This study sought to explore the attributes of students that make mathematics teaching most effective in secondary schools in the North-West province. A total of 1 120 mathematics students were surveyed with a structured questionnaire and 988 responses were received. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences was employed to evaluate quantitative responses. Study respondents were described using descriptive statistics such as the mean, standard deviation, variance and frequency distributions. According to the findings, there was a significant correlation above 0.3. The results also showed that the correlation matrix was not unitary, providing a strong relevance between the students' attributes. The p-value of most of the attributes was less than 0.01 and 0.05 levels of significance, confirming the interrelations between the attributes. Therefore, none of the attributes could be achieved without considering the others. It was concluded that the multiple relationships between these attributes are viable. Through the study, educators will be able to assess and authenticate a cross-cohort of mathematics students, which will lead to the implementation of appropriate attributes to improve mathematics performance at the secondary school level. Such diagnostic interventions can empower mathematics students to recognise warning signals to work toward improved performance.
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