Do Grades Define Intelligence?


©The Talon News | Katie McBee

The benefits of long hours of studying sometimes results in high grades. For many though, studying or lack of studying doesn’t always pay off. (The Talon News/ Katie McBee)

Ashlynn Roberts, Reporter

In a world where college acceptance rates are slimming down and the difference between each class rank is steadily shrinking, good grades are more vital than ever. What used to be a major accomplishment is now an expectation of all students, and many current high school students are feeling the pressure grow each year to have academic success. While many claim that grades are a true measure of intelligence, a person’s comprehension skills are far deeper than their ability to correctly identify an ionic compound or to know the definition of a theocracy. Grades are merely just a set of numbers used to demonstrate a skill in a particular field and ability to learn new concepts.

The number one thing grades define is effort and work ethic. Any smart person will make C’s if they don’t put in the time, commitment and energy. On the other hand, there are many students that work to earn special attention from their teachers so in return can have stellar grades. In the end, having straight A’s comes down to how much a student is willing to work for their grades and what they are willing to sacrifice to obtain them. Having good motivation directly correlates with good grades.

Schoolwork is mostly based on memorization skills, which is something anyone is capable of doing. Many students remember seeing a certain word or phrase on a test review and then circle it on the actual test because they saw it earlier. In fact, most students don’t even know the meaning of what they memorized before. The ability to remember a specific concept does not accurately gauge comprehension skills or understanding of something.

Students are all taught the same material at school, which is not fair because all students absorb information in different ways. There are three types of learners, visual, auditory and kinesthetic, and all need material presented in different ways to effectively remember things. Basic schoolwork does not allow students to learn easily and comfortably. For example, a smart student who does not like presenting to a class will not do as good as the loud student who doesn’t care what anyone thinks. In order to effectively measure a student’s intelligence, they must be allowed to learn how they most feel comfortable.

While grades don’t show how smart someone is, they still play a huge factor in many aspects of a person’s life, such as what colleges they can get into and what their GPA is. However, grades have nothing to do with how smart a person is. Intelligence is not measured by a student’s memorization skills and effort level, and it should not be treated that way. Students need to know that grades are just numbers used to classify people and are ineffective in separating smart people from others.