Do grades really matter?


Grades are a common stressor for students everywhere, but how much do they really matter?

Madyson Lawson, Staff Writer


Do grades really matter, or is it only a representation of how much work a student puts into their learning? Most students’ main goal is to get into college. Many colleges mostly look at students’ GPA and class schedules to see how well they did academically. But where does that put those who don’t retain information as well, those who don’t do well on tests, those with minor conditions-for example, ADHD and dyslexia-that make learning more difficult, and even those who just don’t care as much?

A college degree is often thought of as the key to success in the “real world.” With this understanding of college, students tend to get wrapped up in their grades, thinking that’s what defines them. It’s really easy to fall into this cycle of thinking grades determine one’s future, causing students to misinterpret the point or goal of the education system. According to Credit on Key, 57% of students enrolled at a college are not done after six years. Within that 57%, 33% of them end up dropping out.

  When one has fallen into this cycle of misconception, grades become the foundation of one’s future; which can be highly stressful and even misleading. 

At some point, grades start losing value. By looking at education as personal gain instead of financial gain, grades start to become less of an announcement about your future and can help with personal growth. According to “The Fallacy of Good Grades” by Marilyn Price-Mitchell, “These skills [self-reflection, action-oriented and connections to work] cannot be measured in quantitative terms, nor are they easily compared through testing from one child to another.”

I’m not trying to influence anyone to not try hard in school, which will often not produce good grades. What this means is that one shouldn’t stress over not doing as well as they hoped on their last test; it doesn’t project self-worth and it doesn’t determine that one’s future is going to be any less successful. All it does say is that one made a few mistakes, which is all part of growth and learning.

Grades shouldn’t define who one is as a person or limit other’s minds to what one can do. Grades should not be the spotlight of a resume nor limit a student and their goals in any way. Instead of focusing on letter grades, one should focus on what they’re learning and can take away from their education, and how that can be helpful in everyday life. 

“Grades don’t define you or your future–your character does,” said FamilyCircle.