Learning and examination strategies: a case study of students of a public university in Ghana
This study examines the learning strategies adopted by some students of a public university in Ghana, why they use those strategies and how they approach examinations. A focus group of three categories of Bachelor of Science Marketing students of the university who were in final year (level 400) of their programme of study were used as respondents. Each focus group consisted of eight students who were selected based on their academic performances. One group was chosen from the ‘first class’ category, one from the ‘second class’ and one from the ‘third class’ category. Areas relevant to the process of learning and sitting for examinations were used to solicit information from each group of students. The students were encouraged to describe the various processes they usually went through when studying as well as when writing examinations. The data gathered was analysed using MAXQDA to develop codes and sub-codes that facilitated comparisons among the responses given by each category of students. The study reveals that the first class category of students used appropriate study and examination techniques, even though the university had not yet developed any programme to equip its students with learning and examination strategies, while the second and third class categories did not. The study further reveals that the learning and examination approaches used by the second class students were somewhat better than those of the third class students. The study thus recommends learning and examination strategies for first year students in the first semester of each academic year, to equip them with the necessary rudiments for learning and handling examinations at tertiary level.
Key words: Learning Strategies, Examination Strategies, Tertiary Level Education, Essay Type Examinations