Study Thermometer

Once a student has started the study, a good bond with the study programme and fellow students is crucial for study success. Often in the first six months there are signals that indicate that the student is experiencing problems. An important question is how can you pick up these signals on time and thus prevent early study dropout. This can be done through mentoring and the use of study career counseling, but even with these methods it is difficult to follow all students well.

The Study Thermometer is administered in January or February of the first study year, for example in order to give possible study advice.

There are signs from Universities/ Applied Higher Education institutions (HBO in Dutch), and also from student councils that an increasing group of students are struggling with too much (study) pressure. This pressure can lead to study dropout, depression and burnout.

NOA has developed a test to measure how the student is experiencing the study programme, and to highlight early on whether students have a risk of increased study pressure, the Study Thermometer .

The Study Thermometer (ST) provides an insight into study related aspects which can have an influence on succesfully following a study programme. The questionnaire can be administered at various moments through the study programme and is meant for higher education students (HBO/University). The goal of the ST is to prematurely signal possible problems which could affect study progress, whereby mentoring and guidance can be better applied to prevent study drop out. The Study Thermometer can signal whether there are risks for experiencing too much study pressure, burn-out symptoms or other negative feelings.

Five study aspect clusters
Five clusters are distinguished in the ST. The clusters are measured with the help of 19 subscales. Below you can find an overview of the five clusters with an explanation and their corresponding subscales.

Study match
The first cluster measures the degree to whcih a student feels they fit in with the study.

  • Pleasure and interest in the study
  • Connection with the study programme
  • Expectations
  • Knowledge of own talents and drives

Study skills and attitude
The second cluster measures aspects whcih concern the student's study skills and attitude.

  • Ability to concentrate
  • Analytical study behaviour
  • Setting study goals
  • Study planning
  • Proactief study behaviour
  • Ambition

Study satisfaction
The third cluster measures aspects which hang together with how satisfied the student is with the organisation of the study programme and the contact with teachers.

  • Satisfaction with study programme organisation
  • Contact with teachers

Contact with students and support
The fourth cluster concerns contact with fellow students and the experienced support.

  • Contact with students
  • Social support

Study stress
The last cluster looks at how much tension someone is experiencing due to their study programme.

  • Study stress
  • Exam stress
  • Passive attitude
  • Problem avoidance
  • Uncertainty about study skills

Student report
The candidate can - if this is desired - see their report directly after they finish the ST. The report can also be automatically mailed to them. The report consists of visual overviews of their results and tips for development. See an example report below.

Management report
A management report can also be created. This report offers useful information about the current state of study skills and study pressure among the students. It's possible so compare study programmes with each other, or to look at the differences over the years.

For more information about the instruments which can be administered to help study guidance or counselling, please contact Corine Sonke, 020-5040800 or send an e-mail to


dr Corine Sonke

Senior consultant, NIP registered psychologist

020 - 50 40 800

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