Academic Success Essay

Topics: Motivation, University, Educational psychology Pages: 4 (1183 words) Published: April 19, 2011
A major reason for students to succeed academically in college or drop out is their level of motivation. Students in college have made the decision attend a college, and therefore have already experienced motivation during the application process. Motivation is defined as the driving force which causes us to achieve goals. Therefore, without motivation, we will have difficulty, if not be unable to follow through with the tasks required to achieve the goals. When a college student is not motivated to graduate, or get good grades, the probability of dropping out is greater. Motivation is required to achieve goals. Many psychologists have researched motivational effects on academic performance. The general consensus is that motivation is affected by ones views on their own ability to complete tasks and that there is a positive correlation between motivation and finishing tasks (Shawn Van Etten, 2008) (Gottfried, 1985) (Ames, 1992) (Paul R. Pintrich, 1990) (Pajares, 2001).

Shawn Van Etten (2008) conducted a study to identify a range of factors that potentially play an influential role in college seniors’ academic motivation. Etten’s study consisted of ninety one college seniors that attended a competitive public university in the northeastern United States. The participants went through three phases of interviews. The results of his study support the positive relationship between motivation and students’ academic success in college. He found that two primary goals of college seniors are to get good grades and graduate. They also expressed that these goals motivate their academic efforts during their senior year (Shawn Van Etten, 2008).

The seniors reported that if there were no grades they probably would not even attend class, and that they are more motivated to do well academically when the grades mattered. For example, there would be greater concern with grades among students expecting to apply to graduate school (Shawn Van Etten, 2008). The goal...
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