The purposes of this study are as follows: (a) to investigate the relationship between high school students' learning approaches, prior knowledge and attitudes toward chemistry, and their performance on a misunderstandings test; and (b) to describe and analyze the differences between the responses of students with different learning approaches on the same test. Forty-nine suburban high school students enrolled in two sections of New York State Regents Chemistry classes participated in the study. The students' performance on a misunderstandings pretest and the students' learning approach both accounted for a statistically significant proportion of the variance on their performance on the misunderstandings posttest. Additionally, the results showed that the relatively meaningful learners performed significantly better than the relatively rote learners on the misunderstandings posttest.