Middle school students feel ‘A’s are only acceptable grade

Ally Guo | Staff Writer

Audrey Picture 3

Photo by Ally Guo

Although an ‘A’ represents excellence on the standard grading scale, some students feel that it is just average to receive.

Seventh grader Sankhya Rajan said that, an ‘A’ is the expected grade to earn.

“Well, I feel like a ‘B’ is a bad grade for me because my parents put a lot of pressure on me,” Rajan said. “And I feel the need that I have to hold up to at least an ‘A’.”

According to seventh grader Leah Herbert, ‘B’s’ and above are good grades to receive.

“Okay, I don’t think a ‘C’ is a bad grade, but I feel like an ‘A’ or a ‘B’ are pretty good grades,” Herbert said. “But a ‘C’ isn’t terrible, it’s like in the middle. And then a ‘F’ is terrible.”

Seventh grader Audrey Gill said that a ‘C’ is not what she would consider acceptable, especially if it was in one of her strong subjects.

“I would be really upset (if I got a ‘C’),” Gill said. “I would not be happy.”

Herbert said her grade expectations for herself developed as she grew older.

“As I grew up and started to see my standards and where I was as a student, that’s how I could determine what was a good grade for me,” Herbert said.

Gill said that her parents influenced her expectations for grades.

“My parents (influenced me), because they always like me to get good grades and everything,” Gill said.

Rajan also said that she would not be sure whether or not she understood a topic if she received a ‘C’ on it.

“A ‘C’ is pretty much barely passing and that would kind of scare me,” Rajan said. “Because I want to make sure that if I pass I’m (at a level where I meet my standards). Otherwise, you would never be sure if you actually got the concept or whether it was just pure luck.”

Herbert said that right now, she does not care extremely much about her grades because they are not very important.

“Yes (I do care about my grades), but seventh grade grades are really not that important, and colleges don’t look into those grades, but I still care,” Herbert said. “I mean, because I’m an average student. I do still try and I do still study, but it’s not as important as when you get into eighth grade and high school because colleges don’t look at your grades in seventh grade.”

Rajan said that she believes middle school to be the zone in between where grades don’t matter and where grades do matter.

“It’s going to be kinda scary to go from like an ‘I don’t care’ mode and then suddenly eighth and ninth grade and you have to care and be like all frantic about it,” Rajan said. “So I’m kinda just gradually getting into that being serious. I feel like that’s what middle school is for, slowly becoming more serious, so that way you don’t have to go from ‘I don’t care’ to ‘I’m super frantic; I don’t know what to do now.’”

Seventh grader Manwinder Singh said that a major reason why he cares about his grades is the fact that they may influence his future.

“I think that if I can get good grades then I can get a decent job in life,” Singh said. “That’s basically what I think of it, if I can get to a good college and I can get a really good job. So I think more of the future than I do of what’s really happening right now. Some people just don’t care about that. They think of what’s happening right now and don’t care about their grades; they think they’ll fix it later.”

Singh also said he believes that not enough emphasis is put on the importance of grades.

“Sometimes (teachers) don’t take off points for little tiny mistakes,” Singh said. “They should be not too strict but not too lenient.”

Rajan said she agrees that not enough emphasis is placed on earning good grades.

“I really don’t think enough emphasis is put on grades – well it really depends on your parents, like my parents, they put a lot of emphasis on grades,” Rajan said. “But teachers, they don’t really put that much emphasis on grades. I mean, they do with test grades, but homework grades, especially if your teacher grades all of the homework that you do, it really does add up, and I don’t feel that enough emphasis is put on that.”

Herbert said that her and her parents have a mutual expectation from her when it comes to grades.

“My parents know what I’m capable of,” Herbert said. “You don’t want to put it into terms of everyone else. If I get like an A- in a class, (my parents) are fine about it because they know, I mean they know I could always try (harder) – you can always put more work into something, but they know that I tried my best, and that’s okay.”

Students should care about their grades, but not be overly concerned about getting a perfect score, Rajan said.

“I feel like you should care to a certain point,” Rajan said. “I mean, you don’t have to get that 100 percent A+ that some people are aiming for, but you shouldn’t be aiming for like a 72 percent. Everybody should be at that medium point, but it’s really whatever suits you in the end. If you’re obsessed with getting an 100 percent, but you end up with a 95 percent and you’re okay with it, then that’s really what matters.”

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