Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

pp 1-2

Date: Latest Version

Academic Competency

  • Kristy K. KellyAffiliated withEducational Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison Email author 


Academic ability; Academic performance; Educational productivity


Academic competency is the multidimensional characteristics of a learner – including skills, attitudes, and behaviors – that factor into their academic success. These characteristics can be separated and considered in one of two primary domains: academic skills or academic enablers (DiPerna and Elliot 2000; Elliot and DiPerna 2002). Academic skills are both the basic and complex skills (e.g., reading, writing, calculating, and critical thinking) needed to access and interact with content-specific knowledge. Academic enablers, however, are the attitudes and behaviors (e.g., interpersonal skills, motivation, study skills, and engagement) that a learner needs in order to take advantage of education.

Research indicates that prior achievement and interpersonal skills influence motivation, thereby impacting study skills and engagement (e.g., time on task), which are skills positively associated with achievement ...

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