Friday, November 6, 2009

Are Grades Important?

Answer: YES!! I hope you did not think I was going to lie and tell you otherwise. As people become more educated talent evaluation becomes more difficult. Particular requirements serve as the hammer and chisel to sculpt the “perfect” employee!! Is it fair to say a particular cumulative grade point average is enough to assess talent? My humble opinion says it not and here’s why: higher education is not close to replicating “the real world”; a great transition period into the workforce is much more suiting. This article will discuss why I do not like grades in general, and how I think it is more absurd to use grades as a critical component to determine employment directly out of college.

Professors are a major reason why I do not think grades serve as a fair factor. Just because a person has a PhD, has written a book, and is outright brilliant does not qualify them as a good teacher. I have been in too many classes when the professors are gloating about their former employers and talking about their personal lives, coupled with their boring lectures leaving me with no choice but to fall asleep!! Classes with mandatory attendance should not exist, it is like they are holding people hostage. Class is a forum that should be beneficial to a person, and every class is a platform for a professor to add perspective and knowledge to students. Students along with professors should look forward to class; I know many students dread certain classes and some professors make me wonder if they too dread class.

Quizzes, exams, assignments, projects, and presentations should be more of a measure of how well the professor is transferring the material to students and how well students are receiving this information. Instead grades are solely attached to students and hold the same if not more conviction to how a person is perceived than their actual character and experience when it comes to applying for careers. Who grades professors? What profession gets graded semiannually is the better question. Off the top of my head I cannot think of any. People in careers are measured on results and bringing value to a particular company.

Why should higher education be any different? School is so curriculum driven students are self educating themselves and surviving. Making it from one quiz to the next exam, cramming information for a test today to forget it tomorrow. Striding from one semester to the next, so many clashing classes it is difficult to retain anything in memory. Leaving college remembering rough weekends more vivid than that 400 level course you took your senior year.

A GPA does not account for extracurricular activities, family problems, bad professors, and personal issues. A resume should hold more weight and a five hour interview by 6 different people should. But many people can’t make it that far because of a minimum GPA requirement. My advice to students is: work hard and party hard, but also get good professors (THEY ARE OUT THERE). Because all these excuses will not get you far…just jobless.

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