ARMSTRONG: Student grades — How confidence can hinder success

Michael Armstrong, an associate professor of operations research in Brock’s Goodman School of Business, wrote a piece recently published in the Conversation about how being overly confident during exam season may leave students with lower-than-expected scores.

Armstrong writes:

At this time of year, university students across the country are preparing for exams. Some will happily get higher-than-expected marks. But a larger group instead will be surprised by lower scores.

Negative surprises are common partly because we humans tend to be overly optimistic. Look at how people buy lottery ticketsborrow money or invest in stocks.

Students also tend to be unduly optimistic about their learning and forthcoming grades. Less skilled students are especially likely to over-estimate. This may lead them to make poor choices. If they mistakenly believe they’re already doing well, they may not study enough.

Continue reading the full article here.

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