Do Grades Reflect Intelligence?

Your grades do not define your intellectual abilities.

Your grades do not define your intellectual abilities.

Augusta Judy, Staff Writer

While good grades do look impressive on paper and can yield numerous benefits, they do not accurately represent one’s intellectual abilities. This is largely due to an emphasis being placed on a letter scale rather than on the actual comprehension of academic information. However, while they do not reflect a person’s intellect, higher grades do have a direct correlation with a positive work ethic. Even so, this work ethic is demonstrated in productivity often lacking sincerity: Students work to achieve grade status, not to obtain knowledge. The importance of grades over understanding leads many students (relying on the likelihood that the material will only be needed for the given assignment) to use quick internet searches as opposed to spending hours in authentic study.

Any grade below an A+ all the way down to an F does not equate to the ignorance of an individual. Numerous elements can influence students’ grades such as learning disabilities, mental illness, circumstantial factors, and so on. Additionally, a student may not be particularly strong in a certain subject area. If they are doing their best and still barely passing, their grade is not a mirror of their intelligence. Intelligence is subjective to each individual person. 

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” This quote is often attributed to a high school dropout–Albert Einstein.