The prediction of academic performance through direct measurement of long-term memory



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A model of classroom information processing was presented. The importance of long-term retention in assessment and determination of academic success was discussed. An argument was advanced that traditional predictors of academic performance not only measure long-term memory ability in an indirect manner, but perhaps do not assess memory abilities integrally related to academic success. The present study was an attempt to both directly tap long-term retention and to relate specific memory abilities with academic performance. Utilizing a counterbalanced design, undergraduate college students (N=50) were presented with verbal and non-verbal stimuli. One hour after stimulus presentation, recall and recognition for stimuli was measured. Memory task performance was correlated with academic success as measured by grade-point average. All tasks yielded significant correlations with grades. Of the four memory tasks employed in the present investigation, the non-verbal recognition task yielded highest correlation with grade-point average (r=.54; p<.001). Stepwise regression analysis was utilized to enable comparisons of nature of material and nature of task. Recognition tasks were found to be more powerful predictors of academic success than were recall tasks. Overall results indicated that long-term memory ability was a significant correlate of academic success and that ability to recognize relatively meaningless non-verbal material was the single best predictor of scholastic performance. Implications and applications of present data for assessment, determination, and prediction of academic performance were discussed.



Academic performance, Long-term memory