On the Value of grades

With the semester coming to a close we students have our hands full with assignments and exams. The teachers too are loaded with work as they have to grade all the tasks and exams before the semester ends. Certainly stressful times for all of us here at school as deadlines approach and our minds are beginning to set on the new adventures of summer time.

The grades, an extra stress for many students as the road to good grades is paved with hard work and lot of studying. High performing students dedicate a lot of effort to achieve the highest grades. On the other end of the spectrum there are a lot of students who don’t really value the grades that much but rather are content with just passing the course.

Studying an international degree with classmates from several different cultures has led me to notice many different approaches to grades. I feel that in Finnish culture grades aren’t valued that greatly than lets say in USA or Russia or parts of Asia. I personally have grown into a mindset where I see grades merely as a measure of how I have understood the topic and grades have no value beyond that. Grades have a rather small influence in my future. So far I haven’t come across a job opening where they want to see applicants study record and grades.

But if we take USA for comparison the average grade has greater importance and if you GPA isn’t high enough, you might not get into the university you are aiming for. While I am no expert, Russia too seems to be a culture where grades have high importance and having high grades for example in Human resources is a valid token to show for your future employee.

The more we value the grades the more stress we have at times like these and that is all good depending on what each of us value. Hard work should be rewarded with high rewards. But a matter of high value also attracts questionable behavior. For whatever the motivations, to reduce stress or to have it easier, some students are willing to cheat to get the high grades.But I stop and will continue to talk about cheating and motivations in my next blog entry.

Good luck with the exams and don’t stress too much!

Otto Martikainen, Chairman of the represantives

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