The present study focused on junior high-school graduates who were equally able but attended different-rank high schools, comparing their academic self-concept, school adjustment, and academic achievement upon the completion of senior high school. An overall-school analysis was used to replicate previous findings, and an adjacent-school comparison was conducted to compare the performance of students at the bottom of a higher track and their similar-ability counterparts at the top of a lower track. The results indicated that the big-fish-little-pond effect (BFLPE) affects the academic self-concept and school adjustment of certain students, but not their academic achievement. Furthermore, the BFLPE was present between the bottom students of the first-ranked school and the top students of the second-ranked school, but not between the bottom students of the second-ranked school and the top students of the third-ranked school. The obtained results indicate that the BFLPE may not necessarily be associated with cognitive outcomes such as academic achievement and tracking contexts with less contrasting groups.
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