Background: The National Medical Unified Examination (NMUE) is currently required for graduation, joining postgraduate medical training, and practicing medicine in Syria.

Objective: To investigate self-reported study habits that correlate with high performance on the NMUE.

Methods: First through 3rd year residents at the three main hospitals in Damascus, Syria, were asked to complete a retrospective cross-sectional survey investigating their study habits and previous scores.

Results: Significantly higher score was associated with > 15 study h/day and allocating 1-40% of study time for practicing questions. Mean NMUE score was not significantly different in relation to preparation months for examination or for those who reported spending all their time studying alone compared with spending any amount of time in a group setting. Scores of 231-240 on the Syrian scientific high school exam correlated with significantly higher NMUE performance compared with fewer scores, except scores of 221-230. For every 10 point increase in medical school cumulative grades, the NMUE score increased 3.6 (95% confidence interval 2.5-4.8).

Conclusion: The NMUE score was significantly affected by hours spent studying per day, number of practice questions completed, percentage of study time allocated for doing questions, Syrian scientific high school exam scores, and the cumulative medical school class grades. It was not significantly affected by preparation months or studying in a group setting. More studies are needed to further describe and investigate the factors that might affect performance in the NMUE.

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Published in Avicenna Journal of Medicine, v. 6, issue 2, p. 39-46.

© 2016 Avicenna Journal of Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow

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