To solicit student pharmacists' perceptions of testing, study strategies, and recall ability, and use of retrieval practices in metacognitive learning strategies.
A 42-item survey instrument was constructed that covered the following areas of interest: perceptions of the purpose of testing, perceptions of study strategies, perceptions of recall ability, use of retrieval practice, and demographic characteristics. The survey instrument was administered to first-, second-, and third-year doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students (N = 425) at Purdue University.
Students perceived the primary purpose of tests to be to assess the amount of material they had learned. Massed practice was a technique that they frequently used in studying for course examinations. Students did not express confidence in their ability to recall learned information once they became pharmacists. The use of retrieval practice in learning was not used by most student pharmacists, nor did students perceive retrieval practice to increase retention or learning.
Perceptions of testing and the manner in which student pharmacists engage in learning activities may not be optimal for the development of lifelong learners.