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Getting "Good Grades"

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I was raised in a family where excelling in school was a must, basically. In elementary school, it wasn't emphasized as much, because at that age, there really isn't a way to get a spunky kid to sit down and put his or her heart into an assignment, if you will. But when I got to middle school, I began becoming obsessed with getting straight A's. I would stress myself out before tests and feel nauseous right before taking them. Once, even, when I got a test back with a C+ on the top, I went home crying, not because I knew my parents were going to flip out (they did, by the way), but because I felt like I could *never* get those grades.

 

Since I adjusted to high school (mainly junior and senior year), and now, since attending university, I have gotten much better at taking tests. I rarely stress out at all. This is good, but I think I have found the reason why: because I know I will do a good job on it. I study a ton for my tests (not to the point where I have no social life); enough to know that I won't get below an A-. So I really have no reason to stress out. But when I get to classes like physics, this stress factor comes back into play, simply because no matter how hard I study, the professor always finds questions that don't make sense to me. I managed an A last semester, putting my cumulative GPA since 6th grade at a 4.0. But this semester is looking much harder.

 

I've been getting C's on my physics tests, and it isn't something I am used to. So it is difficult for me to adjust. Getting 'bad' grades (bad in my parents eyes) stresses me out to no end. After I get my C tests back, I feel like giving up in the class, dropping physics as my major, etc. I have a feeling people will simply judge me as immature. I really don't care. That might be it. But this is a problem for me. I want to be able to get a C and tell myself, "That's right where an average person is supposed to be. Great job."

 

So, do any of you experience something similar? If so, how do you cope with it? If not, how would you cope with it?


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I cared hardcore about my grades until my freshman orientation in high school where my principal straight up said "everything you've done up until now has not mattered". I'll never forget that. Direct quote, I swear. After that, I basically assumed they'd say the same thing when I got to college [they kind of do to an extent] so I stopped caring.

 

I got straight 100's until freshman year.

 

4 years later, and now I have a 26 in Honors Lit102. Hell yeah.


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I work in a middle-office of a bank now, and I regret not putting more effort into schooling, because I reckon i'd be a Floor Trader had I...

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Grades matter for colleges (especially class rank for grade inflated schools), but don't sacrifice your high school years for a number. It's hard, but really try to have a good social life and good grades at the same time. It's a hard balance and generally most people make sacrifices towards one or the other (most towards the academic side), but, well, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. If you're smart high schools usually pretty easy anyways; I didn't study much at all for a lot of tests and they were generally pretty easy A's.


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I don't think I ever completed an assessment in primary school, and I didn't study for most of high school. I think I only actually did revision for one exam in one subject, after I nearly failed the last one. I wish I could go back and get into better habits of studying and not leaving stuff to the last minute, it'd help so much in Uni, heh. Getting a C is just motivation to get a better grade next time, imo.

 

If you can't convince yourself that C's are an okay grade to get, all I can say is work harder and study harder to improve your grade.


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My parents really drilled the importance of getting good grades (As and Bs) into me, but I simply never cared. I don't want to put effort into things that I don't like or don't care about, so I never study very hard or go the extra mile in my assignments. I've mostly gotten through middle school and high school with As and Bs (and the occasional C) just for the sake of keeping my parents happy and to avoid getting grounded. At one point my parents actually bribed me with PhotoShop to get good grades. Lulz.


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Are you sure C was the class average, though? Some tests have stupidly low averages (30%) so a C (around 70) is really good. I once had a class where I was constantly getting below 80% in my tests and I was getting really angry with myself, until I found out everybody had been failing. I went into the final with a 70, did poorly, and got an A+ as a final grade. I have another one of those classes this semester, where everybody was in awe and shock at my 76% midterm.

 

Some teachers just suck at writing exams, the bell curve will save you :thumbup: . Nonetheless, the semester-long stress is indeed really painful to endure even if you do get out with an A+ so goodluck


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Are you sure C was the class average, though? Some tests have stupidly low averages (30%) so a C (around 70) is really good. I once had a class where I was constantly getting below 80% in my tests and I was getting really angry with myself, until I found out everybody had been failing. I went into the final with a 70, did poorly, and got an A+ as a final grade. I have another one of those classes this semester, where everybody was in awe and shock at my 76% midterm.

 

Some teachers just suck at writing exams, the bell curve will save you :thumbup: . Nonetheless, the semester-long stress is indeed really painful to endure even if you do get out with an A+ so goodluck

 

Yes, but if there was the case, and he was still the top of his class, the letter grade he gets should still be an A.


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I graduate this year with a bachelors in science in mathematics with a minor in physics. Physics is a field where if you don't enjoy the material, you won't understand it fully. It is not an easy major field of study. Attending lectures and taking notes should be sufficient for an A, but there are many different sources of information online over the material you cover in class. I made a 77 on my first Modern Physics exam with a class average on that exam a 65 and was not pleased so I know what you're going through. Tips, after your professor's lecture, find similar material online about that material. Websites like khanacademy, mit lectures, or even youtube has lectures that cover almost every subject material to supplement your professor's lectures.

