Academic Achievement (2022)


Academic achievement represents performance outcomes that indicate the extent to which a person has accomplished specific goals that were the focus of activities in instructional environments, specifically in school, college, and university. School systems mostly define cognitive goals that either apply across multiple subject areas (e.g., critical thinking) or include the acquisition of knowledge and understanding in a specific intellectual domain (e.g., numeracy, literacy, science, history). Therefore, academic achievement should be considered to be a multifaceted construct that comprises different domains of learning. Because the field of academic achievement is very wide-ranging and covers a broad variety of educational outcomes, the definition of academic achievement depends on the indicators used to measure it. Among the many criteria that indicate academic achievement, there are very general indicators such as procedural and declarative knowledge acquired in an educational system, more curricular-based criteria such as grades or performance on an educational achievement test, and cumulative indicators of academic achievement such as educational degrees and certificates. All criteria have in common that they represent intellectual endeavors and thus, more or less, mirror the intellectual capacity of a person. In developed societies, academic achievement plays an important role in every person’s life. Academic achievement as measured by the GPA (grade point average) or by standardized assessments designed for selection purpose such as the SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) determines whether a student will have the opportunity to continue his or her education (e.g., to attend a university). Therefore, academic achievement defines whether one can take part in higher education, and based on the educational degrees one attains, influences one’s vocational career after education. Besides the relevance for an individual, academic achievement is of utmost importance for the wealth of a nation and its prosperity. The strong association between a society’s level of academic achievement and positive socioeconomic development is one reason for conducting international studies on academic achievement, such as PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment), administered by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). The results of these studies provide information about different indicators of a nation’s academic achievement; such information is used to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of a nation’s educational system and to guide educational policy decisions. Given the individual and societal importance of academic achievement, it is not surprising that academic achievement is the research focus of many scientists; for example, in psychology or educational disciplines. This article focuses on the explanation, determination, enhancement, and assessment of academic achievement as investigated by educational psychologists.

General Overviews

The exploration of academic achievement has led to numerous empirical studies and fundamental progress such as the development of the first intelligence test by Binet and Simon. Introductory textbooks such as Woolfolk 2007 provide theoretical and empirical insight into the determinants of academic achievement and its assessment. However, as academic achievement is a broad topic, several textbooks have focused mainly on selected aspects of academic achievement, such as enhancing academic achievement or specific predictors of academic achievement. A thorough, short, and informative overview of academic achievement is provided in Spinath 2012. Spinath 2012 emphasizes the importance of academic achievement with regard to different perspectives (such as for individuals and societies, as well as psychological and educational research). Walberg 1986 is an early synthesis of existing research on the educational effects of the time but it still influences current research such as investigations of predictors of academic achievement in some of the large-scale academic achievement assessment studies (e.g., Programme for International Student Assessment, PISA). Walberg 1986 highlights the relevance of research syntheses (such as reviews and meta-analyses) as an initial point for the improvement of educational processes. A current work, Hattie 2009, provides an overview of the empirical findings on academic achievement by distinguishing between individual, home, and scholastic determinants of academic achievement according to theoretical assumptions. However, Spinath 2012 points out that it is more appropriate to speak of “predictors” instead of determinants of academic achievement because the mostly cross-sectional nature of the underlying research does not allow causal conclusions to be drawn. Large-scale scholastic achievement assessments such as PISA (see OECD 2010) provide an overview of the current state of research on academic achievement, as these studies have investigated established predictors of academic achievement on an international level. Furthermore, these studies, for the first time, have enabled nations to compare their educational systems with other nations and to evaluate them on this basis. However, it should be mentioned critically that this approach may, to some degree, overestimate the practical significance of differences between the countries. Moreover, the studies have increased the amount of attention paid to the role of family background and the educational system in the development of individual performance. The quality of teaching, in particular, has been emphasized as a predictor of student achievement. Altogether, there are valuable cross-sectional studies investigating many predictors of academic achievement. A further focus in educational research has been placed on tertiary educational research. Richardson, et al. 2012 subsumes the individual correlates of university students’ performance.

  • Hattie, John A.C. 2009. Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. London: Routledge.

    (Video) The Academic Achievement Trap | Micah Green | TEDxTAMUSalon

    A quantitative synthesis of 815 meta-analyses covering English-speaking research on the achievement of school-aged students. According to Hattie, the influences of quality teaching represent the most powerful determinants of learning. Thereafter, Hattie published Visible Learning for Teachers (London and New York: Routledge, 2012) so that the results could be transferred to the classroom.

  • OECD. 2010. PISA 2009 key findings. Vols. 1–6.

    These six volumes illustrate the results of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2009—the most extensive international scholastic achievement assessment—regarding the competencies of fifteen-year-old students all over the world in reading, mathematics, and science. Furthermore, the presented results cover the effects of student learning behavior, social background, and scholastic resources. Unlimited online access.

