New coaching program improves student grades

Students progressing towards their HSC or making the transition to university are often provided with study skills coaching programs in the hope of increasing their grades. However, these programs have tended to only produce modest results.  In addition to acquiring more effective study skills, students also need to learn how to motivate themselves and cope with stress and adversity.

To address this need, Dr John Franklin, from Macquarie University, and I developed a program called ‘Successology 101’ – a holistic coaching program for helping students develop the necessary study skills, as well as the motivation and resilience skills, that are known to promote success.

To test this program, we conducted the world’s first double blind randomised control trial in coaching psychology.   Using an experimental design we compared whether coaching university students in a combination of study skills, motivation and resilience skills was more effective at increasing academic performance than simply coaching study skills alone. Both coaching programs were structurally identical, meaning that the programs consisted of the same number of hours of hours of coaching.

As noted in the chart below, the findings were extremely promising. The results weighed heavily in favour of students who completed both elements of the coaching program. The difference in marks was almost an entire grade higher for those who were coached in study skills, motivation and resilience compared with study skills alone.

Successology GPA comparison picture

Both coaching programs also produced significant increases in perceived self-efficacy and resilience; however, only students in the more holistic combined coaching program reported significant increases in their confidence in making decisions, levels of hope, self-compassion and the belief that they can increase their intelligence.

If you are interested in reading more about this study, you can find a link to the article here that was published in the International Journal of Coaching Psychology.

If you would like to benefit from this program, please contact me for a coaching appointment. I can explore with you your hopes and goals, the effectiveness of your current study approach, as well as helpful strategies for managing stress and setbacks.


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