Folks, during this exams period you often tell yourself : “Ok, I can do it, I can accept this challenge and give my best shot for this exam paper.”
Confidence is what you have before you understand the problem.”~ Woody Allen ~
Individual self-beliefs are critical forces in one’s academic achievement. According to Bandura, how people behave can often be better predicted by the beliefs they hold about their own capabilities than by what they are actually capable of accomplishing, for these self-perceptions, which he called Self-Efficacy beliefs.
In essence, self-efficacy is the confidence that one has in one’s ability to do the things that one tries to do. Researchers have suggested that these self-beliefs may play a mediational role in relation to cognitive engagement and that enhancing them might lead to increased use of cognitive strategies that, in turn, lead to improve performance.This helps explain why students’ academic performances may differ markedly when they have similar ability.
- A strong sense of efficacy enhances human accomplishment and personal well-being in countless ways.
- People with a strong sense of personal competence approach difficult tasks as challenges to be mastered rather than as threats to be avoided.
- They have greater intrinsic interest and deep engrossment in activities, set themselves challenging goals and maintain strong commitment to them, and heighten and sustain their efforts in the face of failure.
- Moreover, they more quickly recover their sense of efficacy after failures or setbacks, and attribute failure to insufficient effort or deficient knowledge and skills which are acquirable.
- Conversely, people with low self-efficacy may believe that things are tougher than they really are, a belief that fosters stress, depression, and a narrow vision of how best to solve a problem.
- High self-efficacy, on the other hand, helps create feelings of serenity in approaching difficult tasks and activities.
- As a result of these influences, self-efficacy beliefs are strong determinants and predictors of the level of accomplishment that individuals finally attain. For these reasons, Bandura has argued that “beliefs of personal efficacy constitute the key factor of human agency.”
Sources of Self-Efficacy Beliefs
1) Mastery Experience
Students who perform well on math tests and earn high grades in math classes are likely to develop a strong sense of confidence in their math capabilities. This strong sense of efficacy helps ensure that such students will enroll in subsequent math-related classes, approach math tasks with serenity, and increase their efforts when a difficulty arises.On the other hand, low test results and poor grades generally weaken students’ confidence in their capabilities.V
2) Vicarious Experience
Students are likely to develop the belief that “I can do that” when a highly regarded teacher models excellence in an academic endeavor or activity.
Personally I think that before entering the examination room, one must have confidence in one self and beliefs in one own’s capabilities. It is sad to notice many students taking Medical Certificates and not giving a shot to the challenging modules. Perhaps these are students with low self-efficacy, if I have well understood A. Bandura’s arguments.