGY-1 - I like the sound of that!
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Re: Attendance and grades

Postby CaribMD » Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:17 am

drnaoum wrote:Anamaky, PGY-1 - I like the sound of that!
Oh yea Didn't notice, AWESOME! :mrgreen:
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Re: Attendance and grades

Postby IMNOTDRPHIL » Wed Jul 22, 2009 7:22 pm

drnaoum wrote:Some students (and I was one) think they can do well in medical school without attending lectures.

I've just finished directing a first year med school course at a top 20 school, and I have anonymous data to share on that account.

All the students in the course did well on the MCAT, had high GPAs coming in, and all had a history of success as premeds. I asked them what percent of lectures they attended, and compared that to their final grade (which had more than just exams in it).

A couple of take home points. First, most students attend most lectures.

The (what should be obvious) result - the more lectures you attend, the better you're likely to do on exams.

The top 3 scores attended all lectures, the bottom 3 scores attended almost none.

Can you do well without attending lectures - the numbers say no. If, knowing this, you want to try not going to lecture, you should ask yourself why.


I completely agree and my experience has been pretty similar to yours. Almost everybody in my class went to the vast majority of lectures as there weren't many lectures (maybe 12-15 hours/week) and most of the multiple-choice exam questions came from these lectures. Our lecturers almost all have presentations of 100 slides or more per 50-minute lecture block, but they generally only cover 20 or 30 of those slides in lecture and also say additional information that will be on the exam. If you skip and just get the handout, you're doing several times the work in memorizing all 100+ slides rather than just the pertinent 20 or 30 and also missed the additional information. Occasionally there is a lecturer that gives a useless lecture, but it's hard to tell that beforehand, so people just pop open their laptops and do other work during lecture if that ends up being the case.

Here's an interesting thought I had- the same thing is largely true for undergrad as well. I wonder why people would have had to have gone to most lectures in undergrad to get the darn-near-4.0 GPA they need to get to med school but then think that they can skip med school lectures and still do OK.
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