Academic achievement varies among professionals in the fields of academia, but is generally considered to be a benchmark of academic progress. Academic achievement is sometimes called proficiency and may be quantified in several ways, such as exams and tests. In the United States, schools must meet national standards to ensure students reach a certain level of proficiency and some states set benchmarks as well.
Academic achievement can be measured in a variety of subject areas but is most often studied in the areas of reading and math. In many places, schools must meet certain federal standards to continue receiving critical federal funds for their programs.
Academic scholarships are also worth including on any type of application. Awards are another strong academic achievement. Whether they are for perfect attendance or distinction in art or sports, awards speak to an individual's unique talents and can help an applicant stand out from the pack. Mention the specifics behind the award. For example, rather than "Won Award for Best Art," indicate that this award was an "Award for Excellence in Artwork (Sculpture), 2014." Any prestigious extracurricular activities typically count as academic achievements. Activities such as music, sports or community volunteering show commitment, dedication and social engagement.
Teachers and school administrators can measure students' academic achievement through school-wide standardized tests, state-specific achievement tests and classroom assessment. Standardized and state tests enable educational professionals to see how a school's students are achieving in a variety of subjects compared to those at other schools and geographic locations. Classroom assessments enable teachers to see how well students are learning concepts for a specific class.
Educational professionals can use standardized and state-specific test results to find gaps in achievement and make plans to help students improve in the weakest domains or subject areas. Teachers can use low-stakes assessments to examine gaps in learning as they're still teaching particular concepts in class, while they can use high-stakes assessments to measure academic achievement after a learning period, such as a class unit, has been completed.
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).