Essay on Co-Curricular Activities: Boosting Academic Performance & More

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  1044 Words
Date:  2023-03-02

Co-curricular activities have been proven to be vital in improving academic performance. They have been found to boost the memorialization ability, ability to focus, critical thinking as well as the ability to analyze events. Playing, for instance, a video game was found to make the child able to memorize the controls of the game and think critically while selecting moves on the game. The student playing the game would analyze the game keenly and increase focus to beat the current level and move to the next (Schmitz et al., 2013). One of the games that are very critical in improving educational performance in chess. Chess is believed to have originated from India in the seventh century and reached Europe in the ninth century. The game, however, became popular during the 20th century. The game involves two players playing on a board, each having 16 pieces to use during the game. Chess has been found to improve the academic performance of students who play it despite some claims that advanced engagement in the game lacks an impact.

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Chess improves the mental and cognitive ability of students who play it. Cognitive ability is an important facet in academic progression. Many psychologists including Piaget Jean and Lev Vygotsky examined the association between learning and cognition and developed various theories regarding the subject. Cognition translates to a situation where a student can acquire knowledge and understand it through thought processes and experience. Chess improves cognitive functioning and intelligence quotient of students (Gumulak & Webber, 2011). The game is very complex and needs the players to critically think before making any moves on the board. After developing these critical thinking skills, the students are found to better their academic performance since the reason first before concluding on an answer. Since the critical part of education is about problem-solving, the inclusion of chess in the educational curriculum will help improve students' performance. Chess also helps students with their reading and analytical skills. Beating your competitor in chess requires excellent reading of moves s/he makes and analyzing them to decide on the move to take to outweigh him or her. Students who play chess can analyze educational questions presented to them before answering them and consequently, this results in overwhelming performance. Moreover, chess improves the students' visual skills and ability to focus. According to Ibrahim (2014), improving visual ability subsequently leads to improved memory. Chess increases visual ability in the sense that the player needs to see ahead of the game. The player needs to envisage the opponent's move after making his/hers. When such skills are transferred to academic they result in substantial improvement in the performance of the student (Joseph et al., 2016). Thinking ahead and more abstractly improves both general intelligence and ability to plan, which are eventually reflected in academic matters. The students gain the ability to read ahead of the teacher and plan their educational schedules which culminate in improved grades. Despite the several advantages that chess has concerning academic performance improvement, it also has some drawbacks.

Chess has been found to affect educational performance negatively. It has been found that after mastering the skills of playing chess, continuing to play it does not improve the academic performance of students. Following gaining the expertise of playing chess, the student does not obtain other skills that can be transferred to academic performance (Sala & Gobert, 2016). The meaning of this is that chess is only beneficial to academic performance at its initial stages. Also, addiction to playing chess reduces students' concentration in education thus lowering performance. Playing chess has again been found to worsen the students' social abilities (Qian & Clark, 2016). The victory of a chess game is solely reliant on individual efforts and therefore the game does not promote teamwork besides not improving communication skills (Horowitz, 2019). The game reduces the ability of the student to engage in discussions with others.

Chess has a significant role in improving educational performance and should be included in the curriculum. Many psychologists have investigated the importance of games in education and have found that they have both positive and negative effects. Games improve cognitive ability as well as critical thinking which improves general intelligence. The abilities later lead to improved academic grades when transmitted in education. Games moreover improve visual stimulation which boosts memory besides improving analytical skills. Such qualities are essential in general performance in education. Conversely, chess has some disadvantages which deteriorate educational performance. Addiction in playing the game shifts the students' focus from education thus affecting academic performance negatively. Further, playing chess requires individual efforts and therefore the game worsens students' social skills including communication and other interpersonal skills. Studies have also indicated that not all students who play chess improve their performance implying the need to supplement chess with other games. From this analysis, the advantages that playing chess possesses in academic improvement guarantee it to be included in the education system. Education policymakers should evaluate such a scenario and deduce on what other games in addition to chess should be incorporated into the curriculum to improve performance swiftly.


Gumulak, S., & Webber, S. (2011, March). Playing video games: Learning and information literacy. In Aslib Proceedings (Vol. 63, No. 2/3, pp. 241-255). Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Horowitz, K. S. (2019). Video games and English as a second language: The effect of massive multiplayer online video games on the willingness to communicate and communicative anxiety of college students in Puerto Rico. American Journal of Play, 11(3), 379-410. Retrieved from

Ibrahim M. (2014). Benefits of playing chess and its application in education. International Journal of Humanities, Arts, Medicine and Sciences, 2(11), 31-36.

Joseph E., Easvarados V., Kennedy A. & Kezia E. A. (2016). Chess training improves cognition in children. GSTF Journal of Psychology, 2(2), 1-6. DOI:10.5176/2345-7872_2_2_33

Qian, M., & Clark, K. R. (2016). Game-based learning and 21st-century skills: A review of recent research. Computers in Human Behavior, 63, 50-58.

Sala G & Gobert F. (2016). Do the benefits of chess instruction transfer to academic and cognitive skills? A meta-analysis. Educational Research Review, 18, 46-57. Retrieved from

Schmitz, B., Klemke, R., & Specht, M. (2013). Effects of mobile gaming patterns on learning outcomes: A literature review. DOI: 10.1504/IJTEL.2012.051817

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