Do grades accurately reflect intelligence

School grades Meaning: What the grades really say

Updated on June 18, 2020 by Ömer Bekar

Did you know that there are almost innumerable studies on the informative value of school grades? In many countries, including Germany, proof of performance in the form of grades plays an important role. The pressure to perform starts already for elementary school children at the age of only ten years: an average grade between 2.33 and 2.66 or even worse decides whether the child is allowed to attend a grammar school, a secondary school or a comprehensive or middle school or not got to. Collecting grades in various tests begins as early as elementary school. During middle school at a grammar school, students collect around 70 transcripts of grades - that makes a grade almost every third day on average. Based on the average of the Abitur grade, the possible admission or rejection for a study place is determined. It is no different in practical training: Here, too, there are examinations in the vocational school, intermediate training exams and final exams. The school and apprenticeship period is therefore a literal note hunt. But what do good or bad grades actually mean?

A bad grade quickly appears on the certificate

For example, if the result is a 5 in a math paper, this grade means that the child or young person concerned

  • in this work,
  • in this class,
  • with this teacher,
  • at this school,
  • on this topic or chapter,
  • this school year

has performed poorly. So much for the subject of "Meaningfulness of school grades", because nothing at all can be deduced unambiguously from this multitude of reasons. If the given circumstances mean that several papers or tests are graded with a bad grade, a half-year or final certificate in a subject will be given a bad overall grade without any objection. To conclude from this that the child has not mastered the subject would be a hasty and possibly completely wrong conclusion with regard to the informative value of school grades. A school grade beyond sufficient does not have to say anything reliable about the child's ability in the respective area.

With mediocre school grades, apprentices can still become successful entrepreneurs

Quite a few people who dropped out of school, did not have a degree or only had poor school grades, have become successful entrepreneurs despite all of this. Popular examples include:

  • Mark Zuckerberg,
  • Bill Gates,
  • Steve Jobs,
  • Albert Einstein or
  • Elton John.

Personal and entrepreneurial success is therefore not necessarily linked to exceptionally good school grades. Mediocre academic performance can nonetheless produce qualified, motivated and remarkable entrepreneurial personalities.

Often the weaker students are the more creative characters

An excellent academic degree is not necessarily a guarantee for a great professional career. The traditional focus on grades is usually on accuracy, discipline, ordinariness, and standards. In practice, in our modern society, computers are increasingly doing the things that require discipline, perseverance and precision. For this reason, the focus is more on creativity. Innovative ideas and their creative implementation have helped college dropouts like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg achieve their unique success.

Apprentices with average weak grades have thick fur

The notorious nerds and A's students earn one praise after the other. The constant pats on the back, however, do not necessarily help such students develop strong personalities. Children and adolescents who bring home 3, 4 or 5 grades or are not particularly encouraged by their teacher learn automatically to deal with criticism. This can be extremely important in later professional life. Those who can assess their own performance relatively neutrally are less likely to pile up or overestimate themselves. Apprentices who start their apprenticeship with this serenity can often learn well from constructive criticism. The proverbial “thick skin” contributes to the fact that someone is quicker and easier to satisfy and that they are motivated and committed.

Advantage of poorer students: The ability to delegate

People who have their own weaknesses learn in their school days that it can be beneficial and profitable to pass on tasks. Of course, a trainee should not simply transfer his or her responsibility to colleagues. However, it is helpful when those affected realize that others are better at some things. So, without envy, they leave certain facts to those who are well versed in them. Anyone who can delegate work has a good qualification to hold leading positions. Giving instructions and placing trust in colleagues and employees is a high priority for economic success and entrepreneurship. It's a typical trait for students with poor grades who made it to the boardroom.

You are now wondering how you can read off this ability? Blink at the school grades and consider the significance just explained. Put this knowledge in relation to the results of a standardized recruitment test and you can find out comparatively exactly how things are with these and other activity- and implementation-oriented competencies. We would be happy to advise you on the use of an aptitude test or carry out the online procedure directly on your behalf.

About the significance of school grades or what grades really contain

Grades provide an orientation about the current performance level of students, on the basis of which they can be compared with other classmates. Sometimes grades have a motivating quality. Students make an effort and work out their homework to do as well as or better than the person sitting next to them. However, it is important to interpret notes from a distance. They vary

  • from school to school,
  • from teacher to teacher,
  • from state to state and
  • year by year.

School grades say nothing about a young person's individual willingness to learn, learning style and ability to learn. Therefore, a direct comparison of grades from several applicants is not necessarily fair. As before, students can get good grades if they can memorize excellently. Many schools do not encourage critical questioning and independent work too little. Standardized aptitude tests, which we offer online, are suitable for finding out what the trainees are doing with these skills despite inadequate training in these skills at school. In this way, HR managers try to get a truer picture of the candidate's quality and talent. This procedure is therefore significantly more valuable than relying on the supposed meaningfulness of school grades.

Emotional strength despite lousy testimonials

Young people who do not spend all of their school days just learning gain social and emotional skills. In well-used free time, young people learn a lot outside of class about life, about themselves and others. Social skills and emotional intelligence that students learn in this way are formative for their later professional life. A healthy sense of responsibility is required here - permanent blue-collar workers and strollers may not get a spin after a while and refuse to exercise any kind of discipline.

A good report card is not solid evidence of intelligence

Good and bad school grades do not necessarily have to do with more or less intelligence. Quite a few students cannot reach their full potential due to their natural biorhythm at eight o'clock in the morning. A lower school grade does not mean that the applicant has no strong logical thinking skills. On the contrary: late risers are often able to draw logical conclusions and gain a foothold in complicated professional fields.

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