Do Students Study Only to Get Good Grades?

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Do Students Study Only to Get Good Grades?

Picture by Pranesh Kumar

Picture by Pranesh Kumar

Picture by Pranesh Kumar

By Pranesh Kumar, Staff Writer

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We have all had countless moments during our high school lives when a massive final, unit exam, or even a quiz is just around the corner. The teacher usually informs the class ahead of time that a test is approaching and that we should spend time reviewing the test material every day. However, despite the warnings, most high school students wait until the last few days before the exam and spend hours on end trying to learn whatever information they can. Regardless of whether the student does well or not on the exam, much of the information that the student spent so much time gathering is lost within a couple of days. This example shows that high schoolers in Quartz Hill High School and across the country only study for the purpose of getting a good grade.

The fact that students wait until the last minute to study and prepare for tests can usually be blamed on procrastination and poor study habits. However, on many occasions, the reason why kids refrain from studying as long as they do is because they are disinterested in the content that they are being “forced” to learn. Regardless of whether they are studying for a test or simply completing an assignment, students will only study as much information as they need to study during the time period. If there are no assignments or grades or tests to motivate the students, they will not choose to study the additional material needed to stay ahead in class and grasp a better understanding of the subject.

Some may argue that assignments and tests are designed to guide and motivate students to be able to learn all the content for a final exam or for an AP/IB test. Grades are supposed to be a reflection of how well a student knows the information and how much effort they put into gaining that knowledge. Though this may be true, it does not change the fact that tests are limited and specialized in what they cover. More time is spent understanding the specific material that is being assessed, rather than trying to grasp a general and broad knowledge of the subject. This may be good for the short term, but efforts need to be made so that kids feel more obliged to learn the subject on their own and review past material.

One method that teachers are employing to counteract the dependance of students on their grades is inputting fewer assignments in Powerschool. Instead of grading every paper or every activity that a student does in class, there are only certain, specific items that are graded. The rest of the activities that are done in class are meant purely to benefit the students for the larger, upcoming exams. Some teachers may argue that their tests are weighed much higher than the classwork assignments to counteract this issue. However, the truth is that students will still only do the work that they feel is satisfactory enough to get a good grade. Another method that teachers should push for to improve the enthusiasm and academic environment of a classroom is including fun activities and simple projects/labs during which students should not have to stress over. Through incorporating these leisurely tasks, students will start to understand the fun side of all subjects and may be inclined to learn more on their own.

As high school students, it is beneficial and necessary to push for getting good grades and being able to get into a good college. If there are advantages and opportunities available, then it is justifiable to take certain classes that may be advantageous. However, even when taking subjects that we may not enjoy, studying should not aim only to get good grades. Students and teachers should work together to ensure that kids are able to see the overall benefits of learning the subject and be able to actually utilize the information.

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