Key to Success in Pharmacy School Is Personality, Not Intelligence

If you want to succeed in school, then you better work on your personality.

If you want to succeed in school, then you better work on your personality.

A new study from Griffith University purports that a student’s personality is more important than his or her intelligence for academic success.

Arthur Poropat, PhD, studied 5 personality factors: conscientiousness, openness, agreeableness, emotional stability, and extraversion. In doing so, he found that the first 2 factors were the most important for success in school.

According to Dr. Poropat’s findings, which were published in Learning and Individual Differences, a student with the most helpful personality will score 1 grade higher than an average student. He also found that a student’s assessment of his or her personality was as useful for predicting university success as his or her intelligence ranking. Furthermore, a peer who knew the student well could provide a personality rating that was nearly 4 times more accurate for predicting grades.

Other studies have found that students who consider themselves smart often stop trying in school and see their grades decline, while those who describe themselves as hard workers progress.

However, students who may rate themselves poorly using Dr. Poropat’s 5 personality factors have no need to despair.

“Personality does change, and some educators have trained aspects of students' conscientiousness and openness, leading to greater learning capacity,” Dr. Poropat said in a press release. “By contrast, there is little evidence that intelligence can be 'taught,' despite the popularity of brain-training apps.”