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Academic achievement

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Academic achievement or academic performance is the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has attained their short or long-term educational goals. Completion of educational benchmarks such as secondary school diplomas and bachelor's degrees represent academic achievement.

Academic achievement is commonly measured through examinations or continuous assessments but there is no general agreement on how it is best evaluated or which aspects are most important—procedural knowledge such as skills or declarative knowledge such as facts.[1] Furthermore, there are inconclusive results over which individual factors successfully predict academic performance, elements such as test anxiety, environment, motivation, and emotions require consideration when developing models of school achievement.[2]

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

Factors influencing academic achievement[edit]

Individual differences influencing academic performance[edit]

Individual differences in academic performance have been linked to differences in intelligence and personality.[3] 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.[3]

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.[4]

Chart of comparative performance in GCSE results

Parent's academic socialization is a term describing the way parents influence students' academic achievement by shaping students' skills, behaviors and attitudes towards school.[5] Parents influence students through the environment and discourse parents have with their children.[5] Academic socialization can be influenced by parents' socio-economic status. Highly educated parents tend to have more stimulating learning environments.[5] Further, recent research indicates that the relationship quality with parents will influence the development of academic self-efficacy among adolescent-aged children, which will in turn affect their academic performance.[6]

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.[7] The significance of social relationships in educational contexts is widely recognized, particularly in how these relationships influence learning and academic performance. Notably, the characteristic of reciprocity within social relationships among children has been associated with enhanced academic performance.[8]

Studies have shown that physical activity can increase neural activity in the brain, specifically increasing executive brain functions such as attention span and working memory;[9] and improve academic performance in both elementary school children[10] and college freshmen.[11]

Non-cognitive factors[edit]

Non-cognitive factors or skills, are a set of "attitudes, behaviors, and strategies" that promotes academic and professional success,[12] such as academic self-efficacy, self-control, motivation, expectancy and goal setting theories, emotional intelligence, and determination. To create attention on factors other than those measured by cognitive test scores sociologists Bowles & Gintis coined the term in the 1970s. The term serves as a distinction of cognitive factors, which are measured by teachers through tests and quizzes. Non-cognitive skills are increasingly gaining popularity because they provide a better explanation for academic and professional outcomes.[13]


Motivation is the reasoning behind an individual's actions. Research has found that students with higher academic performance, motivation and persistence use intrinsic goals rather than extrinsic ones.[12] Furthermore, students who are motivated to improve upon their previous or upcoming performance tend to perform better academically than peers with lower motivation.[14] In other words, students with higher need for achievement have greater academic performance.[citation needed]


Self-control, in the academic setting, is related self-discipline, self-regulation, delay of gratification and impulse control. Baumeister, Vohs, and Tice defined self-control as "the capacity for altering one's own responses, especially to bring them into line with standards such as ideals, values, morals, and social expectations, and to support the attainment of long-term goals."[15] In other words, self-control is the ability to prioritize long-term goals over the temptation of short-term impulses. Self-control is usually measured through self completed questionnaires. Researchers often use the Self-Control Scale developed by Tangney, Baumeister, & Boone in 2004.

Through a longitudinal study of the marshmallow test, researchers found a relationship between the time spent waiting for the second marshmallow and higher academic achievement. However, this finding only applied for participants who had the marshmallow in plain sight and were placed without any distraction tactics.[12]

High locus of control, where an individual attributes success to personal decision making and positive behaviors such as discipline, is a ramification of self-control. High locus of control has been found to have a positive predictive relationship with high collegiate GPA.[16]   

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Organized extracurricular activities or cultural activities have yielded a positive relationship with high academic performance[17][18] including increasing attendance rates, school engagement, GPA, postsecondary education, as well as a decrease in drop out rates and depression.[19] Additionally, positive developmental outcomes have been found in youth that engage in organized extracurricular activities.[20] High school athletics have been linked with strong academic performance, particularly among urban youth.[21] However, involvement in athletics has been linked to increased alcohol consumption and abuse for high school students along with increased truancy.[22]

While research suggests that there is a positive link between academic performance and participation in extracurricular activities, the practice behind this relationship is not always clear. Moreover, there are many unrelated factors that influence the relationship between academic achievement and participation in extracurricular activities (Mahoney et al., 2005). These variables include: civic engagement, identity development, positive social relationships and behaviors, and mental health (Mahoney et al., 2005). In other research on youth, it was reported that positive social support and development, which can be acquired through organized after school activities is beneficial for achieving academic success (Eccles & Templeton, 2002). In terms of academic performance there are a whole other group of variables to consider. Some of these variables include: demographic and familial influences, individual characteristics, and program resources and content (Mahoney et al., 2005). For example, socio-economic status has been found to plays a role in the number of students participating in extracurricular activities (Covay & Carbonaro, 2010). Furthermore, it is suggested that the peer relationships and support that develop in extracurricular activities often affect how individuals perform in school (Eccles & Templeton, 2002). With all these variables to consider it is important to create a better understanding how academic achievement can be seen in both a negative and positive light.

