Undergraduate psychology students completed self-reports on a range of personality measures that were previously identified as significantly associated with academic performance. Their responses were analyzed in relation to their prior and subsequent performance on two indices of academic achievement (course work marks and test results). Correlation analyses demonstrated significant associations between a range of measures and both indices of performance. Regression analysis demonstrated that academic conscientiousness, test anxiety, and previous achievement accounted for unique and shared variance on test performance. A similar pattern emerged in a regression analysis for course work performance. It is advocated that future research should incorporate measures that embody the various major orientations within psychology and that cover the range of beliefs, behaviors, anxieties, cognitions, and expectancies that are likely to be implicated in achievement. Moreover, the operational definitions of the specific measures used encapsulate the principles that would be useful for educators to inculcate in their teaching ethos and for students to pursue in order to optimize performance. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science (USA).