Too many students arrive on campus with unreasonably high expectations of success, according to a study from the University of Toronto. Students told researchers they would earn at least a 3.6 grade-point average in first-year classes, but only averaged a 2.3 by the end of their freshman year.
The study, which focused on the wide discrepancies in college performance among students with similar high school records, found that the group it classified as “thrivers” averaged A’s in college, while the “divers” group averaged F’s despite receiving respectable grades in high school. What researchers found was that divers were less likely to describe themselves as organized and were more likely to cram for exams.
One trait that did stand out was the amount of time thrivers spent studying. They arrived on campus ready to work, planning three additional hours of study per week on average than their diver counterparts.
“Although some are hobbled by their problems with procrastination and disorganization, these same students clearly have potential,” Jeff Guo wrote of divers in his Wonkblog post for The Washington Post. “They made it through high school just fine, after all, but it seems that college demands far more of one’s ability to manage chaos and temptation.”