Do Grades Really Matter?

Do grades truly represent how smart a person is, or does it only measure the amount of effort one puts into their learning? A student’s main goal in high school is to get the highest GPA they possibly can in order to graduate high school and earn their diploma, but does that represent the actual knowledge they take from the past 4 years of their learning? AP classes, honors classes, all to boost a student’s grade point average, but students might not be truly understanding and comprehending what they are learning.

Brian Swift is a sophomore here at Rancho Mirage High School. He is involved with sports like football and baseball and does happen to take honors classes this year; however, he does not necessarily believe that the classes he is currently taking are teaching him more than what he would be learning in a college preparatory class. “The classes are a bit more challenging because they come with more work and more responsibility, but honestly what I’m learning on a day to day basis is not much different than what my friends are learning in their [college preparatory] classes.”

Swift also believes that just because his classes are more rigorous, that does not mean he is automatically smarter than everyone else. “I know a lot of kids that are extremely intelligent, but they are just too lazy,” Swift says. “They don’t want to work hard, and once they see how much work a certain honors or AP class has, they’d rather take a class that is easier for them to pass without having to be fully committed to the class.”

Students who are fully committed to their education always seem to favor taking harder classes, and usually thrive in them. However, someone’s work ethic is not always the same as someone’s natural abilities, and so someone who challenges their self is not always naturally smarter than someone who doesn’t.