Influence of anticipated and actual grades on studying
Armstrong, Michael J.
MacKenzie, H.F. (Herb)
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This study explores two questions regarding differences between students’ anticipated and actual grades in university courses: what factors contribute to those differences arising, and which of those differences influence students’ subsequent studying? The research surveyed 278 students in a first-year undergraduate business course. Students with stronger academic abilities tended to have smaller (less negative) gaps between their grades and goals, while students with higher personal control scores tended to have wider (more negative) gaps. These gaps narrowed later in the course as students’ goals decreased to match their actual grades more closely. Students increased their studying if their actual grades were lower than their original goals, and/or lower than their updated goals. By contrast, the difference between students’ subjective grade goals and their objectively forecast final grades did not influence their studying intentions.