How annoying is it when you receive a less-than-average grade, and you ask your friend what grade they received, and they say said that they "failed?" And their version of "failure" means a high A?
It is truly a despondent day to see someone protesting about their so-called “failing” grade that happens to fall in the range of 90 percent to 100 percent. Georgia school systems have mandated that the failing grade is 60 percent or below, but high-achieving students proclaim the new failing standard is a 95 percent or below. To get any grade below 95 is unimaginably appalling and may even signify low intelligence and motivation, unworthy to continue their educational pursuit in a competitive high school atmosphere.
But the difference between a student that receives low A’s and a student that receives high A’s is not apparent by their GPAs when calculated in an unweighted system; both students could have similar GPAs and go to the same college. If the student who receives low A’s is now considered to be “failing," then our grade point average calculating system is corrupt, and renowned colleges are now choosing simple-minded students who they consider to be intelligent but are not.
If our grading system cannot be relied upon, then what can we do to calculate each student’s GPA to accurately measure their level of hard work and intelligence? A large number of high school students fail to realize that grades are not the only aspect of personal achievement that colleges will recognize — volunteer experiences, awards, sports and hobbies also play a role in admissions. In fact, straight-A students are being rejected from many colleges if they are not "well-rounded" enough.
Placing a heavy weight on the importance of grades has the power to lower your self-esteem. When you get a lower grade than your classmates on a test, you can't help but wonder if you are lacking in intelligence. In reality, you probably had less than six hours of sleep last night or had a terrible teacher, which are all valid reasons as to why your performance was mediocre. On the other hand, each student has his or her own definition of success and failure based on their history of performance. One student's success could be an 85, but another student's success could be a 95.
This does not mean that one person's standard is not as important as another's. It means: stop comparing yourself to others. Stop beating yourself up over a bad grade, and move on with a positive attitude. In the long run, grades do not matter — the amount of knowledge you retain does, which brings up a whole another issue.
Students do not care about applying abstract concepts or using hands-on experiments to expand their understanding. As long as the test has questions straight from the textbook, they are satisfied. After weeks go by, they forget the content, eager to memorize more material to receive that good grade for a high average. Learning is not a priority anymore, grades are. In that case, what has a student truly learned and appreciated in his or her 12 years of basic education?
So when you get a B on your next test, know that you did your absolute best. Remain optimistic, keep trying your best and get involved in what you are passionate about. Life is too short to be obsessed over simple numbers, so join that tennis team and take up woodworking. After all, colleges will appreciate your individualism, and you will enjoy the four most memorable years of your life.