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Student Level Factors Influencing Performance and Study

By Liv Susanne Bugge and Gerd Wkan
A large proportion of Norwegian youths are students in higher education. This is in
line with Norwegian education policy. However, progress and performance are a
problem. This is costly both for the individual and for the institutions. This paper
examines which student-related factors seem to have a bearing on performance
and progress. The analytical model includes sex, age, ability, parenthood, housing
expenditures, social background and motivation. Additional factors which are
included are how many hours the students spend on their studies as well as how
much and when the students have paid work. The paper also examines whether the
study program may influence performance and progress. Data was gathered in a
quantitative study. 565 students in a Norwegian University College completed
structured questionnaires. Five explanatory factors were found to have a bearing on
performance and progress: ability, motivation, time spent on studies, time spent on
paid work and social background. Some of these factors are interdependent. There
are few detrimental consequences for academic performance when the students
work a moderate number of hours, less than 15 hours weekly .practices with data
drawn from classroom observations and scoring rubrics.
Student Level Factors Influencing Performance and Progress
In this section we will discuss which student level factors influence performance,
and we will use the performance index in the discussion. In general there is no
difference in performance according to sex. One of three students gets top score on
the index, regardless of sex. However, there are differences according to study
programme. Female teacher trainees perform better than male, while male students
in Games, Arts and Simulation get better results than female. Age is another factor
that may influence performance, but the differences are small and contradictory.
Among students under 25 years 34% have good performance; in the eldest group
29% fall in this category. However, we also see a tendency that older students are
more seldom low performing than younger students. The conclusion is that we do
not find that age has any bearing on performance. Ability is difficult to define. In the
present study we have looked at results from upper secondary school and the study
programme at upper secondary school. In principle there are two streams in
Norwegian upper secondary schools, an academic stream and a vocational stream.
The academic stream qualifies for higher academic studies. In Norway even
students from vocational streams can be admitted to university studies. They must
take one extra year in order to catch up on the most important academic subjects.
We find that there is a correlation between results from upper secondary school and
performance (Table 1). Students with better results from upper secondary school
perform better than those with lower results, 37% and 20% have good performance
respectively. However, the findings are weakened by the fact that only 316 out of
565 students have answered this question. We find some interesting differences
according to study programmes. It is on the Kindergarten Teacher Education
Programme that intake points seem to influence performance mostly. 29% of those
with low intake points perform low compared to 9% of those with higher intake

Parenthood could be expected to influence performance. 51 students in our material

live together with children. Children imply more tasks and responsibilities in family
life, but it could also strengthen the ability and need to plan your time and thus
have a positive effect on performance. In general parenthood does not seem to
influence performance significantly. It is mainly students on the Kindergarten and
General Teacher Education Programmes who have children of their own. Among
general teacher education students we find that living with children is associated
with better performance. Housing expenditures will take more than 50% of the loan
and grant given to a student per year, so this will be largest expenditure. Sharing
accommodation will possibly lower the costs. Students in our sample live in a
variety of types of households. Some share the rent with someone; others have to
pay it all alone. It is likely that students with heavy financial burdens will work more
hours paid work, and then have less time for studies and hence perform lower. In
our study we find no support for this. Whether the student shares housing
expenditures does not seem to affect study performance. Social background is a
factor influencing performance. However in this study social background, measured
as whether the parents have higher education, seems to be of little importance
regarding the students performance. Nevertheless, students coming from a family
background where both parents have higher education are more often good
performing (42%) than students coming from homes with a weaker academic
background (31%). In the Norwegian context secondary school results are clearly
positively correlated with social background measured as parents educational
niveau (Statistics Norway 2012b). Thus our findings might be inter correlated with
students ability. We find a strong correlation between the indexes for motivation
and performance. The better motivated the students are, the better they perform
(Table 2). This is not surprising. Thus motivation for studies seems to be a crucial
factor for good performance.

source :

