Academic achievement

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Chart of comparative performance in GCSE results.

Academic achievement or (academic) performance is the outcome of education — the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their educational goals.

Academic achievement is commonly measured by examinations or continuous assessment but there is no general agreement on how it is best tested or which aspects are most important — procedural knowledge such as skills or declarative knowledge such as facts.[1]

In California, the achievement of schools is measured by the Academic Performance Index.

Individual differences influencing academic performance[edit]

Individual differences in academic performance have been linked to differences in intelligence and personality.[2] Students with higher mental ability as demonstrated by IQ tests and those who are higher in conscientiousness (linked to effort and achievement motivation) tend to achieve highly in academic settings. A recent meta-analysis suggested that mental curiosity (as measured by typical intellectual engagement) has an important influence on academic achievement in addition to intelligence and conscientiousness.[2]

Children's semi-structured home learning environment transitions into a more structured learning environment when children start first grade. Early academic achievement enhances later academic achievement.[3]

Parent's academic socialization is a term describing the way parents influence students' academic achievement by shaping students' skills, behaviors and attitudes towards school.[4] Parent influence students through the environment and discourse parents have with their children.[4] Academic socialization can be influenced by parents' socio-economic status. Highly educated parents tend to have more stimulating learning environments.[4]

Children's first few years of life are crucial to the development of language and social skills. School preparedness in these areas help students adjust to academic expectancies.[5]

Another very important enhancer of academic achievement is the presence of physical activity. Studies have shown that physical activity can increase neural activity in the brain.[6] Exercise specifically increases executive brain functions such as attention span and working memory.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Annie Ward, Howard W. Stoker, Mildred Murray-Ward (1996), "Achievement and Ability Tests - Definition of the Domain", Educational Measurement 2, University Press of America, pp. 2–5, ISBN 978-0-7618-0385-0 
  2. ^ a b von Stumm, Sophie; Hell, Benedikt; Chamorro-Premuzic, Tomas (2011). "The Hungry Mind: Intellectual Curiosity Is the Third Pillar of Academic Performance". Perspective on Psychological Science 6 (6): 574–588. doi:10.1177/1745691611421204. Retrieved February 11, 2012. 
  3. ^ Bossaert, G; S. Doumen; E. Buyse; K. Verschueren (2011). "Predicting Students' Academic Achievement After the Transition to First Grade: A Two-Year Longitudinal Study". Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 32: 47–57. doi:10.1016/j.appdev.2010.12.002. 
  4. ^ a b c Magnuson, Katherine (November 2007). "Maternal Education and Children's Academic Achievement During Middle Childhood". Developmental Psychology 43: 1497–1512. doi:10.1037/0012-1649.43.6.1497. 
  5. ^ Lassiter, Kerry (July 1995). "The Relationship Between Young Children's Academic Achievement and Measures of Intelligence". Psychology in the Schools 32: 170–177. doi:10.1002/1520-6807(199507)32:3<170::aid-pits2310320303>;2-k. 
  6. ^ a b Tomporowski, Phillip; Catherin Davis; Patricia Miller; Jack Naglieri (2008). "Exercise and Children's Intelligence, Cognition and Academic Achievement". Educational Psychology 20 (2): 111–131. doi:10.1007/s10648-007-9057-0.