Comparison of Emotional Intelligence Scores among Engineering Students at Different Stages of an Academic Program

  •  Nizaroyani Saibani    
  •  Mohamed Idham Sabtu    
  •  Norhamidi Muhamad    
  •  Dzuraidah Abd Wahab    
  •  Jaafar Sahari    
  •  Baba Md. Deros    


Intelligence quotient (IQ) has been widely used as a measure of an individual’s intellectual abilities. Emotional intelligence or emotional quotient (EQ) is equally important in defining excellent work performance. An increasing number of employers have started considering fresh graduates with high EQ because the job market is already full of academically competent candidates. With this motivation considered, this study aims to compare the EQ levels of four groups of undergraduate students in their first year of enrollment in their academic program and at the start of each succeeding academic year in the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). The EQ scores of these students were also monitored until their graduation. The EQ levels were determined using the Malaysian EQ Inventory (MEQI) test developed by UKM researchers. A comparative study of EQ levels among five batches of students was conducted, starting from their first enrollment in their respective programs. One batch of students has completed the study, and their MEQI results indicated a slight reduction in the total EQ scores. However, two domains recorded improvement: social skills and maturity. Thus, tertiary education is not expected to change student EQ levels, completely because EQ level comprises cognitive and emotional qualities developed during primary and secondary years of education. Innovative strategies on effective teaching and learning activities should be identified to determine their positive influence on the development of EQ domains.

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