Exit velocity: is there truth in the commonly-held belief that grades for undergraduate students tend to improve from Year 2 to Year 3? A case study

Mark Betteney


This case study makes analysis of final-year Progression and Award Board data of a professional undergraduate degree programme taken from three annual cohorts (2010-11 to 2012-13). The analysis shows that for each cohort there was a degree of exit velocity for those students achieving a lower second class degree or better, with the more able students achieving most progress in grade improvement from Year 2 to Year 3. However, for those students who achieved only a third class degree, there was consistent grade regression from Year 2.


Student progression; exit velocity

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Attewell, P. and Scott, H. (2012) ‘What Is Academic Momentum? And Does It Matter?’ Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 34(1) 27-44

Herzog, S. (2005). ‘Measuring determinants of student return vs. dropout/stopout vs. transfer:

A first to second year analysis of new freshman’ Research in Higher Education 46(8), 883?928

Simonite V. (2003) ‘A Longitudinal Study of Achievement in a Modular First Degree Course’ Studies in Higher Education, 28:3, 293-302

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21100/compass.v6i10.136


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