  • Richardson, Michelle, Charles Abraham, and Rod Bond. 2012. Psychological correlates of university students’ academic performance: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin 138:353–387.

    (Video) Educational Achievement and Intelligence Robert Plomin

    DOI: 10.1037/a0026838

    A current and comprehensive review concerning the prediction of university students’ performance, illustrating self-efficacy to be the strongest correlate of tertiary grade point average (GPA). Cognitive constructs (high school GPA, American College Test), as well as further motivational factors (grade goal, academic self-efficacy) have medium effect sizes.

  • Spinath, Birgit. 2012. Academic achievement. In Encyclopedia of human behavior. 2d ed. Edited by Vilanayur S. Ramachandran, 1–8. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

    A current introduction to academic achievement, subsuming research on indicators and predictors of achievement as well as reasons for differences in education caused by gender and socioeconomic resources. The chapter provides further references on the topic.

    (Video) Lets fill Academic Achievements Column. G Strategy for Interviews Preparation

  • Walberg, Herbert J. 1986. Syntheses of research on teaching. In Handbook of research on teaching. 3d ed. Edited by Merlin C. Wittrock, 214–229. New York: Macmillan.

    A quantitative and qualitative aggregation of a variety of reviews and quantitative syntheses as an overview of early research on educational outcomes. Walberg found nine factors to be central to the determination of school learning.

  • Woolfolk, Anita. 2007. Educational psychology. 10th ed. Boston: Pearson.

    Woolfolk represents a comprehensive basic work that is founded on an understandable and practical communication of knowledge. The perspectives of students as scholastic learners as well as teachers are the focus of attention. Suitable for undergraduate and graduate students. Currently presented in the 12th edition.

    (Video) Japan Academic Achievement Fair Day 2

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What are examples of academic achievements? ›

What is an accomplishment?
  • Scholarships.
  • Honor Roll inclusion for high grades.
  • Awards won for specific activities or subjects (i.e., Most Valuable Player (MVP), Fine Art Award)
  • Inclusion in student-related achievement publications (i.e., Who's Who in American High Schools)
  • Perfect attendance awards.
29 Jan 2018

What is meant by academic achievement? ›

What is Academic Achievement? In a general sense, academic achievement is the current level of a student's learning. More specifically, for the purposes of ESSA accountability, academic achievement refers to the percentage of students at a school whose learning currently meets or exceeds their grade-level standards.

How do you determine academic achievement? ›

Academic achievement is almost entirely measured with grades (by course or assignment) and GPA. This is unsurprising since grades and GPA measures are by far the most readily available assessments for institutions.

Why academic achievement is important? ›

Academic success is important to progress in technologically demanding occupations in future. Academic success positively impacts behavior and social interactions with peer groups and family members. Successful students develop reading, writing and thinking skills which are beneficial in future.

What are your top 5 achievements? ›

'My greatest achievement' examples could include:
  • Giving a great presentation at work.
  • Beating sales targets.
  • Training for and completing a marathon.
  • Organizing a successful charity event.
  • Mentoring a coworker or fellow student.

What is your biggest achievement as a student? ›

Your greatest achievements in life as a student will always be the ways in which you grow and outperform yourself. When employees interview candidates, they look for resilience, hard-work and strength; in most cases. You can simply impress the admissions panel with your past performances.

What is achievement as a student? ›

Student achievement refers to the extent to which a learner has attained their short or long-term educational goals. Individual differences in academic performance are strongly correlated with differences in personality and intelligence.

How do you describe academic performance? ›

Academic performance is the measurement of student achievement across various academic subjects. Teachers and education officials typically measure achievement using classroom performance, graduation rates and results from standardized tests.

What are academic achievements in college? ›

Graduation with Academic Distinction

Summa Cum Laude -- is awarded to candidates whose grade-point-average is 3.900 or higher. Magna Cum Laude -- is awarded to candidates whose grade-point-average is 3.700-3.899. Cum Laude -- is awarded to candidates whose grade-point-average is 3.5000-3.699.

What is academic achievement motivation? ›

Academic motivation is the attitudes towards school and learning enthusiasm for academic achievement. Academic motivation involves measuring items such as work habits and scholastic expectation. Achievement motivation plays an important role to achieve educational goals of the students.

How important is academic performance to students? ›

Academically good students have better employment benefits, higher income, higher self-esteem and self-confidence, low levels of anxiety and depression, and are less likely to engage in substance abuse. However, in this study, only two-thirds of university students achieved good academic grades.

How do you motivate students to achieve academic excellence? ›

Give clear directions and feedback. Help build a family structure that fosters consistent work towards the goal. Help the student to have some control over how and when he learns. Emphasize the child's progress rather than his or her performance in comparison to the other students in the class or family.

