Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/13241
Four important factors that have been shown to correlate with academic performance are intelligence, family socioeconomic status, achievement goals and gender. The simultaneous contribution of these four predictors to academic achievement, as measured by the Icelandic National Examinations in two subject areas, language arts and mathematics, was examined in this study. The relative contribution of these factors was examined separately for fourth and seventh grade, as well as their contribution to the change in performance over time, from fourth to seventh grade. It is clear that intelligence remains the most important known predictor of achievement, even when controlling for prior performance, but parental education, achievement goals and gender also play a role. Although the effects of these factors persist to some extent, they become smaller as students move from fourth to seventh grade. Thus, once students have entered the school environment, other factors appear to become more influential. The importance of prior performance for subsequent performance was also investigated in the present study. Prior performance contributes substantially to subsequent performance, even when controlling for background variables and general ability, and thus it is crucial that students have a solid knowledge base to build on as they move from one grade to the next.