Several factors are commonly assumed to be associated with superior performance in upper division undergraduate courses. These include strong academic preparation in related courses, employment or other life experience in the subject matter area, natural intelligence, and diligent work habits. Given the predominant weight of written course examinations in determining the final grade in many courses, students are quick to add "exam taking ability" as another crucial skill. Our interest in this report is how one component of "exam taking ability," namely the amount of time spent writing exam answers, correlates with the final course grade compared to more obvious academic background and experience factors.
writing skills, final grades, exam taking ability