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Abstract

Student fail rates in the first year of open access academic higher education can become dramatically high. The present study in Flanders, Belgium examines how performance on program-specific basic skillsets can identify students at risk at the start of their curriculum in 21 bachelor programs (N = 6,624), months before actually failing their exams or dropping out. Results identify up to 58% of the students prone to failure at relatively lower error rates while still adhering to the principles of higher education equity. In practice, institutions and counselors can use the methodology of this study to identify at-risk students and offer them reorientation and remediation trajectories, preventing failure. Future applications towards more restricted or selective international education systems are discussed.

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... For instance, polynomial regression could prove crucial as an additional tool to improve academic achievement in higher education. Indeed, internationally, students seem to struggle to make an appropriate and attainable study choice as fail rates in the first year of higher education can become quite high, with estimates ranging from 30% to even over 60% (OECD, 2017;Schelfhout et al., 2022). ...
... For H3, this GPA regression is also used to test if RIF has a larger effect on academic achievement than correlation fit and ED. GRSE is included as a control variable that also functions as a benchmark for the predictive power of PE interest fit towards academic achievement (Schelfhout et al., 2022;Schneider & Preckel, 2017). For H4, we have examined multicollinearity in all polynomial regressions, by making use of the variance inflation factor (VIF) and the condition index (CI). ...
... The effects of RIF12 were about as large as the effects of high school performance, which is considered one of the best predictors of academic achievement (Schneider & Preckel, 2017). These program-specific RIF measures thus upgrade the status of vocational interests as a prime predictor of academic achievement, on par with predictors like previous achievements and cognitive ability (Schelfhout et al., 2022). These results replicate and further strengthen the empirical evidence regarding the power of polynomial regression to calculate PE interest fit. ...
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Each student faces the challenge of choosing a study program that matches his or her vocational interest. A good person-environment fit (PE fit) between student and study program influences study success and persistence, prerequisites to obtaining the desired degree. But which criterion should be used when presenting advice sets of study options to orient students toward study programs that match their vocational interests? And how long should such a list of study options be? Moving beyond existing, non-evidence-based approaches, present study sets out to develop an empirical advice set engine (EASE) to optimize the process of matching future students to fitting study options. Compared to existing, non-evidence-based alternatives, EASE shows a better balance between the number and PE fit of the options presented. EASE may be a promising way to rethink how student PE fit information can be used in student orientation and higher education research.
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To examine competing theoretical propositions and research, the hypotheses were tested that low parental socioeconomic status (SES), low IQ and their interaction increase the likelihood of crime. To test these hypotheses, representative US data (n=11,437) were examined based on SES and IQ in 1981, and subsequent incarcerations from 1982 to 2006. Incarceration outcomes predicted included: incidence with binary logistic modeling, time to incarceration with Cox modeling and incarceration frequency with Poisson modeling. Results showed that low IQ, low SES and their interaction modestly predicted these three incarceration outcomes. These results were replicated among males, underprivileged groups and people with a last interview. Given that low IQ and SES are generally associated with increased risk of subsequent crime their theoretical integration is appropriate.
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Study habit, skill, and attitude inventories and constructs were found to rival standardized tests and previous grades as predictors of academic performance, yielding substantial incremental validity in predicting academic performance. This meta-analysis (N = 72,431, k = 344) examines the construct validity and predictive validity of 10 study skill constructs for college students. We found that study skill inventories and constructs are largely independent of both high school grades and scores on standardized admissions tests but moderately related to various personality constructs; these results are inconsistent with previous theories. Study motivation and study skills exhibit the strongest relationships with both grade point average and grades in individual classes. Academic specific anxiety was found to be an important negative predictor of performance. In addition, significant variation in the validity of specific inventories is shown. Scores on traditional study habit and attitude inventories are the most predictive of performance, whereas scores on inventories based on the popular depth-of-processing perspective are shown to be least predictive of the examined criteria. Overall, study habit and skill measures improve prediction of academic performance more than any other noncognitive individual difference variable examined to date and should be regarded as the third pillar of academic success. © 2008 Association for Psychological Science.
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In this article, I review the diverse ways in which perceived self-efficacy contributes to cognitive development and functioning. Perceived self-efficacy exerts its influence through four major processes. They include cognitive, motivational, affective, and selection processes. There are three different levels at which perceived self-efficacy operates as an important contributor to academic development. Students' beliefs in their efficacy to regulate their own learning and to master academic activities determine their aspirations, level of motivation, and academic accomplishments. Teachers' beliefs in their personal efficacy to motivate and promote learning affect the types of learning environments they create and the level of academic progress their students achieve. Faculties' beliefs in their collective instructional efficacy contribute significantly to their schools' level of academic achievement. Student body characteristics influence school-level achievement more strongly by altering faculties' beliefs in their collective efficacy than through direct affects on school achievement.
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Reviews the relationship between schooling, IQ, and the cognitive processes presumed to underpin IQ. The data suggest that much of the causal pathway between IQ and schooling points in the direction of the importance of the quantity of schooling one attains (highest grade successfully completed). Schooling fosters the development of cognitive processes that underpin performance on most IQ tests. In Western nations, schooling conveys this influence on IQ and cognition through practices that appear unrelated to systematic variation in quality of schools. If correct, this could have implications for the meaning one attaches to IQ screening and prediction as well as for efforts to influence the development of IQ through changes in schooling practices. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
The purpose of the present study is to explain variation in academic achievement with general cognitive ability and specific cognitive abilities. Grade point average, Wide Range Achievement Test III scores, and SAT scores represented academic achievement. The specific cognitive abilities of interest were: working memory, processing speed, and spatial ability. General cognitive ability was measured with the Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices and the Mill Hill Vocabulary Scales. When controlling for working memory, processing speed, and spatial ability, in a sample of 71 young adults (29 males), measures of general cognitive ability continued to add to the prediction of academic achievement, but none of the specific cognitive abilities accounted for additional variance in academic achievement after controlling for general cognitive ability. However, processing speed and spatial ability continued to account for a significant amount of additional variance when predicting scores for the mathematical portion of the SAT while holding general cognitive ability constant.
