Reliable Measures for Student Success

May 20, 2018

Indian education system has been infamous for the emphasis it lays on academic scores. Student success is often placed on examination scores, and performance in class tests. Successful students, according to the system, are often the ones who do well on a sheet of paper, staidly ignoring an array of several other factors that don’t just shape a student’s learning path, but lays the foundation for his life and career ahead.

It would not be a misstatement to say that academic scores aren’t the best judge of a student’s learning and success. The fact that not everyone who does exceptionally well or not so well in school, goes on to do the same in life, speaks volumes about the accuracy of the yardstick of academic scores we use, to measure student success.

Changing times and dynamic changes in the education system, calls for more ingenious ways of measuring the effectiveness of education imparted to students. The measure of student success can no longer be limited within examination sheets and score cards. Pioneering education that focuses on overall development of students, demands similar flexible measures to success – the ones that encapsulate the progressive changes that the system intends to make.

So, how does one measure success, without depending on the traditional and easier method of depending on academic scores? Take a look, to learn more about reliable measures for student success.

Class Participation

Look out for students’ participation in the class. Active participation in class, signifies that students have taken a keen interest in learning, and are comfortable with the learning environment. It also points to the students’ confidence level, and comfort in public spaces and open environment. Students well versed with the subject matter, and confident about speaking up in class, are more likely to do well in situations outside the class too. Better class participation directly reflects the success of the school’s teaching methodologies.

Cognitive Skills

Cognitive skills essentially reflect the brain’s ability to read, learn, remember, analyse and stay attentive, thus directly influencing a student’s learning. A student’s cognitive competency can be a prominent measure of his success, depending on the techniques adapted by the school to enhance cognitive skills in students.

Social Skills

The primary reason students’ performance in school bears no significance in the real world, is that the world outside school is built by societies that focus on social skills rather than just academic ones. When schools tap into such highly essential skills in students, such as effective communication, kindness and empathy, listening skills, emotional intelligence, they help them go further in life. Students with appropriate social skills will find it easier to succeed not just in academics, but also in life outside the walls of the school.

Learning Graph

Different students have different learning capabilities. Successful educators don’t just respect this difference, they also adopt it, to ensure all students receive the same learning equally, but through equity. Student success can be accurately measured, when irrespective of the learning capability of a student, the learning graph goes up with the right teaching methodologies. Schools that have more students who take keen interest in learning and take their learning graph upward, can be assured of the positive impact of their education system.


Creativity is a severely underestimated measure of success. Creativity implies originality of ideas, and the ability of the mind to come up with innovations and thoughts that didn’t exist earlier. In its true sense, the meaning of the word creativity implies growth - such is the effect it has on human mind. It ignites emotions such as curiosity, inspiration, interest and perspective, that the student doesn’t just carry on to the curriculum, but in several other aspects of life too. Creativity truly sticks to the essence of education – the idea of overall development of a child’s mind, that is not limited to imposed restrictions. It gives students the freedom to explore and discover their own capabilities, and utilize them effectively.

Teacher’s Observation

Spending enough time and attention in a class, teachers are better judges of the needs and progress of a student, than mark sheets can be. Teachers that help set up goals for students and follow up on the same, keep a look out for class room behavior, track students’ learning progress and co-ordinate with them in regular intervals, are well equipped to gauge student success.

Mental Health

Schools must aim at overall development of students, which also includes their mental health. A mentally, emotionally, behaviourally healthy student is better able to face barriers in learning and life. With the right mental support at school and home, students are more inclined to succeed. Schools that aim over all development, also consider psychological profiling of students, to keep a track of the students’ mental health, and look out for any warning signals before it’s late.

Student success is too vast a notion to be limited within the confines of academic scores. Education that truly meets the purpose, should look beyond the limited age old criteria, and consider the above listed convictions and more, to get a clearer and appropriate picture of student success.

- Jiji Tharayil