The science behind academic achievement

“Academic performance was found to correlate significantly with Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and Openness.

Where tested, correlations between Conscientiousness and academic performance were largely independent of intelligence.

When secondary academic performance was controlled for, Conscientiousness added as much to the prediction of tertiary academic performance as did intelligence. ”

What is Conscientiousness? According to Wiki’s entry on “Conscientiousness”, it is :

“the personality trait of being thorough, careful, or vigilant. Conscientiousness implies a desire to do a task well. Conscientious people areefficient and organized as opposed to easy-going and disorderly. They exhibit a tendency to show self-discipline, act dutifully, and aim for achievement; they display planned rather than spontaneous behavior; and they are generally organized and dependable. It is manifested in characteristic behaviors such as being neat and systematic; also including such elements as carefulness, thoroughness, and deliberation (the tendency to think carefully before acting.)”

Conscientiousness is such a major predictor of academic achievement that the psychological research quoted above said it contributed as much as intelligence towards academic performance in secondary and post-secondary education.

Some intelligent people don’t do well in school or in exams. Now I know why… At the end of the day though, there are many many roads to happiness. Academic achievement is not the be all or end all, neither is your IQ score!


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