Nov 16 2009


Grades? Or is it the learning experience?

Posted at 12:16 pm under Uncategorized

dony0500rigrades_gradesMarks, Results, GRADES! When I am at school, everyday I would come across some student talking about their grades or test results. However, it is rare to hear someone talk about the wonderful learning experience they had. This makes me wonder: does the actual learning experience matter? Or does our grades indicates the success of our future? Before I go into a deeper analysis of this topic, it is crucial to define the following terms: grades and learning experience. According to Merriam-Webster, grades can be defined as “a position in a scale of ranks or qualities”.  In order words, grades represent the student’s place amongst other students. Although I am aware of the other possible definitions and representation of grades; but for the purpose of this post, I will be using this definition and the American grade system, Grade Point Average, as the central meaning of grades. This is because I am biased due to my nine years of education in an American international school; therefore, my views on this matter might be limited. Learning experience is the events and activities from which we learn from experience (McCluskey). However, the source of the definition is from an article that is somewhat informal because I couldn’t find a formal article with the definition of learning experience in it. Thus, I decided to use a stipulative definition based on McCluskey’s definition. Learning experience is a broader concept that takes into account of morals, interaction with others, as well as academics. Both grades and learning experience is important; although, which one should students emphasize?

Many might argue that grades should be emphasized because they are the “keys to university achievement” (Attwood). However, some might argue that nowadays universities also focus on extra-curricular activities such as sport, art, and music. But from my experience, I would think that statement is somewhat limited. This is because during my research for universities, most of them still highly emphasize grades by setting high minimum requirements. Even so, this might be limited to only the universities I was researching, but I think this is still rather relevant because university representatives also emphasized minimum requirements. Also, my experience wouldn’t necessary represent everyone’s experience. Therefore, to an extent, grades are important as they can potentially indicate our future success in higher education, which will provide us with the foundations for our career.

On the contrary, other might argue that the learning experience is more important because it also takes into consideration of morals and how we act with others. Morals can be divided into harm, fairness, loyalty, respect, and purity (Haidt). The knowledge area of moral would highly emphasize learning experience because learning experience can form our personality and what we are. Yet, some people might not see this as that important because this might not necessary be needed for success in university. Hence, should the learning experience still be emphasized? I personally think yes because our morals and our personality can still help us find success in other areas like communicating with others.

However, which one should be emphasized all comes down to what you see as more important: success in university and earning large amounts of money in the future or being able to interact and communicate with others? Anyhow, it is important to note that I am not claiming that if you get good grades it means that you are not good at communication with others. I am just listing two extremes to get you guys to think what is more important? So what do you think: grades or learning experience?

Work Cited

Attwood, Rebecca. “School grades are key to university achievement.”

Time Higher Education (2008): n. pag. Web. 6 Nov 2009.


“grade.” Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2009.

Merriam-Webster Online. 6 November 2009

Haidt, Jonathan. “Moral Foundations”.

University of Virginia. 6 June 2008


McCluskey, Alan. “Tracking Out Learning Experience”.

Life Learning. 6 June 2008


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