Then and Now: Changes in Study Practices of First Year Optometry Students

Barbara McGinley, MA
Nancy B. Carlson, OD, FAAO


 Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine if first year students revise their undergraduate study methods to deal with increased volume and depth of material in optometry college.
Methods: Prior to matriculation, the Class of 2010 completed an online survey about their undergraduate study habits. Results indicated that the students’ study habits would be inadequate. Upon their arrival, results were shared with students and recommendations for changes were discussed. In the spring, students compared their undergraduate study methods with their current study methods.
Results: Individual observations were compared to determine if significant changes in students’ study habits had occurred. There were a total number of 45 comparisons in which 15 were significantly different from chance at the 0.05 level or better by a chi-square test.
Conclusions: Areas that showed the most significant change included motivation for studying; how far in advance students studied; and consistency of studying. Based on these results, the surveys and discussions on study habits will be continued 

Key Words: Academic preparation, academic success, learning process, learning styles, study skills

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