Low GPA and College Attrition Predictive Factors: Using Hierarchical Multiple Linear Regression in Predicting Exam Grades of Students in Introduction to Psychology Course

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Higgins, Bethany
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University Honors College, Middle Tennessee State University
With the typical college degree completion time expanding four to six years, yet the attrition rate of undergraduate students remaining high, a more in-depth investigation of the reasons of undergraduate extended duration, failure, and success, is needed to understand the problem. The current study used a paper survey to examine how psychological factors (e.g., test anxiety, sleep, and grit) and reading ability (vocabulary and spelling) along with previously measured predictors (e.g., class participation, homework, ACT Reading scores, and online learning) affect success in an Introductory Psychology course. In a hierarchical multiple linear regression model, the predictors and their interactions accounted for nearly half of the overall variance in exam grades. The model introduced test anxiety, the interactions of sleep and test anxiety, sleep and online homework, and test anxiety and ACT Reading scores, as significant contributors to exam performance.