Academic Performance of College Students: Impact of Study Habits, Test Anxiety, Perfectionism, and Locus of Control


Jillian Estes
Mentor: Dr. Laird Edman
Department of Psychology

The academic performance of college students can be linked to many different factors. While students perform academically at various levels, their performance is affected by the way they study and their feelings of control. 

The current study examined the impact of study habits, test anxiety, perfectionism, and locus of control on the academic performance of undergraduate college students. 

Participants were 103 undergraduate students (males = 28, females = 75) at a small, private Christian college in a Midwestern community. Participants completed the Beck Anxiety Inventory, the Study Habits Inventory, the Locus of Control Scale, the Almost Perfect Scale-Revised, and a word recall test. Test anxiety, study habits, and locus of control were all predictors of academic performance (GPA) of college students. Significant correlations were found between internal locus of control scores and academic performance, and between study habits scores and test anxiety scores and academic performance. Furthermore, perfectionism was related to greater test anxiety over and above the effect of study habits. No significant association was found between induced general test anxiety and performance on the word recall test. Implications and limitations of these findings are discussed, as well as suggestions for future research.