Opinion

Grades Do Not Define Intellect

An F On An Exam Does Not Mean You will Fail In Life

by Hadiatou Wann

You’ve ditched recreation, stayed up for hours, days, weeks studying for a crucial exam. You take the exam and feel like you’ve overcome an avalanche. The exam finally makes its way onto your table with a big fat F artistically stamped on it. Don’t you dare shed a tear because this does not mean your future will be a big fat failure.

After you’ve received that not-so-appealing grade, you try to calm your nerves, but as soon as you look over your shoulder you notice that the person sitting behind you earned a big fat A. And then begins the process of comparison and self-sabotage.
“When I was in 10th grade, I received an F on my History exam,” recalled Abdourahamane Sow, freshman at the College of Staten Island. “I felt like a failure, like if everyone else was better than me.”

You begin to ask yourself how come your classmate(s) earned an appealing A and you didn’t. Could it be that you’re not smart enough and going to spend the rest of your life after college hanging out with a homeless guy until you “figure things out?” Or could it just be that you need some discipline, or better yet, anxiety pills?

Those who do not earn an A should receive help, not be ridiculed. Discipline, rather, is what a student needs in order to excel in his endeavors, not a constant reminder from a professor about how the student had done poorly on previous exams.

Teachers are not hired to babysit students, but they certainly get paid to help students learn the material. It would be helpful if teachers started giving out as many uplifting words as they do bad grades. Something along the lines can be written next to every low grade, ”you got a low grade on this exam, but don’t worry you’ll do better next time. Let’s sit down and figure out what you need help with.”

If this comes to pass, the student is aware that he did not do well, but does not beat himself up for it, because he knows that there’s room for growth.

“I personally am a good test-taker but I know people who are not, because they get nervous breakdowns,” opined Oumou H. Cherif, a student at the University of Massachusetts, Boston currently pursuing a Bachelors of Science in human services. She added, “but that doesn’t mean they aren’t smart.”

Exams can be very overwhelming. For those who get anxiety breakdowns just thinking about exams, it is not your fault if you’ve been bestowed with this symptom.

According to an article written by the University of Alabama’s Center of Academic Success on “What Causes Test Anxiety,” when these symptoms are present, basic thinking processes like remembering, analyzing, and problem solving are affected.

Our lives are inundated with labels and if we aren’t careful these labels can leave a dent on our self esteem, and possibly hold us back from reaching our highest potential.

A good studying method is also necessary. Some students simply need a better way of studying to better their chances of scoring high on an exam.
Furthermore, when students apply for jobs after graduating, potential employers will not look at their GPA alone. Other factors like, unique skills, personality, involvement in the community, and experience play a key role in deciding whether an applicant is suitable for the position.
So while grades are imperative and help keep a record of students’ performance throughout their academic year, it is also imperative to note that grades do not define ones success, determination, perseverance.

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