Relationship of past academic performance, self-efficacy, and achievement on advanced placement exams

James Michael Kaishian, Fordham University


The goal of this quantitative study was to examine the roles of both past academic performance and self-efficacy beliefs on a student’s academic achievement as measured by his or her performance on an Advanced Placement (AP) exam. High schools often used past academic performance as the sole placement criterion in AP courses. Of particular interest was whether a student’s sense of self-efficacy would be a significant predictor of achievement on the AP exam. The intent of this study was to determine whether incorporating a student’s self-efficacy rating with past performance would have stronger predictive value in determining success in an AP course. Of the 719 participants in this three-year study, 608 were placed in AP courses based upon the GPA criterion, and 111 did not achieve the GPA criterion but were allowed into the courses after holistic consideration and the results on a self-efficacy survey. At the end of the school year, all of the participants took the AP exam associated with the AP course they completed. A t test of uncorrelated means was used to determine whether significant differences existed between the two groups of student AP scores and a correlation coefficient was developed to determine the strength and directionality of the relationship between student AP scores and their self-efficacy scores. Results indicated that past performance was a significant indicator of future success on the AP exam and indicated a positive but weak relationship existed between a student’s sense of self-efficacy and his or her AP score.

Subject Area

Educational tests & measurements|Education Policy|Education

Recommended Citation

Kaishian, James Michael, "Relationship of past academic performance, self-efficacy, and achievement on advanced placement exams" (2016). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI10116319.