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Study Habits and Attitudes: The Road to Academic Success

Marie Jean N. Mendezabal

Faculty, School of Engineering, Architecture, and Fine Arts, University of Saint Louis,
Tuguegarao City, Cagayan


This study aimed to investigate the relationship of students study habits and
attitudes and their performance in licensure examinations. The participants were
graduates in school year 2009-2010 from the different programs of the University
which require licensure examination. The study habits and attitudes of the
participants were assessed by administering the Survey of Study Habits and
Attitudes (SSHA) developed by Brown and Holtzman (1967) during their final year
in the University and their performance (overall rating) in the different licensure
examinations was generated from the records of the Philippine Professional
Regulation Commission. Results of the study showed that the participants do not
have favorable study habits and attitudes. Among the noted unfavorable study
habits were inefficient time management, lack of planning and concentration in
their studies, poor skills in reading, ineffective test taking techniques, and failure to
inform their teachers of their difficulties with school work and ask for their help. The
participants also demonstrated unfavorable attitudes toward teachers classroom
behavior and methods. It was further revealed that their performance in licensure
examinations was quite low. Significant relationship between study habits and
attitudes and performance in licensure examination were clearly shown in this
study. Further analysis revealed that study habits (work methods and time
management) of the participants were correlated with their success in licensure
examination while study attitudes (i.e. attitudes toward teachers and educational
acceptance) were not significantly related to success in licensure examination. This
connotes that students who have favorable study habits will likely pass the licensure

Keywords: study habits, study attitudes, academic performance.

Citation: Mendezabal, M. J. N. (2013). Study Habits and Attitudes: The Road to

Academic Success. Open Science Repository Education, Online(open-access),
e70081928. doi:10.7392/Education.70081928

Received: January 21, 2013

Published: February 15, 2013

Copyright: 2013 Mendezabal, M. J. N. Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported




Students academic performance occupies a very important place in education as

well as in the learning process. It is considered as a key criterion to judge ones total
potentialities and capacities (Nuthana & Yenagi, 2009) which are frequently
measured by the examination results. It is used to pass judgment on the quality of
education offered by academic institutions. In fact, it is still the most topical debate
in higher learning institutions that caused great concern to educators and
researchers due to the alarming examination performance of students.

In the report of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) on performance of

graduates in the different licensure and board examinations, data show that
performance of graduates has been declining in the last ten years. The overall

passing rates are quite low (around 36% on the average). In the 2010 professional
licensure examinations given by the PRC, almost 70 percent of college graduates in
the country failed and, last year, only 125,419 of the 345,182 or 36.3 percent
college and technical school graduates passed their respective professional
eligibility examinations as per PRC records. These statistics were based on the
results of licensure examinations for 45 groups of professionals. Among the lowest
number of passing rates were posted by: elementary teachers (15.4 percent);
secondary teachers (23.3 percent); electronics engineers (23.5 percent); and
registered electrical engineers (31.9 percent) (Philippine Education_Sector
Assessment Project, 2011). What explains these performance discrepancies?
Multiple reports indicate that academic success cannot be predicted by a single
variable. It is dependent upon many factors; both cognitive and non-cognitive.

Numerous studies have been carried out which focused on cognitive factors as
predictors of academic success. Recently, there has been a growing interest on the
non-cognitive factors. A number of researchers have examined the role of noncognitive variables such as study skills (Fazal, S., 2012; Awang, G & Sinnadurai,
S.K., 2011; Demir et. al, 2012; Hassanbeigi, 2011), study motivation (Tella, A.,
2007; Nonis and Hudson, 2008), study behavior (Yang Yang, 2011; Otto, 1978),
study habits (Crede and Kuncel, 2008; Nuthana & Yenagi, 2009; Nouhi, 2008;
Bashir et. al, 2012; Boehler, 2001; Kurshid, 2012; Mutsotso et. al, 2010), and
attitudes (Sarwar, 2010 and Yu, 2011) on academic achievement. Some
argued that these factors have strong relationship with academic performance of
students while others concluded that it was the combination of the different factors
that could explain students academic performance.

In a more recent meta-analysis, Crede and Kuncel (2008) found that non-cognitive
factors like study habit, skill and study motivation, among other attitudinal
constructs, accounted for incremental variance in academic performance beyond
standardized tests and previous grades. Moreover, a literature review by Nagaraju
(2004) pointed out that, for good academic success, good study habits and
attitudes are important. Hence, it is imperative and desirable that a probe into the
pattern of study habits and attitudes of students be made.

Statement of the problem/research questions

This study has its primary objective to assess the study habits and attitudes of the
students and their relationship to performance outcomes in licensure examinations.
Specifically, the study was organized around the following questions:

What are the study habits and attitudes of the students?

How did the students perform in the licensure examinations?
Are students study habits and attitudes correlated with board examination

Significance of the study

A number of studies pointed out that study habits and attitudes are important in
academic success. Hence, it is important and desirable that a probe into the pattern
of study habits and attitudes of the students and its relationship with licensure
examination performance be made.

Outcomes of this study may form the basis for future intervention programs which
aim at improving students study habits and attitudes that will eventually improve
their performance outcomes in licensure examinations, which is an indicator of
quality education in higher institutions of learning.

Literature review

This section discusses the factors that are well known to influence students
academic achievement.

Theoretical framework

This study was based on Martin Fords Motivational Systems Theory (MST). This
framework focuses on the individual as the unit of analysis, but embeds the
individual in the biological, social, and environmental contexts that are crucial to
development. Ford proposed a simple mathematical formula that attempts to

represent all these factors in one model. The formula for effective person-in-context
functioning is: