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Metacognition refers to the extent of knowledge or understanding an individual has about his or her congitive processes or level of knowledge or understanding of a topic. A person with good (or high) metacognition generally has a good idea of how well he or she understands things, and where he or she is confused. A person with low metacognition may be highly miscalibrated in terms of how well he or she understands a topic.

Per the Dunning-Kruger effect, people who did not understand the material well generally tend to have low metacognition, and to systematically overestimate their level of understanding, whereas people who understood the material well tend to have high metacognition, and if anything, slightly underestimate their level of understanding.