In conclusion, most research suggests that extracurricular activities are positively correlated to academic achievement (Mahoney et al., 2005). It has been mentioned that more research could be conducted to better understand the direction of this relationship (Eccles & Templeton, 2002). Together this information can give us a better understand the exact aspects to consider when considering the impact that participation in extracurricular activities can have on academic achievement.

Successful educational actions[edit]

There are experiences analysed by research projects that show how the incorporation of Successful Educational Actions (SEAs) in schools with high absenteeism are contributing to the improvement of academic achievement.[23][24][25]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Annie Ward; Howard W. Stoker; Mildred Murray-Ward (1996), "Achievement and Ability Tests - Definition of the Domain", Educational Measurement, vol. 2, University Press of America, pp. 2–5, ISBN 978-0-7618-0385-0
  2. ^ Ziedner, Mosche (1998). Test anxiety: The state of the art. New York: New York: Plenum Press. p. 259. ISBN 9780306471452. OCLC 757106093.
  3. ^ a b von Stumm, Sophie; Hell, Benedikt; Chamorro-Premuzic, Tomas (2011). "The Hungry Mind: Intellectual Curiosity Is the Third Pillar of Academic Performance". Perspectives on Psychological Science. 6 (6): 574–588. doi:10.1177/1745691611421204. PMID 26168378. S2CID 38949672.
  4. ^ 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 (2): 47–57. doi:10.1016/j.appdev.2010.12.002.
  5. ^ a b c Magnuson, Katherine (November 2007). "Maternal Education and Children's Academic Achievement During Middle Childhood". Developmental Psychology. 43 (6): 1497–1512. doi:10.1037/0012-1649.43.6.1497. PMID 18020827. S2CID 4716311.
  6. ^ Fam, J. Y.; Yaacob, S. N. (2016). "4". In Salmah, A.; Azizah, Z. A.; Shaifol Yazam, M.; Rusniah, S.; Khairil Ridzuan, K.; Najah, M. A.; Noor Syafini, Z.; Mohd Dasuki, S.; Sazali, I.; Nurhaznita, M. (eds.). The mediating role of academic self-efficacy in the relation between parent-adolescent relationship and academic performance. Malaysia: Perpustakaan Sultan Abdul Samad, Universiti Putra Malaysia. pp. 51–63.
  7. ^ Lassiter, Kerry (July 1995). "The Relationship Between Young Children's Academic Achievement and Measures of Intelligence". Psychology in the Schools. 32 (3): 170–177. doi:10.1002/1520-6807(199507)32:3<170::aid-pits2310320303>3.0.co;2-k.
  8. ^ Candia, C.; Oyarzún, M.; Landaeta, V.; Yaikin, T.; Monge, C.; Hidalgo, C.; Rodriguez-Sickert, C. (2022). "Reciprocity heightens academic performance in elementary school students". Heliyon. 8 (12). doi:10.1016/j.heliyon.2022.e08486 (inactive 2024-04-25). PMID 36561683.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: DOI inactive as of April 2024 (link)
  9. ^ 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. PMC 2748863. PMID 19777141.
  10. ^ Donnelly, Joseph; Charles Hillman; Darla Castelli; Jennifer Etnier; Sarah Lee; Philip Tomporowski; Kate Lambourne; Amanda Szabo-Reed (2016). "Physical Activity, Fitness, Cognitive Function, and Academic Achievement in Children: A Systematic Review". Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 48 (6): 1223–1224. doi:10.1249/MSS.0000000000000966. PMC 4874515. PMID 27182987.
  11. ^ Broaddus, Allie; Brandon Jaquis; Colt Jones; Scarlet Jost; Andrew Lang; Ailin Li; Qiwen Li; Philip Nelson; Esther Spear (2019). "Fitbits, field-tests, and grades: The effects of a healthy and physically active lifestyle on the academic performance of first year college students". International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. 19: 1–12. doi:10.1080/1612197X.2019.1623062. S2CID 190207905.
