Published 2016-12-18
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Does scoring good grades really matter?

Most of a person's young life revolves around school. Waking up at the crack of dawn and carry over a tonne of books while working towards achieving good grades that will ‘theoretically’ help the students get into a good college and finally land a good job. Student constantly ask themselves, do good grades actually matter? Is their life predetermined by the grades they get in school?

Some students when asked the question said that they do matter in a sense but then people should not be obsessed with it and think they measure a person’s intelligence. While some say that school grades matter as they get you into universities and then the grade you get at the university or college don’t matter.

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A poll conducted by NPR in the USA in 2013 found that nearly 40% of parents believe that their child is going through high levels of school-related stress. Some symptoms of great anxiety could be increased heart rate, unusual sweating and decreased appetite. Being a kid is supposed to fun? Isn’t that right? So where are we going wrong? The National Institute of Mental Health reports that anxiety in the children and young adults has been increasing since the 1950s.

According to some researchers, the standardized tests may be one of the main factors in causing this anxiety. The SATs, IIT-JEE, EAMCET and many other exams in India is what runs over every high schoolers mind. It’s almost like a dark cloud always there over their heads. Do standardized tests matter?

When some people were asked this question, one answered that it is a load of BS. Another person answered that he considered himself smart but he did not score that well on the SATs and he says that there’s something wrong with the SATs. Other people answered that when it comes to tests like the SATs, they are bad because they measure how well you can write a test rather how much intelligence a person possess.

One school of thought is that tests are unable to account for important areas such as critical thinking, collaboration, and imagination. Will memorizing definitions and vocabulary entitle you to a better future? According to a survey by NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) in the USA, 73% of employers claim to screen future employees by GPA. However, 63.5% of employers use 3.0 GPA or 80% to 90% average score as a cutoff for employment.

So, pushing yourself above average may not mean much in the long run. There’s also the worry that the schools are formulating their curriculums around the test. This is believed to be the result of incentive systems put in place by the department of education that award schools with higher test scores.

Education should be fluid and expressive tailored to the student’s needs and wants. Not based on a system of points. Some people want to just paint or write while others actually want to study and research. There are many things a child is getting to do because of the peer pressure and the pressure from the surrounding people to become something they would regret becoming in future.

So this begs the question, do grades really matter? Yes and No. You are currently pursuing your bachelor’s degree and looking to study more, well, then yeah, they do matter. But we shouldn’t stress about grades, everyone’s path is different and chances are you wouldn’t even remember the scores of the major tests you have taken. Whatever you focus on, just try to the best of your ability whatever that may be.

The amount of effort you put on something will always say a lot about you than a letter or a number on the report card. From the words of Carl David Anderson, the ideal student would be the one who is not working towards grades but was working because he was interested in the work and not trying to compete with fellow students.
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