Education Quarterly Reviews
Published: 04 March 2021
Entry Grades and the Academic Performance of University Students: A Review of Literature
Rosalba Aciro, David Onen, Geoffrey M. Malinga, Betty A. Ezati, George L. Openjuru
Gulu University (Nigeria), Makerere University (Uganda)
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Keywords: Entry Grades, Admission, Cumulative Grade Point Average, Academic Performance, University
Universities world over mostly base their decisions to admit their new students on the applicant’s pre-university academic results. However, there is yet no concrete evidence that the students’ pre-university academic accolades determine their performances at university level. In this article, we explored the findings of earlier studies that examined the relationships between entry grades and the academic performance of university students. The study was undertaken to collate the literature on the relationships between the students’ entry grades and their university academic performance in order to validate earlier assertions, if any, as well as to identify opportunities for further research in this field. During the study, we carried out a systematic review of 59 articles that we drew from different online electronic databases including, among others, the Free Scientific Publication, the Worldwide Science.org, and the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). The majority of these reviewed studies were drawn from America and Europe. Only a few of them were conducted in Asia, Latin America and Africa. Of the 59 reviewed articles, only 53 of them met our inclusion criteria and our key findings showed, among others, that out of the 53 reviewed articles, 26, 4 and 13 of them revealed the existence of positive, negative, and mixed correlations respectively between the entry grades and the academic performance of university students. The remaining 10 articles, however, did not reveal any significant correlations between the two variables; instead, they alluded to the existence of difference in these relationships between male and female students; thus, suggesting for the need for affirmative action schemes. Overall, the study revealed that there is yet no consensus over whether pre-university academic performances of students predict their performances at university level; thus, indicating the need for further research in this field.
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