This ongoing investigation was concerned with the problem of intellectual and motivational predictors of academic achievement in secondary and high school students. The study used a battery of tests, including IQ, intrinsic and extrinsic motivational variables and coping strategies (N=420, 6-11th grades). It was shown that intelligence is a necessary condition of the academic achievement while motivation (namely intrinsic and autonomous motivation) is a driving force which provides an effective usage of intelligence and can compensate its insufficiency. The analysis of four groups differing in IQ and academic achievement allowed to analyze groups with an ambiguous relation of these two variables. It is shown that successful schoolchildren with relatively low intelligence (using Raven’s Matrices) more rarely use ineffective coping strategies in learning activity, such as inaction, denial, indirect activity, and antisocial activity and more often apply the strategy of active coping, trying to handle difficult situations on their own. Conclusions are made for educational practice which are based on the obtained results and take into account the complicated relationship between IQ and academic success in its own turn determined by the level of difficulty of learning activity, intrinsic motivation and productive coping strategies.
PISA results show that math problems with everyday context are typically difficult for Russian students. Are these difficulties caused either by exactly everyday context or by lack of some general problem solving skills required when solving unusual contextual problems? In a qualitative study we analyzed mistakes of 8-10-graders (n=60) and showed that a minor part of their mistakes was due to requirements to make math model that are specific requirements of contextual problems. Vast majority of mistakes was due to general problem skills such as visual representation skills, monitoring of solving process, validating of decision.