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Why does a grade determine your intelligence?

by JADA MINAYA Section Editor

Grades n. – a teenager’s biggest anxiety.

As a student myself, especially in junior year, grades are one of the biggest if not the biggest concern of mine. Pressures from parents and ourselves can push a student over the edge, and high school is no joke.

We are taught from a young age that in order to survive and make money, we must attend college and get a decent job. Of course, there are some exceptions to the rule when those who have not attended college become very successful, but that is unfortunately not always the case.

When you enter high school, you are bombarded with questions like “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, “What college do you want to attend?”, “What steps are you going to take in order to get to where you want to be in life?”

At the young age of 14 and 15, we have no clue! What should we even be looking for in a college? What am I good at? What do I want to do for the rest of my life? What’s more important to me, money or happiness? We are forced to answer all these questions in four short years.

The foundation, backbone, and any other metaphors you want to give it of going to college is grades. The negativity instilled in that word is more than surprising.

Now, let’s get this right – school is supposed to be a place of learning, correct? Well, guess what everyone? That’s not the only learning experience you get from it.

Let me give you the breakdown of the many stresses and issues that teenagers have to deal with for four years, unless you are homeschooled, then God bless the life you live.

Parents may or may not be on your back about grades, but whether they are or are not, students still feel that disappointment when they do not do well in school. Although some students may not show any effort or motivation toward doing well in school, the pressure still weighs on them. For students who consider school a priority, work piles and piles on.

You may be thinking, if these students can’t handle high school work, then they can’t handle life. That may be true; however, teenagers deal with a lot.

Teenagers have raging hormones causing them to overreact, and they are still trying to find who they are. There is constant drama in school that affects and distracts them. Family issues affect students tremendously and shape the person they will become. It’s all a lot of pressure.

“It goes hand-in-hand because teachers are supposed to teach us the curriculum for us to understand in order for us to receive a grade. Depending on how well they teach it, shows what our grade will be in the end. Unless you’re lazy, then that’s just the problem,” said junior Amanda Gnidjieko.

Do you ever notice how adults don’t really remember things from school, yet they still did well? Are getting good grades more important than actually learning and comprehending material? When students are testing, most of the time they study to just memorize what they’re learning then forget it once it’s out of their face.

Grades are so shoved in our faces, and all parents care about, for the most part, is making sure you bring home A’s. They don’t care how you got there, they just want to make sure you do.

“I think that getting good grades is perceived to be more important rather than actually learning because when you’re applying for colleges or trying to get into a program like NHS, they don’t ask you about the material you’re learning, they ask for GPAs and grades for individual classes. When kids are with their friends, they ask ‘what’s your grade’ not ‘what are you learning’. I think that getting good grades is a huge burden to students. …[S]ome kids would do anything for a good grade, like cheating, but they wouldn’t do anything to understand the material because it’s so much easier to cheat than study,” said junior Josie Pagano.

We’ve all been through it, the stress of school. Why do grades define us and how smart we are? Should schools start to look more into how to make students improve themselves intellectually and not simply focus on grades?

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