Amanda Bagnall-Newman, Website Editor

Grades are such a tricky thing for students, there is a need to rate a student’s academic success, but is it an accurate way to represent a student’s capability?

Let’s be honest here, grades are a poor representation of students and their achievements. There are people, even on this campus, who receive poor grades but are excelling in their field. There are also people on campus who are straight ‘A’ students, but outside of the classroom they have accomplished little.

Getting good grades depends on the ability to do tedious busywork and to memorize material. Too many classes are teaching pointless terminology instead of concepts and ideas that have real world application. Many of the lessons that are being drilled into our heads will be outdated soon enough.

While I completely understand we need to have a scale of success, why is it based on test scores instead of overall understanding? There are people who are highly intelligent, but when it comes to tests or papers, they fall short.

Honestly, studying is hard for me. I don’t retain knowledge through reading a textbook, I learn through application and examples. My ability is far beyond my grades; I’m not defined by a simple letter grade.

One could get ‘good grades’ from memorizing terms, a book, paragraph, whatever and then use the information for an exam and score high. It doesn’t show or prove anything about their ‘intellect,’ just that they have great memorization skills.

Some highly intelligent people rarely do well in school because they find the work boring or unstimulating. And there are also smart people who suffer from learning disabilities which affect their grades.

As it is, everybody has to adapt to the same learning pattern as the usual academic grading system.

Grades never reflect a person’s ability to learn.  Aptitude is based on a student’s willingness to learn and their real world application.

Grades should not decide one’s fate in society. Everybody learns in different ways, and it is difficult to measure them on the same scale. Frankly, we shouldn’t.