Background Learning outcomes may be a result of several factors including the learning environment, students’ predispositions, study efforts, cultural factors and approaches towards studying. This study examined the influence of demographic variables, education-related factors, and approaches to studying on occupational therapy students’ Grade Point Average (GPA). Methods Undergraduate occupational therapy students (n = 712) from four countries completed the Approaches and Study Skills Inventory for Students (ASSIST). Demographic background, education-related factors, and ASSIST scores were used in a hierarchical linear regression analysis to predict the students’ GPA. Results Being older, female and more time engaged in self-study activities were associated with higher GPA among the students. In addition, five ASSIST subscales predicted higher GPA: higher scores on ‘seeking meaning’, ‘achieving’, and ‘lack of purpose’, and lower scores on ‘time management’ and ‘fear of failure’. The full model accounted for 9.6% of the variance related to the occupational therapy students’ GPA. Conclusions To improve academic performance among occupational therapy students, it appears important to increase their personal search for meaning and motivation for achievement, and to reduce their fear of failure. The results should be interpreted with caution due to small effect sizes and a modest amount of variance explained by the regression model, and further research on predictors of academic performance is required.