What is your achievement answer? ›

The bottom line is: If you're debating between a few options of achievements to share, you should always choose the more recent story, and the one that's more relevant to the job you've applied for. Then get specific and talk about RESULTS. Show exactly what you achieved and why it was a significant accomplishment.

How do you write achievements? ›

List of achievements
  1. Re-organized something to make it work better.
  2. Identified a problem and solved it.
  3. Come up with a new idea that improved things.
  4. Developed or implemented new procedures or systems.
  5. Worked on special projects.
  6. Received awards.
  7. Been complimented by your supervisor or co-workers.

How can students write achievements in resume? ›

You can mention achievements in your resume summary and work experience section. If you don't have much work experience, you can also use achievements in education, volunteering, or projects sections.

What are personal achievements examples? ›

1) Personal: received awards, won competitions, achieved high grades in studies, volunteering, participating in sporting events, etc. 2) Professional: saved the company time and money, increased performance, facilitated growth, met and exceeded work targets, etc.

What achievement are you most proud of? ›

How to answer "What accomplishment are you most proud of?"
  1. Consider an accomplishment relevant to your field. ...
  2. Think about what achievement excites you. ...
  3. Select a professional achievement rather than a personal one. ...
  4. Highlight your strategies and skills. ...
  5. Practice your response.

What is your biggest achievement essay? ›

My greatest achievement in life so far is learning how to accept my failures. It is my motivation. It makes me stouter, wiser in choosing actions that I shall take, and strive more to do better in my next steps in life. Growing up unveils me to the reality.

What factors affect academic achievement? ›

Factors that may affect students' academic achievement
  • The support and availability of the parents, their financial situation and standard of living. ...
  • The geographical location of the educational institution.
  • The percentage of students in a school whose mother tongue is not the language of instruction.

What is level of academic performance? ›

The academic performance involves factors such as the intellectual level, personality, motivation, skills, interests, study habits, self-esteem or the teacher-student relationship. When a gap between the academic performance and the student's expected performance occurs, it refers to a diverging performance.

What is the difference between academic performance and academic achievement? ›

Academic performance means getting required marks according to the standards set, while Academic achievement means reaching a certain level in education and is certified by a certificate indicating success in a certain descpline.

What is your greatest achievement sample answer for freshers? ›

Possible Answer #2:

“Although I believe every achievement is great for learning, my greatest achievement was the last event that my team and I successfully pulled off in college.

What are key achievements examples? ›

List of achievements
  • Re-organized something to make it work better.
  • Identified a problem and solved it.
  • Come up with a new idea that improved things.
  • Developed or implemented new procedures or systems.
  • Worked on special projects.
  • Received awards.
  • Been complimented by your supervisor or co-workers.

What is your greatest achievement sample answer? ›

Example Answer for Your Greatest Achievement or Accomplishment (Entry-Level): My greatest professional achievement was completing my Bachelor's degree in 4 years with a 3.8 GPA. I had no financial support from my family and had to work a full-time job while pursuing my Economics degree.

What are personal achievements examples? ›

1) Personal: received awards, won competitions, achieved high grades in studies, volunteering, participating in sporting events, etc. 2) Professional: saved the company time and money, increased performance, facilitated growth, met and exceeded work targets, etc.

How do you write a achievement statement? ›

How to Write an Accomplishment Statement
  1. Focus on your performance, value, or the results of your actions, not your responsibilities.
  2. Provide context and give evidence (quantify or qualify)
  3. Promote yourself rather than report on your self.

How can students write achievements in resume? ›

You can mention achievements in your resume summary and work experience section. If you don't have much work experience, you can also use achievements in education, volunteering, or projects sections.

How do you write a achievement report? ›

  1. Step 1: Create an accomplishment folder. ...
  2. Step 2: Document accomplishments using the Situation, Action, Result (SAR) methodology. ...
  3. Step 3: Address each performance element (critical or non-critical). ...
  4. Step 4: Distinguish activities from accomplishments. ...
  5. Step 5: Describe the accomplishment (be specific).

How do you say achievement in interview? ›

How should you answer the question 'What is your most significant achievement? '
  1. Situation: give the interviewer a context – describe the situation and why the achievement was significant. ...
  2. Task: what goal did you aim to achieve?
  3. Action: explain what your specific actions to achieve your goal were.

What is your biggest achievement essay? ›

My greatest achievement in life so far is learning how to accept my failures. It is my motivation. It makes me stouter, wiser in choosing actions that I shall take, and strive more to do better in my next steps in life. Growing up unveils me to the reality.

What is your greatest achievement interview? ›

“What's your greatest accomplishment?” is a behavioral job interview question. What that means is, the interviewer wants to understand your past performance, and how you handle specific situations (for example, under pressure).

What to say if you have no achievements? ›

I just did my job. I didn't do anything special.” You absolutely have accomplishments under your belt, but it requires a little bit of mental reframing. Example: If you were responsible for creating and executing marketing campaigns for a product, talk about your campaign wins.


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