Predicting student academic performance with a high accuracy facilitates admission decisions and enhances educational services at educational institutions. This raises the need to propose a model that predicts student performance, based on the results of standardized exams, including university entrance exams, high school graduation exams, and other influential factors. In this study, an approach to the problem based on the artificial neural network (ANN) with the two meta-heuristic algorithms inspired by cuckoo birds and their lifestyle, namely, Cuckoo Search (CS) and Cuckoo Optimization Algorithm (COA) is proposed. In particular, we used previous exam results and other factors, such as the location of the student’s high school and the student’s gender as input variables, and predicted the student academic performance. The standard CS and standard COA were separately utilized to train the feed-forward network for prediction. The algorithms optimized the weights between layers and biases of the neuron network. The simulation results were then discussed and analyzed to investigate the prediction ability of the neural network trained by these two algorithms. The findings demonstrated that both CS and COA have potential in training ANN and ANN-COA obtained slightly better results for predicting student academic performance in this case. It is expected that this work may be used to support student admission procedures and strengthen the service system in educational institutions.
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