In golf, one of the terms used most often is the word "par." Par is the number of strokes that a golfer is expected to take to get the ball into the hole. They decide what this number will be before the game based on how far the starting point is from the hole and if there are any hills or ponds that might make it hard to reach.
Par is used outside of the golfing world to talk about any standard. If something is better than you expected it to be, you can say that it is "above par." If something is worse than you expected, you can call it "below par."
Here are some examples of how par is used: "I'm really glad that we hired Polly. Her work at the office has been totally above par." Or: "Your schoolwork has really been below par this year. You usually get As and Bs, but now you're mostly getting Cs." (Emily Shih, Staff Writer)