Academic success from an individual perspective: A proposal for redefinition

Oz Guterman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The examination of academic achievements is common in educational research literature, with most studies referring to grades (marks) as measures of success. In addition, outside the realm of research, a student’s grades are usually the main criteria for admission to education programmes, nomination for honours (passing above ordinary level), award of scholarships and so forth. However, scholars have put forward several arguments against the use of grades as the sole or most important measure of academic success. This research note focuses on a specific aspect of this problem, namely the failure to consider learners’ personal perspective regarding their own achievements. Many approaches to evaluating achievements call for their examination in light of previously defined goals. However, each learner defines her or his aspirations and goals differently, while achievements are usually measured on a uniform scale. This research note reviews this problem and considers alternative models (including both their advantages and their shortcomings) for defining academic success in terms of expectations and motivation. In addition, the author proposes a measure to enable the evaluation of academic achievements in terms of an individual student’s goals and aspirations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-413
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Review of Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning and Springer Nature B.V.


  • academic achievements
  • expected goals
  • grades
  • motivation
  • personal perspective of learners


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