Introduction: Identifying and employing students’ learning styles could play an important role in selecting appropriate teaching methods in order to improve education. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between the students’ final exam scores and the learning style preferences of dental students at Babol University of Medical Sciences. 

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 88 dental students studying in their fourth, fifth, and sixth years using the visual–aural–reading/writing–kinesthetic (VARK) learning styles’ questionnaire. The data were analyzed with IBM SPSS, version 21, using the chi-squared test and the t-test.

Results: Of the 88 participants who responded to the questionnaire, 87 preferred multimodal learning styles. There was no significant difference between the mean of the final exam scores in students who did and did not prefer the aural learning style (p = 0.86), the reading/writing learning style (p = 0.20), and the kinesthetic learning style (p = 0.32). In addition, there was no significant difference between the scores on the final clinical course among the students who had different preferences for learning style. However, there was a significant difference between the mean of the final exam scores in students with and without visual learning style preference (p = 0.03), with the former having higher mean scores. There was no significant relationship between preferred learning styles and gender (p > 0.05).

Conclusion: The majority of dental students preferred multimodal learning styles, and there was a significant difference between the mean of the final exam scores for students with and without a preference for the visual learning style. In addition, there were no differences in the preferred learning styles between male and female students.


Keywords: Academic status, Dental students, Learning styles
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