The key to successful achievement as an undergraduate student: confidence and realistic expectations?

Laura Nicholson, Dave Putwain, Elizabeth Connors, Patricia Hornby-Atkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study examined how expectations of independent study and academic behavioural confidence predicted end-of-semester marks in a sample of undergraduate students. Students’ expectations and academic behavioural confidence were measured near the beginning of the semester, and academic performance was taken from aggregated end-of-semester marks. Results suggested that a realistic expectation of undergraduate study, where the student took responsibility for their own learning, predicted higher end-of-semester marks. Students who were confident in their ability to attain high grades and attend taught sessions also performed better in their end-of-semester marks. Confidence in attending taught sessions also buffered against the negative impact of holding an unrealistic expectation of undergraduate study. These findings suggest that measures taken to encourage a realistic expectation of the nature of undergraduate study and boost academic behavioural confidence may benefit students’ performance at university.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-298
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Volume38
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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