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Background: Financial accounting is a skills course which to a large extent can be best learned through deliberate practice. Teachers implement this by continuously assigning homeworks, encouraging good study habits, asking students to budget time for studying, and generally exhorting students to “work hard”. Aims: This paper examines the impact of “study habits, skills, and attitudes” (SHSAs) on the performance of students in an introductory financial accounting college course. Sample: 395 2nd year business students in a Philippine university. Method: Data related to variables found to have influenced accounting performance in previous researches as well as SHSA variables are collected through student survey and school records. They are treated as independent variables using multiple regression analysis, with the accounting course final grade as the dependent variable. The paper also examines the factors that differentiate high- from low-performing students. Results: The study found that math proficiency, English proficiency, high school accounting, and academic aptitude influence accounting performance, supporting the findings of many previous researches on cognitive factors. Among the SHSA factors, only student perception of teacher effectiveness and level of effort influence accounting performance. Time spent studying, attendance in review classes conducted in tutorial centers, motivation, and study habits have no significant effect. Upon further analysis comparing high and low performers, study habits show up to be significant as well. In particular, students who performed better are those who did more in terms of reading ahead, doing their homework, participating in class, and cramming for exams. Conclusion: Since student perception of teacher effectiveness strongly influences accounting performance, it is critical that hiring and training of accounting faculty be given utmost importance. Level of effort and good study habits also help, but not the sheer number of study hours.

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