Do Grades Really Matter?

Over the years I have seen many students turn into nervous wrecks over their grades.  But are all the tears, depression, and sleepless night really worth it.  Unless students are on the verge of failing a course or are about to receive their third D and asked to leave the program, grades aren’t really as important as many students believe.  Passing the course and understand the content is much more important than the final letter grade.

There are, of course, the exceptions, such as needing high marks to be admitted into a masters program, but most college and many university students will not take that route.  When a student finishes their program they will start their career in their chosen field and only look back at higher education as a collection of scattered memories.

From a teacher’s perspective, grades reflect the student’s ability to follow the assignment instructions, meet deadlines, and retain knowledge from books.  From the school’s perspective, they cannot tarnish their reputation by graduating all students who are admitted.  Simply put, some students must fail so that the school isn’t seen as degree mill.

Most importantly thought, students must realize that not many employers will ask for transcript, and even fewer will hire based on the numbers of As and Bs a student has accumulated.

Many students have been programmed in high school to try to achieve the highest grades possible so that they can get into the college or university of their choice.  Unless they plan to continue on to a master’s degree, then there is no need to strive to achieve straight As across the board

Once in higher education, students should simply concentrate on learn and applying themselves to their program.  This would alleviate their stress over the difference between receiving a B and not an A.  In the bigger scheme of life, it is simply not worth it.

If not striving for excellence, then what is the point of being in school?  The point of school is to learn.   Grasping concepts, tying ideas and theories together, applying knowledge and actually creating new and exciting ideas is the point of higher education.  This can only come from being curious about the topic, and being ready to dive deeply into it.

Students who are passionate about the topic, or who have learnt that learning is the reason fro being in school do not have to worry about their grades.  They tend to be in tune with what is expect and ready and willing to take assignment and projects to the next level.

Grades are necessary and they are an important indicator of how well a student is performing; however, grades are not the end all and be all of higher education.  Teachers can help students by explaining that a willingness to learn and applying themselves is the key to a student’s success.

This entry was posted in Assessment, Post-Secondary Education. Bookmark the permalink.