Students who are old for their grade more likely to go to uni

An ACU-led study has found that teens who are old for their grade appear to feel more confident about their academic abilities and are more likely to enrol in university than their younger peers.

The study of more than 10,000 Australian students, who were tracked over a decade, was led by ACU researchers Professor Herbert Marsh and Associate Professor Philip Parker at the Institute of Positive Psychology and Education and recently published by the Journal of Educational Psychology.    

Professor Herbert Marsh said he looked specifically at the issue of repeating a year in school and found that being older had positive effects.

“Being older in your class has advantages for your academic self-confidence,” Professor Marsh said.

“Self-beliefs are a driving force in young people’s academic decision-making processes.

“Numerous studies show that such self-beliefs predict educational aspirations.”

Professor Marsh emphasised that this research follows from earlier studies showing that the positive effects of a child being old for their grade was the same for students who began school late or for those who repeated a grade.

The published study is here.

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