Metacognitive Components of Student’s Difficulties in the First Year of University

Angela Costabile, Cesare Cornoldi, Rossana De Beni, Paola Manfredi, Sante Figliuzzi


Metacognition is a good predictor of University student’s achievement and should be more systematically considered since it might also help reduce student drop outs. In particular drop out is a dramatic problem for Italian Universities since it may concern more than 40% of students. The identification of factors that lead to academic failure and of remedial programs seems, therefore, necessary. The present paper examines the role of metacognitive aspects in more than 1,000 freshmen who participated in a project at the University of Calabria, in the South of Italy. Students at the beginning of the academic year completed two Questionnaires, concerning their study skills and other personal characteristics, and then followed a 10-hour metacognitive training course on the study and personal skills necessary for succeeding at university. A few months later, students again completed the Study Skills Questionnaire and, at the end of the year, information was collected on their achievements. Results showed that significant predictors of the students’ achievement were perceived self-efficacy, and other self-regulatory and motivational constructs. Furthermore, the training was able to change the students’ perceived ability to use study strategies and to process study material in a more in-dept manner.

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International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online) Email:

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