Learning Strategies of Successful and Unsuccessful University Students


The purpose of this study was to assess the most commonly used learning strategies of undergraduate students and how these strategies were related to their academic performance. Toward this purpose, a 60 item Likert scale was administered to a sample of 278 undergraduate students. The students were selected based on their cumulative grand-point-average as the most successful and the least successful five senior-year students from each majoring area in the faculties of arts, engineering, science, communication, and sports. The Cronbach’s Alpha reliability coefficient of the scale was 0,93. Results showed that successful students used more, varied, and better learning strategies than unsuccessful students. Female students were more effective in selecting and using appropriate strategies than male students. There were a variety of differences among fields of study; students of fine arts used the strategies least, while students of sports used them the most. The most preferred group of strategies was metacognitive strategies, whereas the least preferred group was organization strategies. The same pattern was found for the level of success, gender, and field of study. The results overall imply that certain strategies contribute to student performance more than other strategies, and majority of university students are aware of this situation.