The Obsession about Academic Grades- Is it worth much?

Recently a local university in Singapore came out with semester results, a lot of my friends graduated with flying colours, some have got job offers, even carry even multiple job calls! Its amazing to hear about success stories, fills our heart with joy and enthusiasm for for life. Not everybody comes out with a First Class Honors degree at the end of the day, what about those B Players? Dont they have a life to live, a opportunity at succeeding at what they are good at? As a person who has not been an A Player all his life and has attributed his value to a rounded upbringing and not academic fanaticism, i would say a college degree gives a platform and nothing else. Most of the time in university we are finding our footing, improving our thinking, writing and social skills unknowingly which keeps us in good stead when we leave this borrowed time for the real world. Grades attained in college are a reflection of cracking an exam system, and not of intellect in a chosen domain. Although students having good grades, may be focused and determined this cannot be the general rule. Metrics for recruitment are not based only on academic credentials.

The emphasis in education should be creating better people with the right skill sets. Learning is not simply about rote learning facts and theories, which having to see what they are learning is applicable or not. A History major can be told, that working in a school or in a museum is not the only job prospects he has, but can be a play wright or a screen play writer in the entertainment industry.  The intellectual snobbery and elitism about the rigor of STEM disciplines, ie. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are highly inflated, and as an engineer trained up to the masters level, i can vouch that engineering does create economic value, but there is no need of mythifying  the knowledge sector.

There is grade inflation in different majors like music and public policy in comparison to a chemical engineering one,  and in various grading systems, the anomalies have to accounted for in the final analysis as well. Creativity is the currency of the 21st century, as the renowned education expert Sir Ken Robinson says, thinking out of the box will be a necessity to survive in todays globalization fueled hire and fire job market, lets out innovate, out think and out create value for ourselves in our personal lives.

Lets Fail Forward and realize that a missed actualization of an opportunity is a part of a process not an end it itself, do not create a cognitive obstacle.  Good Grades help a lot, but bad grades do not hinder either, imagination creates opportunity and innovation helps us to operationalize the situation for creating value. We are all unique and no grade sheet can reduce our potential assessed by a few exams.


2 thoughts on “The Obsession about Academic Grades- Is it worth much?

  1. We are all unique and no grade sheet can reduce our potential assessed by a few exams.

    absolutely agree!

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