Predicting university performance in psychology: the role of previous performance and discipline-specific knowledge

Article English OPEN
Betts, LR ; Elder, TJ ; Hartley, J ; Blurton, A (2008)

Recent initiatives to enhance retention and widen participation ensure it is crucial to understand the factors that predict students' performance during their undergraduate degree. The present research used Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) to test three separate models that examined the extent to which British Psychology students' A-level entry qualifications predicted: (1) their performance in years 1-3 of their Psychology degree, and (2) their overall degree performance. Students' overall A-level entry qualifications positively predicted performance during their first year and overall degree performance, but negatively predicted their performance during their third year. Additionally, and more specifically, students' A-level entry qualifications in Psychology positively predicted performance in the first year only. Such findings have implications for admissions tutors, as well as for students who have not studied Psychology before but who are considering applying to do so at university.
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