  12. ^ a b c Gutman, Leslie; Schoon, Ingrid (2013). "The Impact of non-cognitive skills on outcomes for young people" (PDF). Education Endowment Foundation: 59. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-09-17. Retrieved 2017-04-17.
  13. ^ Heckman, James; Stixrud, Jora; Urzua, Sergio (2006). "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior". Journal of Labor Economics. 24 (3): 411–482. CiteSeerX doi:10.1086/504455. S2CID 53451796.
  14. ^ Friedman, Barry A.; Mandel, Rhonda G. (2011-08-12). "Motivation Predictors of College Student Academic Performance and Retention". Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice. 13 (1): 1–15. doi:10.2190/cs.13.1.a. S2CID 145608685.
  15. ^ Baumeister, Roy F.; Vohs, Kathleen D.; Tice, Dianne M. (December 1, 2007). "The Strength Model of Self-Control". Current Directions in Psychological Science. 16 (6): 351–355. CiteSeerX doi:10.1111/j.1467-8721.2007.00534.x. S2CID 7414142.
  16. ^ Hannon, Brenda Ann Marie (2014-08-18). "Predicting College Success: The Relative Contributions of Five Social/Personality Factors, Five Cognitive/Learning Factors, and SAT Scores". Journal of Education and Training Studies. 2 (4): 46–58. doi:10.11114/jets.v2i4.451. ISSN 2324-8068. PMC 4283774. PMID 25568884.
  17. ^ "Importance of Cultural Activities – MIT Vishwashanti Gurukul". www.mitgurukul.com. Retrieved 2021-07-08.
  18. ^ Abruzzi, Kristen J.; Lenis, Cristina; Romero, Yansi V.; Maser, Kevin J.; Morote, Elsa-Sofia (Spring 2016). "Does Participation in Extracurricular Activities Impact Student Achievement?". Journal for Leadership and Instruction. 15 n1: 21–26.
  19. ^ Darling, Nancy (2005-10-01). "Participation in Extracurricular Activities and Adolescent Adjustment: Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Findings". Journal of Youth and Adolescence. 34 (5): 493–505. doi:10.1007/s10964-005-7266-8. ISSN 0047-2891. S2CID 144804429.
  20. ^ Mahoney, Caroline R.; Taylor, Holly A.; Kanarek, Robin B.; Samuel, Priscilla (2005-08-07). "Effect of breakfast composition on cognitive processes in elementary school children". Physiology & Behavior. 85 (5): 635–645. CiteSeerX doi:10.1016/j.physbeh.2005.06.023. PMID 16085130. S2CID 142242.
  21. ^ Yeung, Ryan (2013-07-23). "Athletics, Athletic Leadership, and Academic Achievement". Education and Urban Society. 47 (3): 361–387. doi:10.1177/0013124513495277. S2CID 144068635.
  22. ^ Eccles, Jacquelynne S.; Templeton, Janice (2002). "Extracurricular and Other After-School Activities for Youth". Review of Research in Education. 26: 113–180. doi:10.3102/0091732X026001113. JSTOR 3568144. S2CID 144401747.
  23. ^ "Increase in school performance(performance rates)[Social Impact]. INCLUD-ED, Strategies for inclusion and social cohesion from education in Europe (2006-2011). European Union's Sixth Framework Programme (FP6/2006-2012)". SIOR, Social Impact Open Repository. Archived from the original on 2019-02-27. Retrieved 2017-09-05.
  24. ^ Successful Educational Actions for Inclusion and Social Cohesion | Ramon Flecha | Springer. SpringerBriefs in Education. Springer. 2015. ISBN 9783319111759.
  25. ^ Flecha, Ramón; Soler, Marta (2013-12-01). "Turning difficulties into possibilities: engaging Roma families and students in school through dialogic learning". Cambridge Journal of Education. 43 (4): 451–465. doi:10.1080/0305764X.2013.819068. hdl:2445/97748. ISSN 0305-764X.

Further reading[edit]

  • Coladarci, T., & Cobb, C. D. (1996). Extracurricular participation, school size, and achievement and self-esteem among high school students: A national look. Journal of Research in Rural Education, 12(2), 92-103. Retrieved from https://umaine.edu/edhd/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2010/05/Coladarci-Cobb.pdf
  • Covay, E., & Carbonaro W. (2010). After the bell: Participation in extracurricular activities, classroom behavior, and academic achievement. Sociology of Education, 83(1), 20-45. JSTOR 25677180