Study Habits, Skills, and Attitudes The Third Pillar Supporting Collegiate
Academic Performance
By Marcus Crede and Nathan R. Kuncel University at Albany, SUNY, and
University of Minnesota
ABSTRACTStudy 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 5 72,431, k 5 344) 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.
SHSAs and Academic Performance The relationship between the various SHSA
dimensions and subsequent academic performance has been considered from three
perspectives: direct effects, mediational effects, and interactive effects. The first
and most straightforward perspective conceptualizes SHSAs as direct measures of
study-specific behaviors that cause academic success. This framework is applicable
to some SHSA measures that ask about specific study behavior, but it is overly
limiting for some of the attitudinal measures that are not likely to be proximal
determinants of academic behaviors and success. The mediational approach that
we favor argues that SHSA measures quantify groups of academic specific attitudes
and behavioral tendencies that are more proximal in their relationship to learning
than are individual differences like personality, attitudes, and interests. The
relationships between personality, attitude, and interests and academic
performance are indirect and mediated through their influence on SHSAs. For
example, study anxiety would be a more proximal determinant of performance than
would trait anxiety. In addition, some of the effects of cognitive ability would be
predicted to be mediated through study skills but not study motivation. Finally,
characteristics like typical intellectual engagement would be mediated through
some types of study attitudes. The framework we present here is an extension of
both a general theory of work performance articulated by Campbell and colleagues
(e.g., Campbell, 1990) and the application of this general theory to the academic
performance domain (e.g., Kuncel, Hezlett, & Ones, 2001, 2004). The application of
the Campbell model to the academic domain, and our extension of it to include
SHSA constructs, is presented in Figure 1. This model proposes that performance on
a task is a function of three direct proximal determinants: declarative knowledge
(knowledge of facts and procedures), procedural knowledge (the skill to do what is
required in a situation), and motivation (the willingness to engage in and sustain a
high level of effort in completing the task). The model is also characterized by a
series of indirect and more distal determinants: cognitive ability; interests and
personality; and education, training, and experience. The effects of these distal
determinants on performance are fully mediated by the three direct determinants.
In other words, effective performance on a dimension of student performance is
directly a function of task-relevant knowledge and skill and the immediate
willingness to engage in a high level of effort that is sustained over time. The
influence of all other individual differences are mediated through knowledge,


How Much Do Study Habits, Skills, and Attitudes

Affect Student Performance in Introductory
College Accounting Courses?
By Yu, Darwin D.
New Horizons in Education, v59 n3 p1-15 Dec 2011
Background: Financial Accounting is a skills course which to a large extent can be
best learned through deliberate practice. Teachers implement this by continuously
assigning homeworks, encouraging good study habits, asking students to budget
time for studying, and generally exhorting students to "work hard". Aims: This paper
examines the impact of "study habits, skills, and attitudes" (SHSAs) on the
performance of students in an introductory financial accounting college course.
Sample: 395 2nd year business students in a Philippine university. Method: Data
related to variables found to have influenced accounting performance in previous
researches as well as SHSA variables are collected through student survey and
school records. They are treated as independent variables using multiple regression
analysis, with the accounting course final grade as the dependent variable. The
paper also examines the factors that differentiate high- from low-performing
students. Results: The study found that math proficiency, English proficiency, high
school accounting, and academic aptitude influence accounting performance,
supporting the findings of many previous researches on cognitive factors. Among
the SHSA factors, only student perception of teacher effectiveness and level of
effort influence accounting performance. Time spent studying, attendance in review
classes conducted in tutorial centers, motivation, and study habits have no
significant effect. Upon further analysis comparing high and low performers, study
habits show up to be significant as well. In particular, students who performed
better are those who did more in terms of reading ahead, doing their homework,
participating in class, and cramming for exams. Conclusion: Since student
perception of teacher effectiveness strongly influences accounting performance, it is
critical that hiring and training of accounting faculty be given utmost importance.
Level of effort and good study habits also help, but not the sheer number of study

