Improving exam results through values affirmation

  • 2015

Students from underrepresented groups can experience stereotype threat (fears they may conform to negative stereotypes). This can hinder learning and exam performance.


We used an insight known as values affirmation to try to boost the exam performance of students from underrepresented groups.

Doing a values affirmation exercise involves encouraging individuals to reflect on the values that are most personally meaningful to them and how they incorporate these values into their lives.


We prompted students to reflect on positive aspects of their identity (their personal values).

Result & Impact

The intervention resulted in a 25 per cent increase in the number of students who passed their exams.