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.
Nicholson, L., Putwain, D., Connors, E., & Hornby-Atkinson, P. (2013). The key to successful achievement as an undergraduate student: confidence and realistic expectations? Studies in Higher Education, 38(2), 285-298. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2011.585710