Purpose the purpose of this paper is to predict academic outcome in math and math-related subjects using learning approaches and demographic factors. Design/methodology/approach assist was used as the instrumentation to measure learning approaches. The study was conducted in the international university of vietnam with 616 participants. An exploratory factor analysis, reliability, and correlation tests were performed before multiple regression analyses were carried out using spss 20.0. T-tests to further discover relationships between learning approaches and demographic factors were also conducted. Findings females are more inclined to strategic approach, but not deep or surface by comparison with males. There is no relationship between parental education and learning approaches. Students with math preference in high school have tendency to use deep and strategic approach, but stay away from surface in higher education. Surface approach and admission mark have relationships with academic outcome; but gender, parental education, and math preference in high school do not have. Research limitations/implications this model can explain only 15.5 Percent of the variation of academic outcome. In addition, it may not be applicable to predict academic outcomes of subjects which are not math related. Originality/value surface approach has negative impact on academic outcome in math or math-related subjects, but the opposite is true for admission mark. Additionally, deep and strategic approach have no relationship with academic outcome. 2016, Emerald group publishing limited.