Correlation between academic achievement goal orientation and the performance of Malaysian students in an Indian medical school

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Context: According to goal orientation theory, achievement goals are defined as the terminal point towards which one's efforts are directed. The four academic achievement goal orientations commonly recognised are mastery, performance approach, performance avoidance and work avoidance. The objective of this study was to understand the goal orientation of second year undergraduate medical students and how this correlates with their academic performance. Methods: The study population consisted of 244 second year Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) students of Melaka Manipal Medical College, Manipal campus, Manipal University, India. Students were categorised as high performers and low performers based on their first year university examination marks. Their goal orientations were assessed through a validated questionnaire developed by Was et al. These components were analysed by independent sample t-test and correlated to their first year university examination marks. Results: Confirmatory component factor analysis extracted four factors, which accounted for 40.8% of the total variance in goal orientation. The performance approach goal orientation alone explained 16.7% of the variance followed by mastery (10.8%), performance avoidance (7.7%) and work avoidance (5.7%). The Cronbach's alpha for 19 items, which contributed to internal consistency of the tool, was observed to be 0.635. 2 strong positive correlation was shown between performance approach, performance avoidance and work avoidance orientations. Of the four goal orientations, only the mean scores in work avoidance orientation differed for low performers and high performers (5.0 vs. 4.3; P = 0.0003). Discussion: Work avoidance type of goal orientation among the low performer group may account for their lower performance compared with high performer group. This indicates that academic achievement goal orientation may play a role in the performance of undergraduate medical students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-102
Number of pages5
JournalEducation for Health: Change in Learning and Practice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 05-2013


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)
  • Education

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