The present study compared the effect of two types of Frame-of-Reference modifications to each other and to a baseline generic measure. Generic personality scales, tagged scales with 'at school', and completely modified scales were compared in their prediction of academic performance, counterproductive academic behavior, and participant reactions. To this end the HEXACO-PI-R (n = 215) and the MPT-BS (n = 316) were filled out by students in a within-subject design. Results showed a significant increase in criterion validity from generic, to tagged, to completely contextualized personality scales. Face validity and perceived predictive validity improved with increasing contextualization. The current study indicates that completely contextualizing personality items increases criterion validity more than just adding a tag to items. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.