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Exam preparation strategies and concerns of university students: gender and open access vs regulated system effects

Ilham Zerdani, Said Lotfi

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to identify test preparation strategies and concerns of university students in the open and regulated education system. We surveyed 294 students (55.10% male, 44.90% female), 60.54% from the open access system, and 39. 46% from the regulated access system, four dimensions are measured: students' and parents' concerns about university education, constraints to effective academic performance, exam preparation strategies and factors affecting academic performance. The results show three main student concerns in both training systems: self-development, seeking new learning (84.35%) and graduation (73.13%). On the other hand, about half of the students (49.32%) feel that their parents are preoccupied with their studies and are stressed or bothered (31.29%) by their incessant advice. We have identified 15 types of difficulties that are sources of constraint on the efficiency of university student performance, grouped into three categories: cognitive difficulties (32.64%), teaching methods difficulties (30.57%) and organization difficulties of the training program (36.79%). One-fifth of students review every day, every course, and thus spend an average of half an hour to an hour (41%) per review day. However, female students spent significantly more time per day (+3 hours, p<.038) on course revision than their male colleagues. Analysis of students' exam preparation programs shows six preparation strategies, dominated by the reading method (28.90%) and course outlines (26.30%). In both training systems, half of the students were dissatisfied (52.38%) with their personal preparation methods, of which 71.22% were female students. These students also perceive that their exam review strategies are little or not effective (56.46%) of which 40.22% are female students significantly different from their male counterparts (p<.05). The majority of students (61.88%) in both training systems do not place importance on all training modules. This finding is more pronounced for males than females (40.51% vs 21.27%, p<.008, respectively), and higher in the OSA than in the RAS (46.41%, 15.47%, p<.008, respectively). The bivariate correlation analysis shows significantly positive coefficients between 1st and 2nd year university results year university (r = .428, p<, 000), and baccalaureate 's marks (r = .255, p<.019). We also identified five factors responsible for poor school grades. It is necessary to introduce cognitive and mental preparation approaches for students into the pedagogical system of university teaching and supervision in order to optimize the performance of students' results.
Keywords: teaching / university / difficulties / female / performance of students / cognitive / course / hour / exam

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