Age and Gender Differences in Study Habits: a Framework for Proactive Counselling Against Low Academic Achievement


Poor academic achievement of Nigerian candidates in the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) over the past seven years has been a cause for concern to all stakeholders in education in Nigeria. This study, therefore, sought to project a proactive counselling approach for tackling this academic menace. Two hundred and eighty nine (289) students including prospective May/June 2012 WAEC SSCE candidates attending a Study Skills Improvement Therapy Workshop organized by Firm Family Foundation, an NGO in Nigeria, were used for the study. Their responses to a Study Habits Inventory were analysed on the basis of age and gender using t-test statistics. Results showed significant differences in the study habits of the students on the basis of age and gender. Study habits seem to improve with age and female students reported better study habits than males. This implies that proactive counselling against poor study habits should start at the basic level of education and deligent attention should be given to male students. How target-oriented counselling techniques should be utilized to help students improve their academic achievement was discussed.