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A review of 13 years of research into antecedents of university students' grade point average (GPA) scores generated the following: a comprehensive, conceptual map of known correlates of tertiary GPA; assessment of the magnitude of average, weighted correlations with GPA; and tests of multivariate models of GPA correlates within and across research domains. A systematic search of PsycINFO and Web of Knowledge databases between 1997 and 2010 identified 7,167 English-language articles yielding 241 data sets, which reported on 50 conceptually distinct correlates of GPA, including 3 demographic factors and 5 traditional measures of cognitive capacity or prior academic performance. In addition, 42 non-intellective constructs were identified from 5 conceptually overlapping but distinct research domains: (a) personality traits, (b) motivational factors, (c) self-regulatory learning strategies, (d) students' approaches to learning, and (e) psychosocial contextual influences. We retrieved 1,105 independent correlations and analyzed data using hypothesis-driven, random-effects meta-analyses. Significant average, weighted correlations were found for 41 of 50 measures. Univariate analyses revealed that demographic and psychosocial contextual factors generated, at best, small correlations with GPA. Medium-sized correlations were observed for high school GPA, SAT, ACT, and A level scores. Three non-intellective constructs also showed medium-sized correlations with GPA: academic self-efficacy, grade goal, and effort regulation. A large correlation was observed for performance self-efficacy, which was the strongest correlate (of 50 measures) followed by high school GPA, ACT, and grade goal. Implications for future research, student assessment, and intervention design are discussed.
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This article reviews the Akaike information criterion (AIC) and the Bayesian information criterion (BIC) in model selection and the appraisal of psychological theory. The focus is on latent variable models, given their growing use in theory testing and construction. Theoretical statistical results in regression are discussed, and more important issues are illustrated with novel simulations involving latent variable models including factor analysis, latent profile analysis, and factor mixture models. Asymptotically, the BIC is consistent, in that it will select the true model if, among other assumptions, the true model is among the candidate models considered. The AIC is not consistent under these circumstances. When the true model is not in the candidate model set the AIC is efficient, in that it will asymptotically choose whichever model minimizes the mean squared error of prediction/estimation. The BIC is not efficient under these circumstances. Unlike the BIC, the AIC also has a minimax property, in that it can minimize the maximum possible risk in finite sample sizes. In sum, the AIC and BIC have quite different properties that require different assumptions, and applied researchers and methodologists alike will benefit from improved understanding of the asymptotic and finite-sample behavior of these criteria. The ultimate decision to use the AIC or BIC depends on many factors, including the loss function employed, the study's methodological design, the substantive research question, and the notion of a true model and its applicability to the study at hand.
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Medical schools continue to seek robust ways to select students with the greatest aptitude for medical education, training and practice. Tests of general cognition are used in combination with markers of prior academic achievement and other tools, although their predictive validity is unknown. This study compared the predictive validity of the Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission Test (UMAT), the admission grade point average (GPA), and a combination of both, on outcomes in all years of two medical programmes. Subjects were students (n = 1346) selected since 2003 using UMAT scores and attending either of New Zealand's two medical schools. Regression models incorporated demographic data, UMAT scores, admission GPA and performance on routine assessments. Despite the different weightings of UMAT used in selection at the two institutions and minor variations in student demographics and programmes, results across institutions were similar. The net predictive power of admission GPA was highest for outcomes in Years 2 and 5 of the 6-year programme, accounting for 17-35% of the variance; UMAT score accounted for < 10%. The highest predictive power of the UMAT score was 9.9% for a Year 5 written examination. Combining UMAT score with admission GPA improved predictive power slightly across all outcomes. Neither UMAT score nor admission GPA predicted outcomes in the final trainee intern year well, although grading bands for this year were broad and numbers smaller. The ability of the general cognitive test UMAT to predict outcomes in major assessments within medical programmes is relatively minor in comparison with that of the admission GPA, but the UMAT score adds a small amount of predictive power when it is used in combination with the GPA. However, UMAT scores may predict outcomes not studied here, which underscores the need for further validation studies in a range of settings.
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A new measure of 'voraciousness' in leisure activities is introduced as an indicator of the pace of leisure, facili-tating a theoretical linkage between the literature on time pressure, busyness and harriedness in late modernity, and the literature on cultural consumption. On the methodological side it is shown that time use diaries can pro-vide at least as good a measure of the pace of leisure as survey based measures. Respondents with a high score on the voraciousness measure ('harried' respondents) are not less likely to complete their diaries than less harried respondents. In accord with the findings from the literature on cultural omnivorousness, the most voracious groups are those with high levels of social status and human capital. However, these associations are not due to these groups having either higher income or greater quantities of available leisure time. The pace of leisure ac-tivities must therefore be due to other factors, for example, could a fast pace of out-of-home leisure participation be conceived of as a new marker of status distinction?
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What good is self-control? We incorporated a new measure of individual differences in self-control into two large investigations of a broad spectrum of behaviors. The new scale showed good internal consistency and retest reliability. Higher scores on self-control correlated with a higher grade point average, better adjustment (fewer reports of psychopathology, higher self-esteem), less binge eating and alcohol abuse, better relationships and interpersonal skills, secure attachment, and more optimal emotional responses. Tests for curvilinearity failed to indicate any drawbacks of so-called overcontrol, and the positive effects remained after controlling for social desirability. Low self-control is thus a significant risk factor for a broad range of personal and interpersonal problems.