Waikato Journal of Education
Journal cover


Study behaviours
students’ perceptions
academic performance
qualitative analysis


Previous studies using large-scale correlational data have suggested that study behaviours play a significant role in influencing academic outcomes. This study adopts an alternative approach using a qualitative analysis of students' retrospective comments to establish links between students' reported study behaviours and their grades. Using survey responses and grades from 175 students enrolled in their first-year courses at a New Zealand university, a content analysis revealed both similarities and differences between the higher (grades above 75), middle (grades between 60 and 74), and lower (grades lower than 60) groups of students. All students, irrespective of their grades, identified the difficulty of adapting study behaviours to resolve time and information management issues. Academically successful students appear to possess a higher degree of achievement motivation, thus indirectly suggesting that conscientiousness and resilience may have been an underlying factor in their academic outcomes. The impact of attendance as a variable influencing academic performance will also be discussed. 


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