 

Example, for my partial differentiation equations class which was probably the hardest class I've ever taken, I had alot of trouble in that class and it's homework. I youtubed some lectures and found several from people in India, seeing it explained a similar manner really helps.


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Once you graduate high school, colleges and universities don't care about your middle school grade average. Once you graduate college or university (and perhaps sometime a year to two before then), you won't put your high school GPA on your resume.

The grade you earn should not be your long term goal. With each level you advance, the level before that matters less and less.


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At my school, I live in Norway, the teachers only gives out A's that doesn't do anything besides homework and such. Some teachers doesn't even give out A's at all, im stuck at B's and C's, so are everyone else in my class besides a girl that studies too much IMO.


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I don't strees out very much (although my parents do). I'm in year 9 so getting a bad mark isn't the end of the world. I found it's actually pretty easy to get above average grades anyway, got into top maths class this year doing approximately and quarter of last years work. :thumbsup:

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Ever since I've landed at university, the fact that my A-level results don't matter any more, after all that stress, has cemented the fact that I don't need to do more than what is necessary. I skip lectures where I know I won't learn anything, and just do the coursework and compulsory stuff to a level that I'm satisfied with. Since my results get wiped again at the end of this year, all I need is an average of 60% to keep on my course. It's far more enjoyable and just as good results wise.

 

I just use the Internet if I don't understand anything. Most of my coursework has involved sitting at my desk, with the questions on one monitor, a video/webpage/Wolfram Alpha on the other explaining how to tackle the question, and paper draped on the mousemat.

 

 

The fact of the matter is that if I keep on doing things that I am not required to do, I will only end up giving more than I receive. I don't know what world my parents have lived in, but they seem to think that it's necessary to excel in everything I do. It's a life that gives up the good times just to get a number that nobody, not even I, will care about.


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I almost never study at all for exams and still get excellent grades (with a few exceptions such as biology). Sometimes I even feel bad for it - others read the whole book several times and still don't get nearly as good grades as I do.

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Never cared in the slightest about exams till GCSE. Always cruised through at high levels. I did something like... a week's revision for my maths GCSE and managed to come out with mostly A's & B's in everything.

 

Sixth form was a little different and was when I did start going downhill with my grades because of laziness. I did poorly in my AS levels (aka, C, D & E) and had to resit one. By my A2's I pulled it up to B B C and got me on to the Uni course that I wanted. Had I tried harder from the start, I probably could have got A's & B's which meant I could have opened my scopes and gone further, gone to a better Uni, but oh well. You live with your choices and I chose to just not revise.

 

I devoted little time to work but still managed to not have a social life... heh.


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I'm pretty much the same as you. Getting a 'C' really really irritates me, especially how I normally revise for tests quite a bit. Getting suspected for copypasing my work also infuriates me, but that's a separate issue.. What I do to get over it, so to speak, is to try to learn from my errors. See where I wrong, see how I could have improved my technique.

 

I guess I'm quite lucky with my parents not minding what grade I get, so long as I've put myself into it 100%. Doesn't stop me being annoyed for getting less than ~80%. I used to be able to get off with good grades by not revising, but just paying good attention in class. Doesn't work anymore - although paying attention in class in the first place when learning something new rather than mindlessly taking notes and trying to decipher them later is very good.

 

My current GCSE course irritates me anyway - although I dropped a lot of subjects that I deem pointless for me, I still have to do a few subjects that make me go zzz.


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Until these past three years, now in my senior year of high school, I've been pretty slack when it comes to getting top-notch grades. They undoubtedly play a role in my overall level of stress, anxiety, but also alleviation and accomplishment. I've learned to manage doing all homework, study, football, and hang out with friends and my girlfriend with appropriate time. Grades aren't everything, but they for sure affect my self esteem.

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What are your problems with physics? I have a degree in it and I am a physics teacher.

 

If you haven't accepted Cs in the past, theres no reason to accept them now.

 

Good grades alone aren't going to make you the best person in the world but they CAN give you an extra edge.


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A C is absolutely not an average grade and you absolutely should feel bad about it.

 

I guess the rest of the people in this thread have decided it's time for a life story, so I'll follow suit:

 

I spent my early elementary school years without any effort or studying, recieving awards and promotions for gifted students along the way. Upon arriving at middle school, I realized the world around me was uninteresting and wasteful, at which point I began skipping homework assignments. My parents' berations of my aberrations began at this point, as I began recieving grades below B plus.

 

The pattern continues to this day in a downward spiral. In a supposedly essential year at high school for my grades, I have skipped almost every major assignment in my English and History classes, rarely pay attention in Physics, and literally have not opened a math book all year. I remain in advanced classes due to my natural talents.

