Research taken from the Practical Guide to College Studies in Quebec 2008 by the Regional Admission Service of Metropolitan Montreal (SRAM)
High school results
Secondary grades are the best predictor of college success. Students with an average of less than 70% have a graduation rate of around 40%, but even with low high school marks, it is possible to succeed in cégep by combining motivation, effort, perseverance and good work habits. Strong high school grades don’t necessarily guarantee easy college success either.
High school study time
The key to success is undoubtedly the time spent studying. An average cégep student must devote about 15 hours per week to schoolwork in addition to class hours. Work habits acquired in high school and particularly the time spent studying, have an influence on success in college regardless of the overall grades obtained in high school.
Students who say they are highly motivated do much better than those who are slightly or not at all motivated. This motivation can increase, by more than 10%, the chances of passing all courses and graduating with a diploma.
Encouragement from parents
Students whose parents have a positive attitude have a 15% better chance of passing all their courses and graduating. This variable takes on the most importance in the success of the first term and in perseverance until graduation. The attitude of parents towards their studies can be a decisive factor.
The gap between girls and boys
Girls enter college in greater proportion (57%) than boys and they arrive on average with higher secondary school grades, which partly explains their superior college success and graduation rates.
Here are a few reasons:
- They spend much more time on their work (25% of girls compared to 11% of boys study two hours or more per day).
- They spend go to the library more often.
- Female students ask for more help from their teachers, relatives or friends.
- They show more motivation to succeed in their studies.
- Girls have a clearer idea of their future.
The importance of the first session
The success of all the courses in the first session, without being a guarantee for the rest, contributes significantly to their success. About 90% of students who do not fail in the first semester graduate.
Acting together for success
Even if high school grades were the best predictors of success, for both the strongest and the weakest students, it is possible to increase the odds. Students can prepare themselves by developing good work habits and devoting more time to study. Teachers can make them aware of the importance of studying, help them acquire proper methods and guide them to a choice of program that interests them.
Finally, parents who value studies, who are interested in their children’s progress, who recognize their successes and encourage them to persevere despite any difficulties, also play an important role in their success.