Don’t judge students by their grades

Hana Bahashwan

Most students hate the fact that teachers in schools or lecturers in universities judge students according to their grades. And it is not just teachers, as even parents judge their children and compare them to other students who score A’s.

If students get high grades, then they’re considered teachers’ favorites. Those who score badly are treated badly. Some teachers try to help students who score low grades, while others judge such students and believe they are incapable of doing any better.

There is no such thing as an excellent student or a poor student. Teachers should understand that students are motivated at different levels, have different attitudes to learning, and respond differently to specific classroom environments and teaching. The more teachers understand these differences and how they affect their students, the better chance they will have of meeting the diverse learning needs of all of their students.

The abilities of students are not the same, which means that a student who gets A grades is not necessarily better than a student who gets C’s or D’s. Some students who get C’s are more socially aware and have better life experiences than those who get higher grades.

Some students who get C’s do not spend much time attending classes that are considered unnecessary. They also usually work part-time, something that causes their marks to be low as they have to skip classes or do not have time to study. Meanwhile, however, they receive invaluable experience that A grade students miss out on.

We all know that you are less likely to be hired without experience. C grade students are considered successful because they build networks, while A grade students spend all of their time studying and learning irrelevant subjects.

C grade students also read tons of useful literature and communicate with people every day. Actually, the ability to communicate as well as knowing powerful people can make a difference in their career. They also know how to enjoy life, and as we all know happy people are more successful than those who are unhappy.

What is most important about C grade students is that they follow their dreams. In fact, a number of successful people did poorly in school. Steve Jobs, for instance, never finished college yet he became a successful and world-famous inventor and entrepreneur. Another example is that of Richard Branson, the British business magnate, and investor. He left school at 15 and now owns the Virgin brand.

C grade students become more successful because they know what it means to struggle. They just about pass exams and find money to start their own businesses. Success requires emotional intelligence, perseverance, passion and, more importantly, the ability to overcome failure. Grades do not dictate the rest of our existence and there are always limitless possibilities. Many highly intelligent people are poor thinkers. Many people of average intelligence are skilled thinkers. As Edward de Bono said: “The power of a car is separate from the way the car is driven.”

Students’ grades should not be used as a measure to judge their overall potential because grades are always subjective. They also eliminate the opportunity for self-evaluation. I believe that grades cannot measure one’s ability because not every A grade student is successful in life. Intelligence cannot be defined by grades or exams, and exam results do not determine success in life.

Hana Bahashwan,