Author Darwin D. YU, Associate Professor, Finance & Accounting

Department, John Gokongwei School of Management, Ateneo de Manila
University Katipunan Road, Loyola Heights, Quezon City, Philippines


Factors Affecting Accounting Students Performance : The

Case Of Students At The Islamic Azad University Mansour
Garkaza , Bahman Banimahdb and Hadis Esmaeilic *
a Assistant Professor, Department Of Accounting, Islamic Azad University,
Science and Research Branch, Tehran , Iran. b Assistant Professor,

Department Of Accounting, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research

Branch, Tehran, Iran c Master Student , Department Of Accounting ,
Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, Tehran, Iran.


Several factors may affect students academic performance at universities. This

study aims to measure and study these factors using theories on academic
performance. The present research enjoys a survey method. Using stratified random
sampling method, a total of 450 students majoring accounting in 2011 at Islamic
Azad university are randomly selected and finally, the data was analyzed using Ttest. The results show that gender, type of diploma, interest and employment status
are meaningfully related to the academic performance. However, it has been proved
that students marital status and family role in choosing major have no significant
relationship with academic performance.
Theoretical framework and literature review
All schools, scholars and writers in sociology, psychology, educational sciences and
its sub-disciplines have discussed factors affecting students academic performance
and various theories have been suggested with regard to these factors. Some
scholars put emphasize on individuals internal characteristics (e.g. intelligence,
self-concept, etc) and some others consider external characteristics (family, social
status, educational environment, etc) important. On the other hand, one of the most
important factors underlying development is education. Developed countries usually
have effective educational system but education lacks adequate infrastructure in
developing countries (Poor Ali, 2005). In educational psychology, students
performance is considered as a product of his learning and for information on
individual learning rate, one should refer to his visible behavior or to be more
precise see his performance. According to Hillgard and Bauer, the distinction
between learning and performance is the same as the distinction between knowing
how to do a job and actually doing it. It is also believed that Individual performance
is highly affected by motivation and emotion, environmental condition, tiredness
and illness. So, these factors may yield a fairly accurate indicator of how much he is
learning, unless he can show it well (Seif, 2009). Wong & Chia (1996) argue that
accounting-based performance evaluation of students is based on both deep and
surface approaches. Most initial studies have investigated the surface accounting
approach and numerical skills ( basic mathematic ) needed for accounting is one
of many topics covered by many reasearches. However, advanced accounting
studies requiring analysis enjoys a deep approach. Elias (2005) examined the
relationship between students academic performance and surfurce and deep
approach. The results of this research indicate that there is a significant relationship
between students scores and their use of deep approach, while there is a negative
relationship between stdudents use of surface approach and their scores. A long
history of research have been conducted on accounting, management, mathematic,
organizational behavior, finance and economy to observe various factors affecting
students academic performance. Also, variables such as age, gender, talent,
scores, high school experience, academic experience, motivation and students
expectations are considered by many scholars to recognize accounting students
characteristics necessary for their success. Some studies have confirmed the
positive relationship between gender and acounting students academic
performance (Koh and Koh (1999); Gracia and Jenkins (2003); Vickers et al. (2003)).

