How to Measure the Success of a Student

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Educators and parents both want their students to achieve success in school, but it can be difficult to determine just what constitutes success. Determining whether a student is successful, and to what degree, requires exploration of several academic factors. By taking an assortment of measures into consideration, parents and teachers can determine whether or not a student is achieving academic success.

  • Check a student's grades. Grades are the most commonly referenced measurement of a student's success. While these numerical measures do not necessarily tell you everything about a student, they are a good starting point. If the student is consistently earning high marks in school, he is achieving academic success under the grading measurement system.

  • Monitor the student's improvement on standardized test scores. When determining student success, think less about what score the student achieved on his most recent standardized test and more about his improvement since his last test.

    Many state boards of education have transitioned to a value-added model of standardized test analysis. Under this system, a student is not considered successful simply for getting a score that is equivalent to his age-appropriate grade level, but rather by improving a grade in the year since the last standardized test administration.

  • Regularly compare a student's writing samples to those completed earlier in the year. As students learn, their writing should continue to improve. A successful student will improve in both her grammatical skills and her essay composition.

  • Observe the student while he engages in learning activities. As the student works, he should be attentive and focused on the task at hand. If the student is continually looking around the room or engaging in a non-academic task, he is not exhibiting the characteristics of a productive and successful student.

  • Confer with the student and discuss his view of education. Students often have an impression of how well they are doing in school. Speak candidly and ask the student where she feels she is doing well and where she continues to struggle. Require the student to provide justifications for her answers to make her think critically about academics and her commitment to success.

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