Academic achievement or (academic) performance is the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their short or long-term educational goals. Cumulative GPA and completion of educational degrees such as High School 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.

Individual differences influencing academic performance

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

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.

Cognitive Factors

Cognitive factors or learning factors, are the extent to which a person’s individual capabilities can influence their academic or learning performance. These factors include cognitive functions like attention, memory, and reasoning.


Non-cognitive factors or skills, are a set of “attitudes, behaviors, and strategies” that promotes academic and professional success, such as academic self-efficacy, self-control, motivation, expectancy and goal setting theories, emotional intelligence, and determination.


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.


Self-Control, in the academic setting, is related self-discipline, self-regulation, delay of gratification and impulse control. self-control is the ability to prioritise long-term goals over the temptation of short-term impulses. Self-control is usually measured through self completed questionnaires.

Extracurricular Activities

Organised extracurricular activities have yielded a positive relationship with high academic performance including increasing attendance rates, school engagement, GPA, post secondary education, as well as a decrease in drop out rates and depression. Additionally, positive developmental outcomes have been found in youth that engage in organised extracurricular activities.High school athletics have been linked with strong academic performance, particularly among urban youth.


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