While, Naser & Peel (1998) and Yilmaz & Guney (2009) believe that there is no
significant relationship between gender and accounting students academic
performance. Nasser and Peel (1998) have also found that variables such as age,
English language proficiency, mathematic score and type of university (state or
private) have no significant effect on the accounting students academic
performance. Instead, university conditions and educational characteristics i.e.
professors ability, attempt and motivation has significant relationship with
students performance and students with previous experience in accounting and
advanced mathematic enjoyed higher level of performance. Koh and Koh (1999)
also suggested that previous work experience, scholastic aptitude and academic
background in mathematic have positive significant relationship with accounting
students performance. To evaluate students performance through their exam
scores, Wooten (1998) suggest that one should consider students talent through
their scholastic aptitude test scores, their struggle through their attendance in
classes and their assignment and educational environment through asking about
course materials, class hours and classrooms. Noxel & Cheek (1988) and Arrington
& Cheek (1990) have emphasized the relationship between interest in the field of
study and academic achievement. King and Kotrlid (1995) believe that students
wishing to enter university and their use of logical programs and physical and
human equipment such as professor, libarary and laboratory are among factors
explaining academic achievement and quality of educational institutions. Among
these factors, interested student is the most effective factor, if so inclined and
interested in learning, he can handle other factors and employ them for success and
learning. Wijewardena and Rudkin (1999) have found that students attendance in
the classrooms and importance of accounting and interest in this field of study has
positive and significant relationship with academic performance. Cheung and Kan
(2002) have considered factors relating to the students performance in Hong Kong
and indicated that there is a positive correlation between classroom instruction and
previous experience in learning and students performance. Gol and Fong (1993)
have also indicated that there is a direct relationship between students academic
achievements and their personal characteristics, mathematic and accounting scores
and their prior knowledge of accounting. In a research conducted by Gracia and
Jenkins (2003), they found that women act better than men in the second year of
study and also maintained that there is a negative correlation between age and
score. According to the findings of this research, students with experience related to
their field of study act better than those who are just studying. Darayseh and
Waples (2005) have considered the importance of four independent variables used
to predict students performance. These variables were: diploma GPA , financial
accounting scores , management-accounting scores and students GPA. The findings
of this research suggested that students GPA will assess his academic ability better
and is the best evaluative indicator of his performance. Rudkin and De Zoysa (2007)
have carried out a study on the Australian accounting students and found that there
is no relationship between students employment and their work hours and their
academic performance. However, there is a positive relationship between native
students employment and their academic performance and there is a negative
relationship between foreign students employment and their academic
performance. It is noteworthy to say that they found a positive relationship between
shift work patterns and academic performance. On the other hand, Mostafa and
Zheng (2010) have also considered factors affecting students performance in
accounting and advanced auditing in the USA and concluded that there is a

considerable relationship between students performance and holding jobs

unrelated to accounting, having long work hours during the week and having a lot of
responsibility during the term. Among three variables used as motivation variables,
this research also suggests that there is a significant relationship between students
scores and their performance but one cannot find such a relationship between
students performance and taking final exams and attending M.A entrance exam.
Moreover, students scores in intermediate accounting and their GPA are strong
predictors for their academic performance. It is noteworthy to say that there was a
strong relationship between listening and reading comprehension skills and
students performance, but the ability to write and understand mathematic was not
related to the students performance. Considering management-accounting
students performance, Ayob and Selamat (2011) suggested that performance of
more than 40 percent of students has lead to academic failure and also indicated
that there is a positive significant relationship between students score in
management-accounting courses and their attendance hours in introductory
management-accounting classes and their GPA before entering university. On the
other hand, there is a significant and negative relationship between students
scores and their absenteeism in introductory management-accounting programs.
Yilmaz Guney (2009) showed that there is a positive significant relationship between
age and academic performance and consequently one can assume that older
students are more likely to get higher scores than younger students. It is also
suggested that there is positive significant relationship between students higher
performance and their attendance in classes, their familiarity with mathematic and
previous job experience in accounting. Students personal and financial problems
may cause his weak performance. The findings of his research also suggested that
the lower the number of students is, the higher the quality of students academic
performance is. Nonis and Hudson (2010) also indicated that there is no positive
significant relationship between study hours and students academic performance.
However, there is a significant positive relationship between study habits and
students academic performance. Their study also offered that accounting students
tend to devote less time to study than other students, but they enjoy better
academic performance and more appropriate study habits. The findings of a
research conducted by Al-Twaijry (2010) on the students of Qasim University in
Saudi Arabia indicated that pre-university educational background in accounting
may have significant effect on advanced management-accounting program and
students mathematical skills have had a significant positive effect on managementaccounting program.