Want Some?!?! Academic Self-Efficacy = College Success


Academic Self-Efficacy (ASE)

So what is this Academic Self-Efficacy stuff you say?!?! Well, it refers to an individual’s belief, or conviction, that they can successfully achieve, at a set level, on an academic task or attain a specific academic goal that they have set for themselves (Bandura, 1997; Eccles & Wigfield, 2002; Linnenbrink & Pintrich, 2002a).

Research suggests that having high self-efficacy when attempting difficult tasks creates feelings of calmness or serenity while low self-efficacy may result in a student perceiving a task as more difficult than reality, which, in turn, may create anxiety, stress and a narrower idea on how best to approach the solving of a problem or activity (Downey, Eccles, & Chatman, 2005).

High ASE may = Feelings of Calmness

Low ASE may = Anxiety and Stress


Self Concept

Are you wondering…Do I have low ASE?!?!

Well check out the following chart:

High Self-Efficacy High Self-Esteem Low Self-Efficacy Low Self-Esteem
Self-Confidence Responsibility Fear of Risks Unhappiness
Accurate Self-evaluation Goal Commitment Fear of Uncertainty Anxiety
Willingness to take risks Genuineness Feelings of Failure Inferiority or Superiority
Sense of accomplishment Forgiving Impression Management Impatience or Irritability
Internal Values Externally oriented goals
Positivity Negativity

When your self-esteem and self-efficacy are low, you may have lower aspirations and a weaker commitment to the goals you have chosen to pursue. You may find that do not concentrate on how to perform well. Instead, you may spend more of your energy focusing on your limitations and failures.

Let’s work on that 🙂

Brain Nerd

Psych-Nerd Light

just a light and nerdy snack!


Measuring Self-Efficacy

Dr. Chemers, University of California SC, and his research team found that academic self-Self-efficacy-measureefficacy is strongly related to academic performance and adjustment to college. Part of their questionnaire included a section on self-efficacy and the following questions were used to measure Academic Self Efficacy.

Take a moment to rate yourself in these 7 areas on a scale from

1 (Does Not Describe Me at all) to 7 (Describes me Very Well).

Academic Self-Efficacy (ASE)

  1. I know how to schedule my time to accomplish my tasks.  1  2  3  4  5  6  7
  2. I know how to take notes.   1  2  3  4  5  6  7
  3. I know how to study to perform well on tests.  1  2  3  4  5  6  7
  4. I am good at research and writing papers.  1  2  3  4  5  6  7
  5. I am a very good student.  1  2  3  4  5  6  7
  6. I usually do very well in school and at academic tasks.  1  2  3  4  5  6  7
  7. I find my college academic work interesting and absorbing.  1  2  3  4  5  6  7
  8. I am very capable of succeeding at the college.  1  2  3  4  5  6  7

The closer you get to a rating of 7 for a question, the more skills you believe you have in that area. Take a look at how you rated yourself on each question and then decide which areas you would like to improve on.

ASE Growth Strategies

Take a moment to watch a few of these videos to help you to grow in the areas that you are still building.

I know how to schedule my time to accomplish my tasks.

I know how to take notes.

I know how to study to perform well on tests.

I am good at research and writing papers.

Being an Engaged Student: Question Group

  • I am a very good student.
  • I usually do very well in school and at academic tasks.
  • I find my college academic work interesting and absorbing.
  • I am very capable of succeeding at the college.

The following TedTalks can help you to become a better student, do well on academic tasks, help you to dive into your work (engagement) and build the belief that you are capable of succeeding in your college program.

The Psychology of Self Motivation (TedTalk)

Getting Stuck in the Negatives (TedTalk)

Programming Your Mind for Success (TedTalk)

How to Know Your Life Purpose in 5 Minutes (TedTalk)

Food for Thought

  • Goal setting and self-efficacy are powerful influences on academic achievement  (Zimmerman, Bandura, & Martinez-Pons, 1992).
  • Learning goals that are specific, short-term, and viewed as challenging but attainable enhance students’ self-efficacy better than do goals that are general, long-term, or not viewed as attainable (Zimmerman, Bandura, & Martinez-Pons, 1992).
  • Students believe that they can attain their goals when they have clear standards against which to gauge their progress. As students work on tasks, they compare their progress against their goals. The perception of progress strengthens self-efficacy and motivates students to continue to improve (Schunk, 1995).

So, as you begin to work on tasks, apply these new strategies, take note of your progress as you go, you will strengthen your Academic Self-Efficacy!

Believe in Yourself

Start Building your Academic Self-Efficacy!

You will feel better 🙂

Dr. Heather Drummond, EdD

eSuccess-Coach * Passionate Advocate for Student Success




Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York:W. H. Freeman.

Chemers, M.M., Hu, L.T., and Garcia, B., Academic Self-Efficacy and First Year College Student Performance and Adjustment. Journal of Educ. Psychology 2001, Vol. 93, No. 1, 55-64.

Downey, Geraldine, Jacquelynne S. Eccles, and Celina Chatman. (2005). Navigating the future: social identity, coping, and life tasks.New York: Russell Sage. 2005.

Eccles, Jacquelynne S and Wigfield, Allan Wigfield. (2002).  Motivational beliefs, values, and goals. Annual Review of Psychology, 53 (1), DOI: 10.1146/annurev.psych.53.100901.135153

Linnenbrink, E. A., & Pintrich, P. R. (2002a). Motivation as an enabler for academic success. School Psychology Review, 31(3), 313-327.

Schunk, D. H. (1995). Self-efficacy and education and instruction. In J. E. Maddux (Ed.),Self-efficacy, adaptation, and adjustment: Theory, research, and application (pp. 281-303). New York: Plenum Press.

Zimmerman, B. J., Bandura, A., & Martinez-Pons, M. (1992). Self-motivation for academic attainment: The role of self-efficacy beliefs and personal goal-setting. American Educational Research Journal, 29, 663-676.


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