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How much do grades matter?

It’s on the mind of every student looking at a grad school application, or internship, or full-time position in a company – do my grades really matter?

Even if you were an outstanding student in high school, now you’re in college and in no time you have a ton of assignments and papers getting added to your things to do list. These are followed by group projects, exams and never-ending amounts of reading to overcome. At the same time, there are much more entertaining things in college that are constantly in vie with your academic work – football games, dance and music clubs, parties and friends, to name a few. You realize that you can’t trick your way into getting good grades. You HAVE TO work hard in order to get good grades.

But then at times we wonder whether all the time and effort being put into getting good grades is worth it or not! Accept it or not but you sub-consciously know the answer to this question that seems impossible to have a Yes/No answer.

Imagine this…

You hop onto an elevator with a recruiting manager of the company you’ve always wanted to work for. You gather the courage to speak with him/her and even have an opportunity to interview for a full-time position.

You know if you’ve gotten this far in just an elevator ride, you might as well ace the interview process. But no matter how much you’ve impressed this person or the person who interviews you; they have a minimum grade point average requirement that you fall way behind in meeting.

Not a very a comfortable vision, is it? You don’t want to face rejection due to something that was in your hands since the very beginning. However, truth be told that is mostly the situation of people with mediocre grades. Good grades not only reflect smartness but also indicate to employers that you were successful at meeting deadlines and completing assignments to a large extent. This reflects to them that you have the ability to work with lengthy and complicated projects.

Of course there are exceptions to this situation, but what are the chances that the odds are in your favor?

Is that the only reason?

Getting into a good grad school or a job with a well-reputed company aren’t the only two reasons why your grades may be important.

  • Good grades may present you with several scholarship opportunities, however you need to keep up with those grades in order to meet the criteria of approval for these scholarships. There are several situations wherein students end up losing the funding half way through if there grades drop and that doesn’t seem like an extra road block you need at what may be a very intense time during your college year.

  • A cumulative grade point average of 3.5 and above would also qualify you to be on the Dean’s List and Semester Honors, which may further open up several more opportunities for you. For instance, you may get offers to be part of well-known honor societies and academic organizations where you get to network with several influential people.

  • This may also enable you to take advanced honor classes, which are usually taught by some of the best professors on campus. You get to study in a motivated, competitive and entertaining environment with some of the most outstanding students on campus. This helps you meet many people who share common interests as you.

  • Lastly, the most fundamental reason to have good grades is to stay in school. Poor grades at times may lead to probation, suspension and academic warnings, which isn’t something you want on your academic record.

Yes, Good Grades Matter!

Thus, if you are one motivated to strive for higher grades, put on your thinking caps and start adopting methods that help you learn smarter and manage your time effectively. You don’t need to go out of your way to find resources in order to do so; there are several such resources available on campus itself. You can talk to your academic advisor, or schedule an appointment to meet with one of the counselors at one of the following:

  1. Center for Career Opportunities

  2. Purdue Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

  3. Counseling at Purdue Office of the Dean of Students

So don’t panic if you aren’t there yet and before you begin you can use the wisdom of others, or devise your own, polish up your study skills and start learning smartly. Take it step by step, it will make a huge difference and help you achieve higher grades.

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