Grades This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   As a full-time student with over a decade of experience, I consider myself to be knowledgeable on the subject of the grading system. Grades have a negative effect upon both the poor students and the top students. Even more troublesome, rather than really learning, many students feel compelled to study for the sole purpose of receiving good marks. I believe that grades detract from the quality of a student's education.

For various reasons, many students receive poor grades. A portion of these students make an honest attempt to do well in school, yet they seem to lack the skills necessary to excel. Such students rarely receive recognition for their efforts. Other students are capable of achieving good grades and do so for the most part. However, they often receive grades that are not reflective of their capabilities. One weak test score can shatter a strong average for the term. If this happens more than once, then a student's overall grade point average is apt to plummet. How unfortunate that one or two academic mishaps can have such a dramatic effect.

The grading system hurts the top students, too. I am extremely familiar with the intense pressure that is placed upon us "pinheads" to keep our marks up. Both parents and teachers have high expectations of the students who have been achieving good grades since elementary school. Many students have difficulty dealing with this pressure. Among them are students whose lives revolve around their grades, and who have the tendency to associate their grades with their self-image. An "A" student equals an "A" person is, quite obviously, a false statement, but it may seem logical to an excellent student with poor mental health. There are other whiz kids who deal with this stress competitively. For them, school has become a mere contest to see who's the king of the academic mountain.

Rather than learn because they are eager to do so, students frequently study simply because they must. Fearing bad grades, many students memorize and cram in order to accumulate short-term knowledge on test days. I know from personal experience that cramming is foolish, and remembering information "learned" by such fast and furious methods is difficult. For a student to study so feverishly is also very unnatural because knowledge should be gleaned. The human brain is like a sponge. If a sponge is placed at the edge of a puddle, it will absorb the liquid slowly, but if that sponge is doused with the liquid, little of the deluge will be retained. Our brains were designed to sit at the edge of the pool of knowledge and sip slowly, because that is the best way to become educated.

Many students learn with one goal in mind: good grades. It is often the incentive of an "A" rather than intellectual curiosity that propels a student to achieve knowledge. As a result of the grading system, students feel the need to cram and compete. Because students are pressured to earn good grades, they are judged by what they did learn, and discouraged by what they did not learn. How can a student possibly be expected to attain the best possible education if s/he constantly must worry about grades, class rank, parents, and teachers? I realize that for a teacher to judge students on effort alone would be impossible. Yet I hope that teachers will continue to instill a love of learning in their students, for I fear that if the demand for top students increases, then the number of genuine scholars will decrease. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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This article has 23 comments. Post your own now!

Sabtab101 said...
Nov. 8, 2013 at 3:40 pm
I THINK THAT WE SHOULD ALL HAVE GRADES BECAUSE THERE IMPORTANT TO HELP US GROW OUR STRANTHS AND WEAKNESSES. THEY ALSO HELP US FIGURE OUT WHAT WE NEED TO IMPROVE IN OUR GRADE AND WHAT WE NEED HELP WITH. WE SHOULD APPRESHIATE THE GRADES WE GET THE THE TIME OUR SCHOOL/TEACHERS SPEND PUTTING THEM TOGETHER FOR US.
 
Sabtab101 replied...
Nov. 13, 2013 at 3:40 pm
GRADES ARE IMPORTANT IN A STUDENTS LIFE. SOME DAYS I THINK GRADES SHOULD BE EMAILED TO THE PARENTS OF... BECAUSE THEY CAN SEE IT AND THAT
 
BWISEPICNESS said...
Nov. 6, 2013 at 6:14 pm
Hi Sabrina or Ethan
 
Sabtab101 replied...
Nov. 15, 2013 at 11:45 am
hi its sabrina not ethan
 
Sabtab101 said...
Nov. 6, 2013 at 6:00 pm
Halllllllllllo
 
Sabtab101 replied...
Nov. 6, 2013 at 6:03 pm
Gootinta ya
 
Sabtab101 said...
Nov. 5, 2013 at 6:25 pm
Dan your awesome
 
Sabtab101 replied...
Nov. 5, 2013 at 6:27 pm
I did noot no
 
Sabtab101 replied...
Nov. 5, 2013 at 6:28 pm
Hi Dood Wazzzzzapppp Doods
 
BW=EPICNESS2000 replied...
Nov. 5, 2013 at 6:30 pm
Witch one is the REAL Sabrina???????
 
Sabtab101 replied...
Nov. 5, 2013 at 6:32 pm
Bye everyone
 
Sabtab101 replied...
Nov. 5, 2013 at 6:33 pm
WAZZZZUUUUUUUPPPPPP
 
Sabtab101 replied...
Nov. 5, 2013 at 11:53 pm
Books and be gluten free
 
Sabtab101 replied...
Nov. 6, 2013 at 6:01 pm
Hey I think this article is very true. I think we should have grade
 
Sabtab101 said...
Nov. 5, 2013 at 6:24 pm
Hi yrfvtrrdyjt
 
Sabtab101 said...
Nov. 5, 2013 at 6:23 pm
Googa tis is gooda
 
Sabtab101 said...
Nov. 5, 2013 at 6:03 pm
I really like this
 
Sabtab101 replied...
Nov. 5, 2013 at 6:14 pm
How are you doing today
 
Sabtab101 replied...
Nov. 5, 2013 at 6:16 pm
:{D> :D> 0.0
 
Sabtab101 replied...
Nov. 5, 2013 at 6:16 pm
I'm Ethan who r u
 
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