Perseverance is a research-based measure from the Tell Them From Me surveys. It is a source of evidence linked to What works best and the School Excellence Framework.

What is it?

Perseverance refers to the ability to pursue one’s goals to completion, even in the face of obstacles. It draws on the positive characteristics that support well-being. Perseverance relates to students’ intellectual engagement and is closely connected to optimism, academic self-concept and academic buoyancy. Combined, these measures provide information about students’ self-perceptions of positive emotions and their ability to navigate everyday school life.

The Tell Them From Me surveys ask students to agree or disagree with how well a variety of statements describe them with regard to how they approach their schoolwork. The results are reported as the percentage of students with high, medium or low levels of perseverance.

Why is it important?

Perseverance is strongly correlated with academic achievement and school performance. It is also an important characteristic for ongoing wellbeing throughout life and has been linked to high levels of academic attainment and sustained employment.

School improvement links

School Excellence Framework element What works best theme
Wellbeing Wellbeing

Evidence base

Eskreis-Winkler, L., Shulman, E. P., Beal, S. A., & Duckworth, A. L. (2014). The grit effect: Predicting retention in the military, the workplace, school and marriage. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, Article 36.

Gregory, T., & Brinkman, S. (2015). Development of the Australian Student Wellbeing survey: Measuring the key aspects of social and emotional wellbeing during middle childhood. Published by the Fraser Mustard Centre. Department for Education and Child Development and the Telethon Kids Institute Adelaide.

Kern, M. L., Benson, L., Steinberg, E. A., & Steinberg, L. (2016). The EPOCH measure of adolescent well-being. Psychological Assessment, 28(5), 586-597.

Seligman, M. E. P. (2011). Flourish: A visionary new understanding of happiness and well-being. New York: Free Press.

Image: This explainer has been produced in collaboration with The Learning Bar.

Explainers of the Tell Them From Me measures have been produced in collaboration with The Learning Bar. The Tell Them From Me measures are provided by, and remain the intellectual property of, The Learning Bar. The explainers can also be found online within the Tell Them From Me portal. Tell Them From Me and TTFM are trademarks of The Learning Bar.


  • Student engagement and wellbeing
  • Tell Them From Me

Business Unit:

  • Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation
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