 

I began to question the natural life path that had been laid out for me - college, higher education, success and fortune - early this year or late last. Recently, I began to question whether or not I would bother graduating high school.

 

Over the past few months, I have been subjected to a series of psychological tests. The results found that I am not only completely sane, but also in the high 90th percentile for most intellectual functions.

 

I plan to have an enjoyable and successful life. My Cs will do nothing to change that fact.

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Getting good grades is a near impossible task for me. I suffer from communication difficulties and this makes it really hard to get certain exam techniques down on the exam paper and I end up not doing so well. Which makes this most unfortunate is that I put hundreds of hours worth of effort into all of my subjects and yet I can't break the "C" barrier. It's a shame, all my teachers have given me the highest score for effort in my school but I can't get the grade I deserve. It's sad; I can't apply to the Universities which appeal to me and I'm worried that I won't be going to University at all (Since I'm living in the UK, I need to get in this year - the fees increase dramatically next year).


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I don't have too much experience with this in college, but I do know that I made a 98% on my first lecture exam in Zoology while everyone else made Cs and Ds. Even some pretty smart people made a D (for example a med student with about a 4.0 GPA), so don't beat yourself up too badly. Just try your best, and like fastortoise said, your professor probably uses a bell curve.


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I'm the only child in a family in which my dad is a teacher and my grandfather was a mathematician and executive for a company i'd rather not name. My mother was "gifted" growing up so my intellectual development was carefully fostered.

 

 

In elementary school, which was public school, I was considered the smartest guy in my class. a 96 was considered a low grade and the only two (or four, can't remember) B+'s i got from grades 1-5 on a report card were in 3rd grade. i was scolded. There were two girls in my class about the same intelligence level as I. I never had to study, i just retained information well. I did do homework and took it very seriously. my elementary school was a very caring environment and i spend 95% of my free time on dial up internet or playing video games. i was considered a nerd.

 

Enter middle school grades 6-8. Now i live in a city of under 100,000 people, but i can tell you that this place was rough. I had about 3 or 4 teachers who did absolutely nothing and somehow managed to keep their jobs. The learning disabilities, ESL kids, and distractions in every class were terrible. I don't remember my specific grades but i did very well and i finished middle school with a 97.2 average (found my report card some months ago). i was also told that i was top 15 in my class. One of the aforementioned girls was #5 in the class. I had to start cracking out the books to study once in awhile and did go on a bit of an 8th grade slide. I really didn't feel too much pressure or reason to spend the extra time, i'm sure i could have been top 5 had i spent an hour a night on it.

 

High school. This is probably where stuff changes for a lot of people. I got out of the public school system and went to the local private school. I quickly realized that middle school did not prepare me for the academic rigours of the place, so i started being lax and copying homework. Mainly in latin. When you do that in an introductory course in a language that is required for at least two years, it is very stupid. I ended up just getting high 70s low 80s for my 9th and 10th grade years. also the concept of a theology class was very strange and hard to grasp for me. My mom and grandma pushed me very hard to get my grades up in these classes. because of some low grades and an 88 average i was not allowed into any honors or ap courses Junior year even though my parents forced me to apply to several. So i ended up taking joke courses. at the same time, i decided to start taking school serious. I spend 2-4 hours on homework each night and blast through assignments, in class participate like a mad man and flex my intellectual dominance over the b and c students of my school. Two teachers have noticed and have asked me to move into more advanced classes. My parents have noticed my complete turn around. the only class i struggle in from time to time is chemistry. i actually enjoy learning. my year to date average is about a 93. for the record, that girl who was #5 in my class in middle school actually goes to school with me, she doesn't even make honors.

 

I thank you for this thread because it allowed me to reflect on my educational experiences up to this point.

 

tl;dr

 

Was a genius in elementary school, got spanked for B+. Went to a hellhole of a middle school that had no standards or real education outside of math and english and got what many would consider great grades, there was not much pressure on me because my grades appeared so high. Was pressured into going to private high school (where i knew nobody) and found myself overwhelmed and not willing to step up to the challenge, eventually to find a rekindled love for learning through self discovery and dedication.


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I've never really had to study to get good grades tbh.

 

Elementary school - easy [cabbage] but that's easy for everyone

Middle school - also easy, straight a's and all in honors stuff

 

This year is my freshman year at a top 10 east coast private high school, and I'm still getting straight a's in honors courses with minimal effort. Frankly I'm a little disappointed, maybe it will pick up in college though.


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Personally, I hate the idea of "letter grades". In my opinion, classes should be rated as pass/fail. In college, I'd rather learn the material that I'll use later on in life and make a C in the class instead of making and A yet not learning a thing.

 

As for my grades through life, I'm probably rated as a C+ student at this time. Doesn't bother me though, I'm content with the amount that I'm learning. Also, I heard a great quote from a professor for mechanical engineering where most students barely pass each class. "It's not about making the A anymore, C's get degrees."


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Just work hard. That's all you can do.


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