By Caroline Sølver, Student at CBS
Being a student at a university often comes with a great deal of stress. There are so many things that are expected of us. Not so much from our friends or parents, usually the high expectations come from ourselves. We have to be social, we have to have a relevant job, we need to do good in school and read all 100 pages for every lecture plus take notes for them, and when it is time for exams… We, of course, have to perform at a very high standard and get top grades.
In the worst cases, students get stressed out and depressed in the quest for managing everything in their life while getting high grades. But is it really worth it?
Grades don’t measure intelligence, they are only a snapshot of reality
First of all, it is important to understand that exams are merely a snapshot of reality. Especially the oral examination, which is tricky. You get 15 minutes to show what you’ve learned. What you can’t be sure of is that the exam is being held on a good day for you. Maybe you are having a bad day or maybe even a good day? Maybe you get anxious and nervous before an exam or maybe you manipulate the examiners and perform really well once the adrenalin kicks in and nail the oral exams.
What you also can’t be sure of is that the examiners will ask you the right questions. You might have luck on your side and have the answers ready for all of the questions because it is within a theme from the class that you really understood well. On the contrary, there might be parts of the class you didn’t quite catch that well and if the examiners chose to dig deeper here, your luck is out.
Grades don’t measure intelligence because they are a snapshot of reality and some people are really good at going to exams, some are not. It is very unfair but just proof that exams shouldn’t be your reality.
Do the best you can because you are so much more than your grades
Many students are high performers and have very high expectations. Getting good grades shouldn’t be a part of those expectations. If you know that you have been doing your very best, studying throughout the semester, taking good notes, asking relevant questions – and most importantly – learning something, that should actually be enough.You can also ask yourself, why do you feel this need to get high grades.
Is it to show the world how smart you are or is it to get a good job later on? Most likely, your employer is not going to stare at your report card when interviewing you. They will want to know about your experience, your personality, and get a feel for your motivation and passion. According to research conducted in Denmark, only 6 percent of more than 700 private and public companies find grades important when hiring employees.
Namely, because you are so much more than your grades. Just because you didn’t get a 12 on that specific exam doesn’t mean that you can’t be a great employee with many other talents.
It is not the end of the world
So really! Remember… grades aren’t everything. Lower your expectations but do your best. Because in the end, isn’t the most important thing that you feel like you actually learned and got something out of going to school? That is what I tell myself!