I have discovered from my own personal experience that there is a cry within students on how they can improve their academic performance. Some students are not satisfied with their academic outcomes and this has made some of them give up on some subjects they have been performing woefully. It is an internal struggle which in most cases aren’t well attended to.
I know how it feels when you are about to write an examination of a particular subject that you aren’t so good at. It is a feeling of someone who is already defeated and discouraged about his ability to pass such test. And this is the major reason why some students resulted in examination malpractice because of their low self-efficacy in some subjects.
Bandura defines self-efficacy as personal judgments of one’s capabilities to organize and execute courses of action to attain designated goals, and he sought to assess its level, generality, and strength across activities and contexts (Bandura 1997). And the strength of perceived efficacy is measured by the amount of one’s certainty about performing a given task. Self-efficacy has a tendency to predict one’s academic outcomes.
I interviewed one of my students who happened to be one of the best students where I formerly worked. I asked in about his internal motivation and beliefs about his academic performance. His responses were encouraging which as a tutor I picked a clue from, he said his parents don’t lose sleep over him anytime he sits for any examination. In a way, his beliefs and motivation have affected his parents. He is always confident that he will pass any examination and that has been his beliefs.
However, this is not about a false belief system but he has built capabilities in any subject he will sit for. Bandura also stated that “there is evidence that self-efficacious students participate more readily, work harder, persist longer, and have fewer adverse emotional reactions when they encounter difficulties than do those who doubt their capabilities.” Moreover, self-efficacious students undertake difficult and challenging tasks more readily than do inefficacious students. And all these are evident in him.
What to do to improve your academic performance
- Do not doubt your capabilities.
- Work harder.
- Undertake difficult and challenging tasks: For example, if you are having self-doubt about word problem in mathematics, look for different questions on it ranging from the simplest to the most difficult. As you are doing that, you are building your capabilities and self-confidence in that area of mathematics.
- Persistence: Don’t look for a quick fix if it seems your desired outcomes is low. You have to persist longer for you to get results.
- Love the subjects you are having challenges with