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Achievement vs. Completion: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Updated on February 5, 2024
Achievement refers to a significant accomplishment or success due to hard work or skill, while completion is the act of finishing a task or project.

Key Differences

Achievement and completion are two concepts that often intersect but have distinct meanings and implications. Achievement refers to reaching a significant goal or attaining a level of success in a particular field or activity, often requiring effort, skill, or perseverance. It implies a level of excellence or mastery and is associated with a sense of accomplishment and recognition. For example, publishing a novel or winning a championship can be considered achievements. On the other hand, completion simply means finishing or bringing something to an end. It does not necessarily imply success or excellence but indicates that a set task or project has been concluded, such as completing a course or building a house.
All achievements involve some form of completion, while not all completions qualify as achievements. Achievement is subjective and is often recognized by external validation or personal fulfillment, highlighting a noteworthy accomplishment that stands out from ordinary efforts. In contrast, completion is objective, marking the end point of an endeavor regardless of its outcome or the level of success achieved. Completing a marathon might be an achievement for some, signifying personal or competitive success, while for others, it may simply represent the act of finishing the race, irrespective of the time taken or position finished.
Achievement often carries with it a sense of pride and recognition from others. It is usually celebrated and can be a milestone in a person's life or career, marking a notable success that required dedication and hard work. Achievements can also be incremental, marking progress towards a larger goal. Completion, while satisfying, does not inherently carry the same weight of personal or public recognition, unless the task completed is in itself an achievement due to its difficulty, scale, or significance.
In terms of personal development and motivation, achievements play a crucial role in setting benchmarks and inspiring individuals to set and reach higher goals. They provide motivation and a sense of purpose, encouraging continuous improvement and effort. Completion, while necessary for progress and achieving goals, is more of a procedural step that ensures tasks and projects are finished, allowing for the transition to new endeavors or the closing of a chapter.
Thus, the main difference between achievement and completion lies in their significance and the impact they have on personal or professional growth. Achievements are celebrated milestones that reflect significant accomplishments, while completions are the necessary conclusions to tasks or projects, important for progress but not necessarily indicative of outstanding success.

Comparison Chart


A significant success or accomplishment
The act of finishing or concluding something


Implies excellence, skill, or hard work
Indicates the end of a task or project


Often involves external validation or pride
Does not inherently imply recognition

Motivational Role

Serves as a benchmark and inspires higher goals
Marks progress but is more procedural


Subjective, varies by individual or field
Objective, based on completion of tasks

Achievement and Completion Definitions


An achievement is a notable success reached through hard work or skill.
His achievement of mastering three languages was highly praised.


Completion is the act of finishing a task or project.
The completion of the bridge was celebrated by the entire community.


Achievement is the accomplishment of an aim or goal.
Winning the science fair was a significant achievement for her.


Completion involves fulfilling all requirements or steps needed.
The completion of his thesis marked the end of his academic journey.


Achievements are milestones that reflect personal or professional excellence.
Her promotion to executive director was an achievement years in the making.


Completion is necessary for moving forward to subsequent tasks or goals.
With the completion of the initial phase, the project team moved to the next stage.


Achievement implies a level of performance that surpasses the ordinary.
Completing the marathon in record time was an outstanding achievement.


Completion signifies the end of a process or activity.
Upon completion of the course, students will receive a certificate.


Achievements can be recognized by awards, titles, or public acknowledgment.
Receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award was a highlight of his career.


Completion can be marked by a final product or outcome.
The completion of the painting added a beautiful piece to her collection.


The process of achieving something
She devoted her life to the achievement of voting rights for women.


The act of completing or the state of being completed.


(Football) A forward pass that is caught in bounds by a receiver.


What does completion mean?

Completion means finishing or concluding a task or project.

Can completion be considered an achievement?

Yes, if the task completed is significant or challenging enough to warrant recognition.

How is achievement recognized?

Achievement is often recognized through awards, public acknowledgment, or personal fulfillment.

What defines an achievement?

An achievement is defined by significant success or accomplishment.

How do achievements affect motivation?

Achievements can boost motivation by setting benchmarks and inspiring higher goals.

How do achievements contribute to personal growth?

Achievements contribute by encouraging learning, perseverance, and the pursuit of excellence.

What is necessary for something to be considered an achievement?

Significant effort, skill, or overcoming challenges are necessary for an achievement.

Why is completion important?

Completion is important for progress, allowing individuals to move on to new challenges.

Why might completion not be considered an achievement?

If the task completed is routine or lacks significant challenge, it might not be considered an achievement.

Is completion always a goal?

Completion is a goal when it marks the end of a desired task or project.

Do achievements have to be public?

No, achievements can be personal and not necessarily recognized publicly.

Can the act of completing something be fulfilling?

Yes, the satisfaction of finishing a task can be fulfilling in itself.

Is it possible to achieve something without completing it?

Typically, achievement implies completion, but one can achieve milestones within larger, ongoing goals.

Can the same task be both an achievement and a completion?

Yes, if completing the task represents a significant milestone or success.

What role does completion play in project management?

Completion marks the final stage, allowing for evaluation and transition to future projects.

Can completion be a form of success?

Yes, especially when it involves completing challenging or long-term projects.

How should achievements be celebrated?

Achievements can be celebrated through ceremonies, acknowledgment, or personal rewards.

What makes an achievement memorable?

The challenges overcome and the effort put in make an achievement memorable.

Is there a limit to what can be considered an achievement?

No, achievements are subjective and can vary greatly among individuals and fields.

How do societies recognize achievements?

Societies recognize achievements through honors, media coverage, and public ceremonies.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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