An investigation of the self-evaluation skills of first year pharmacy students


  • Shahireh Sharif School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, UK
  • Larry A. Gifford School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, UK
  • Gareth A. Morris School of Chemistry, The University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, UK
  • Jill Barber School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, UK


Academic achievement, pharmacy students, examination prediction, health-care workers


Introduction: Self-evaluation is an important skill in many fields of endeavour, including education and learning. Health-care workers, e.g. pharmacists, have a particular need to develop this skill. We therefore investigated the self-evaluation skills of several cohorts of pharmacy undergraduates during the first year of their course. Students were asked to predict their end of first year and end of course results, and these predictions were compared with their actual marks.
Methods: A wide-ranging questionnaire was designed to interrogate a number of aspects of students’ lives, including their perceptions of their present and future academic progress. Arrangements were made for it to be completed during a scheduled class (the captive audience approach).
Results: The response rate to the questionnaire, using this approach, was 87%. Male students were found to predict better academic performance for their final degree than females, despite the fact that females outperformed males in both first and final year. Most students, both male and female, predicted better marks for themselves in the final year than in the first year. In general, the better students gave more realistic predictions than the weaker students.
Conclusions: These findings suggest that first year students do not have good self-evaluation skills, and might benefit from formal opportunities to practise self-evaluation during their time at University.


Aojula, H., Barber, J., Cullen, R., & Andrews, J. (2006). Computer- based online summative assessment in undergraduate pharmacy teaching: The Manchester experience. Pharmacy Education, 6, 229.

Asch, D.A., Jedrziewski, M.K., & Christakis, N.A. (1997). Response rates to mail surveys published in medical journals. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 50(10), 1129.

Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: W.H. Freeman and Company.

Carroll, C. A., & Garavalia, L. S. (2004). Factors contributing to the academic

achievement of pharmacy student: Use of the goal-efficacy framework. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 68(4).

Hacker, F. J., Bol, L., Horgan, D. D., & Rakow, E. A. (2000). Test prediction and performance in a classroom context. Journal of Educational Psychology, 92(1), 160.

Lim, C. K. (2001). Computer self-efficacy, academic self-concept, and other predictors of satisfaction and future participation of adult distance learners. American Journal of Distance Education, 15(2), 41.

McColl, E., Jacoby, A., Thomas, L., Soutter, J., Bamford, C., Steen, N., Thomas, R., Harvey, E., Garratt, A., & Bond, J. (2001). Design and use of questionnaires: A review of best practice applicable to survey of health service staff and patients. Health Technology Assessment, 5(31).

Ruban, L. M., McCoach, D. B., McGuire, J. M., & Reis, S. M. (2003). The differential impact of academic self-regulatory methods on academic achievement among university student with and without learning disabilities. Journal of Learning Disability, 36(3), 270.

Sandler, M. E. (2000). Career decision-making self-efficacy, perceived stress, and an integrated model of student persistence: A structural model of finances, attitudes, behaviour, and career development. Research in Higher Education, 41(5), 537.

Sharif, S., Gifford, L. A., Morris, G. A., & Barber, J. (n.d.). Diagnostic testing of first year pharmacy students: A tool for targeted student support. Pharmacy Education, 7(3), 215–221.

Tracey, T. J., & Sedlacek, W. E. (1986). Prediction of college graduation using noncognitive variables by race. ERIC Reproduc- tion Service Number: ED271513.

Zimmerman, B. J. (1989). A social cognitive view of self- regulated academic learning. Journal of Educational Psychology, 81, 329.

Zimmerman, B. J. (1998). Academic studying and the development of personal skill: A self-regulatory perspective. Educational Psychologist, 33, 73.



Research Article