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What Is Academic Entitlement?


Singapore’s education system is known to be one of the best in the world and students here work very hard for their good grades. However, there is a term called “Academic Entitlement” that has become increasingly popular.

In general, students who have academic entitlement expect good grades and compliments about their work even though they may not have put in enough effort.

In this article, we will be exploring academic entitlement and how we can prevent it.

What is Academic Entitlement?


Before we start going in-depth into how to recognise academic entitlement and how to prevent it, we must first understand what it is.

It is when students expect to do well academically and receive good feedback, regardless of the amount of effort they put in. Then when they do poorly, they also refuse to face the consequences of their actions – which is not studying.

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They prefer to attribute their bad grades to external forces, for example, “the teacher didn’t explain the topic properly” and often come up with excuses for their poor performance.

These students see value in good grades but are unwilling to take responsibility in their successes and failures.

Why Is It Bad?


There is more to academic entitlement than just giving excuses. It is also known to hinder students’ academic success. These unreasonable expectations of scoring well without putting in effort to study can decrease work performance, productivity, and personal responsibility.

This also affects students’ development and their experiences in school. For example, students with academic entitlement tend to have poor time management, high stress levels, a lack of intrinsic interest in the subject matter, and learned helplessness.

If they carry this into adulthood, we can expect to see poor performance and the expectation to do well despite not putting in effort in their work.

What Causes It?


Now we need to get to the root of academic entitlement. What causes it? By understanding what causes academic entitlement, we are able to prevent it from happening and affecting students’ learning experiences.

So here are some of the causes of academic entitlement amongst students:

Being too grade-focused

In school, there is a heavy emphasis on grades, and because of that, students become very grade-focused, and some take it to the extreme.

When students are focused on grades and not on the learning process, they tend to avoid taking responsibility for their bad grades and avoid putting in effort since they often cannot see the connection between effort and grades.

High expectations and stricter parenting styles

Studies show that students become more susceptible to having academic entitlement if they are held to high expectations or are under severe pressure to succeed.

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This is especially so if there are high parental expectations or stricter parenting styles. Because by chalking their bad grades up to external factors like the teachers, they wouldn’t need to face the consequences and their parent’s disappointment.

Protecting their ego

Academic entitlement is also used by students to protect t heir ego. In cases of academic entitlement, students often do not study but do not want to admit it even if they failed. This is commonly so, for those who have difficulty meeting academic demands.

Studies have shown that students with high levels of narcissism and ego tended to have higher levels of academic entitlement.

How to Prevent Academic Entitlement?

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It can be hard to correct a learned behaviour, so another way to deal with academic entitlement is to prevent it. To reduce the risk of it among students.

Here are some ways to do that:
1. Avoid hand holding – this only creates unrealistic expectations
2. Help students understand the relationship between effort and results
3. Help them to appreciate learning
4. Do not place so much emphasis on grades



Academic entitlement is a rising issue in our society because of our current educational culture of high stakes testing and the increased pressure to succeed.

It can be very damaging to a student’s experience in school. It may also create a negative relationship between them and studies – which is not what we want. So, teachers and parents have to address this issue early on and prevent it.

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Rum Tan

Rum Tan is the founder of SmileTutor and he believes that every child deserves a smile. Motivated by this belief and passion, he works hard day & night with his team to maintain the most trustworthy source of home tutors in Singapore. In his free time, he writes articles hoping to educate, enlighten, and empower parents, students, and tutors. You may try out his free home tutoring services via or by calling 6266 4475 directly today.