Cognitive skills, personality traits and dropout in Dutch vocational education

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Designing effective educational programs to reduce dropout in higher and vocational education requires thorough understanding of the underlying mechanisms of study success. This study examines if first-year dropout is associated with cognitive ability and personality traits as measured by a formative entry test just before enrollment in Dutch vocational education. The results show that the formative entry test outcomes do not properly identify students at risk, the association between first-year dropout and, respectively, cognitive skills and personality traits is generally not significant. Consequently, and of importance for both students and vocational education institutes, students cannot be properly informed about whether their skills and personality traits match the required skills and personality traits of the program.
Original languageEnglish
Article number11
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalEmpirical Research in Vocational Education and Training
Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2018


  • Cognitive skills
  • Personality traits
  • Study success
  • Vocational education


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