Motivation to study and study requirements

Ein zweistufiger Reflexionstest zur Optimierung von Studienerfolg (sMArt²)

Surveys of college dropouts have shown that besides performance issues, a lack of motivation to study is the chief cause leading to premature termination of academic studies. Within the scope of this project a motivational-psychological self-reflexion test should be developed in order to support prospective students in making an informed decision. The intended test should contain two stages:

1) Identification of interests: Prospective students take part in a test revealing information about their interests. Afterwards they receive a feedback on their fit to various study programs. This test is used to identify attractive study programs. (Project management: Dr. Stefan Janke)

2) Reality check: Prospective students have the opportunity to check their expectations and beliefs regarding attractive study programs against the reality. They receive a feedback on the fit of their judgement compared to an expert judgement. This test should enable prospective students to gain a realistic impression of the study programs’ requirements. (Project management: Prof. Dr. Karina Karst)

After completion, the self-reflexion test will be implemented at the University of Mannheim and the materials will be available to the state of Baden-Württemberg. In the long run, the project aims to effectively reduce college dropouts due to insufficient study motivation or false expectations.

Principle Investigators:
Dr. Stefan Janke
Prof. Dr. Karina Karst

Hanna Bürkle
Laura Messerer

Co-operation partner:
Department Quality management, University of Mannheim

01/2019 – 12/2020

Financed by:
Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst (Baden-Württemberg)


Karst, K., Ertelt, B.-J., Frey, A., & Dickhäuser, O. (2017). Studienorientierung durch Self-Assessments: Veränderung von Einstellungen zum Studienfach während der Bearbeitung eines Selbsttests. Journal für Bildungsforschung Online, 9 (2), 205-227.