|dc.description.abstract||This research arose from the problem of academic under
achievement at university. In this research the role of
motivation, attitude and study habits were investigated. A
specific questionnaire was compiled for this research, because existing questionnaires do not cover the field of
research well enough, and also because the part played
by motivation was not sufficiently taken into account.
After a pilot study had been done, irrelevant questionnaire
items were eliminated. In the final investigation 1734 students of the Potchefstroom University were involved. These
students were divided into 126 sub-groups. Differently from
most other researches of this kind, not only first year
students were involved, but also second and third year
From the research it became apparent that motivation,
attitude and study habits play a determining part in academic achievement. Throughout, an exceptionally high correlation with academic achievement was found. It became
evident that motivation and attitude are more important than
mere methods of study.
An interesting finding is that the study pattern remains
largely the same from the first to the third year of study.
The correct motivation, attitude and study habits are therefore also for second and third year students of the greatest importance. No differences could be established in connection with the study pattern, between students taking a degree
and diploma students. With regard to the two sexes, the
study pattern is to a large extent the same, except that
motivation, in the case of men in their third year, shows
no relation to achievement. The study pattern is also the
same in the different faculties, with the exception that
motivation, in the case of students in the Faculty of Natural
Sciences, shows no relation to academic achievement.
Another interesting finding is that the well-motivated student
realises the value of study methods, and develops effective
As a result of the research, several recommendations were
made, for instance, that with regard to the problem of
academic under achievement, the part of motivation, attitude
and study habits, should be thoroughly taken into account.
The attitude of the student towards his studies must especially receive attention. Guidance to students through a
guidance bureau should be given special attention. The lecturing staff of universities should be enlarged so that the
lecturers would be able to pay more personal attention to
the study problems of students. Guidance at High School
level ought to be focussed on influencing future students,
so that they would go to universities as well-motivated students.||en_US