The effect of grade repetition on the academic performance of infants and primary students

Dianna Kenny*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


The present study examined the effects of repetition on the academic performance of students in grades one to five. Subjects (n = 122) were all selected by their schools for repetition at the end of the school year. Of these, 74 repeated the grade and the remaining 48 proceeded to the next grade because these students’parents rejected the schools’ recommendations to repeat their children. All children were pre-and post-tested on a range of standardized, class-based and criterion-referenced tests to determine the academic effects of repetition and promotion on students. Although the repeated group showed a significant improvement in place in grade analysis of variance yielded very few differences between repeated and promoted students on the standardized academic measures, although trends favoured the promoted group. It was concluded that repetition is of limited benefit in enhancing academic performance, although the gains were sufficient to allow favourable comparisons of repeated students with their new peer groups, as measured by their place in grade, leading teachers to conclude that substantial improvements had occurred.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-16
Number of pages6
JournalThe Australian Educational and Developmental Psychologist
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1988

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