Educational stakeholders have continued to express concerns over the poor academic performance of Nigerian students at virtually all levels of academic engagements. This paper investigated personal factors as predictors of students’ academic performance in the South-Western Nigeria. The study employed the ex post facto design using a survey design and a multiple regression model. The samples used for the study consisted of 1,100 (200 and 300) National Certificate of Education (NCE) students in Federal, State and Private NCE-awarding institutions in South Western Nigeria, using stratified sampling techniques. The validated research instruments used for the study had the following psychometric properties: Cronbach alpha (α) [0.79 (students) and 0.73 (lecturers); Guttman split-half 0.78 (students) and 0.71 (lecturers; and Spearman-Brown equal length results were 0.69 (students) and 0.70 (lecturers)]. The study found that a number of personal factors like students’ interests, home environment, parental support and study habits were significant predictors of students’ academic achievement in the Colleges of Education sampled. On the other hand, students’ perception of course and self-concept were not found to be significant predictors of academic achievement. The study proffered a number of recommendations to improve the quality of educational policy outcomes geared towards improving students' educational performance and hence enhance the achievement of national economic goals.
Key words: Personal factors, academic achievement, Nigeria, expost facto design, stratified random sampling, multiple regressions.