Prior achievement, effort, and attitude as predictors of current achievement

Brian Hemmings, Russell Kay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


A sample of Australian secondary school students was used to explore the relationships among a set of standardised Year 7 numeracy and literacy tests, measures taken at Year 10 of mathematics attitude and schoolwork effort, and Mathematics and English scores in a state-wide Year 10 examination. Additionally, the predictive capacity of the numeracy and literacy tests, together with the attitude and effort measures, were examined in relation to the Mathematics and English scores. A correlation analysis showed that the numeracy and literacy tests were positively and significantly related and had similar relationships with the two Year 10 examination scores. Mathematics attitude was significantly associated with Year 10 Mathematics but effort did not correlate significantly with either of the Year 10 examination scores. Multiple regression analyses demonstrated that the relevant Year 7 test results contributed to a considerable amount of the total variance in the two Year 10 examination scores. A sub-sample of the students was interviewed and four case studies were selected to interrogate the notions of achievement, mathematics attitude, and effort. Although these case studies act as a source of qualitative evidence to supplement the quantitative findings, they also indicate that effort, in particular, is a notion worthy of further investigation. Other implications for researchers, as well as school personnel, are noted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-58
Number of pages18
JournalAustralian Educational Researcher
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010

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