Do Grades Define Students Intelligence?


Alex Beyerlein, Writer

Grades show up on students’ transcripts and can even determine their futures, but do  they truly represent the intelligence of students? Many believe that grades encourage memorization rather than actual learning and that the current system inhibits education, putting too much emphasis on the letter received.

Sophomore Chrisanne Powell has noticed when she takes tests, right afterwards, she neglects the information. After spending weeks learning content in class, Powell often never uses it again.

“Sometimes when you are trying to study for a test, all you are doing is memorizing a term or something,” Powell said. “You are not really retaining the stuff in your brain, so right when you finish a test, close your computer, and put down your pencil, you are just going to forget that word.”

Powell believes too much pressure is put on students based on the letter grade received after a nine weeks. Students correlate success with an A and a F with failure.

“I value my grades, but I think we are all brainwashed,” Powell said.“I do not think we should value our grades [as much], because B does not mean bad and A does not mean absolutely amazing. F should mean find a different answer. I just think that we should change the concept around [grades].”

Senior Peyton Sikes is going to start applying to colleges, and as he applies to schools, he will have to record his ACT and SAT test scores. Along with students’ grade point averages, the scores from these tests will be taken into consideration by colleges when deciding on whom they will accept.

“One score should not have to define you level on intelligence or determine what you are worth to a certain school,” Sikes said.

Brandon Bagwell is not only a teacher but a student as well, so he not only gives out grades but also receives them. He believes that while grades do not define a student, they can be a semi-accurate representation of their intelligence.

“Grades reflect more of a students work ethic than their natural ability,” Bagwell said. “I hate that grades stress kids out so much, because in the real world there aren’t grades. The idea should be to learn work ethic and meeting deadlines and teachers’ expectations. That is what the real world wants to see.”