General knowledge monitoring as a predictor of in-class exam performance


Marissa K. Hartwig, Department of Psychology, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242, USA (e-mail:


Background. Current theories of self-regulated learning predict a positive link between student monitoring accuracy and performance: students who more accurately monitor their knowledge of a particular set of materials are expected to more effectively regulate their subsequent study of those materials, which in turn should lead to higher test performance.

Aims. The present study further explored the link between monitoring accuracy and performance by investigating whether monitoring of one set of materials would predict performance on a different set of materials.

Sample. The participants were college students (N= 379) enrolled in an educational psychology course.

Method. Students’ monitoring accuracy was measured at the start of the semester; the monitoring task involved materials that were not related to class content (i.e., general knowledge vocabulary) and that were related to class content (i.e., terms from educational psychology). Target performance was students’ scores on the final exam.

Results. Monitoring accuracy significantly predicted student performance on the final exam, even when the monitoring task and final test were based on materials from different content domains. Also, the class-related (vs. unrelated) materials in the monitoring task did not improve the predictive validity of monitoring accuracy, suggesting a limited role for domain specificity in the relationship between monitoring skill and performance.

Conclusions. This study establishes a critical link between general monitoring accuracy and exam performance within a classroom setting.