I chose grade anxiety as a topic because I feel that grades are given way too much importance causing feelings of anxiety. At times, I find myself too focused on getting good grades that it limits my imagination and creativity and I even forget about actually learning. Last semester, I got grades that were lower than what I expected and I started to get stressed. I wanted to get exemplary grades rather than average ones. Failure was one of the many things that was stuck in my head, I felt like I wasn’t smart enough to get good grades. After knowing more about how grades should affect us opened my eyes to realize that getting low grades is not necessarily a failure. When you fail, you should learn from your mistakes, accept your shortcomings and strive to do better.
Grades are extremely important to students as they are perceived to be powerful numbers or letters that show how good they actually are. That was my perception before I understood that grades are just one of the ways of giving students feedback on how they performed. Grades affect different students in different ways, and we must learn how to tackle obstacles. Let’s take a look at what happens when we feel like grades are the only things that make us special.
Grades are one of the major sources of stress and anxiety for teenagers. Every teenager should know that getting straight A’s requires a ton of effort, less hours of sleep and even possibly less leisure time. But in order to obtain good grades, you must learn to work hard and sacrifice pleasures such as playing online games, watching TV and chatting.
Grade anxiety is the feeling of nervousness, uneasiness and great obsessive worrying about performance and grades in school. These are very harmful as they may ruin a student’s learning experience. It could be you losing the pleasure of learning or having no other interest besides learning.
One of the possible effects of this stress and anxiety is cheating. Sometimes students are tempted to cheat just to impress and convince people that they are smart. They cheat, because they feel that if they are not smart or do not shine in class, they’re a nobody. But in reality, they are just cheating themselves.
Sometimes, when given a performance task, students tend to pick easier topics that they have already dealt with before, sometimes they may choose the shorter and more simple book.
It’s not always because they are lazy but it could also be because adults continuously remind them to get good grades, and they find it easier to get good grades with an easy topic.
Stress and anxiety are major problems of teenagers, not only are they tempted to cheat, or go with the easy path, but they can even suffer from physical stress symptoms like increased heart rate, hives or stomach aches. They can even suffer from cognitive symptoms like worrying or being extremely aware of their performance.
During my research, I learned that a reaction to receiving bad grades was that there was always someone to blame, whether it be your parents, friends, siblings or even your teacher. Teenagers are somehow able to come up with all these excuses pointing to other people other than themselves. This is not right. Grades may be the cause of all their anxieties but remember, it is all up to you to put the needed effort.
If you are too stressed out, reevaluate your goals. Why are you in school? Focus on learning and gaining competency instead of grades. You can also talk to your teachers or guidance counsellors, they may be able to help you reduce your anxiousness and improve your academic performance.
I realised that learning is more important than getting good grades. Gaining knowledge, applying and communicating what you learned is the essence of why we are in school.
Never forget that grades are an imperfect reminder of how much you actually learn.