Posts tagged ‘CS’

On grades that make or break us

I remember the first time I got more than 1 mistake in a quiz. It was in grade 5 and the score that stared at me from the paper was 11/15. I cried and even ran to my busmate from the other section to seek comfort because I felt miserable, like the whole world was about to crash on me. I know it’s an overreaction but for a kid like me who only got 1 or 2 mistakes, it was definitely heart breaking. A few hours later, ice cream and the play station served the purpose of consoling me plus the thought that I will study harder so that would never happen again. Heartbreak solved.


Fast forward to the time where my parents decided I might be better challenged more in a science high school. Grr, it definitely was something new to me. The onslaught of quizzes and exams with scores that were way past the 5 mistake mark that I dreaded before suddenly became the norm. It seemed that all those years I was in elementary was all pretend, making me believe that I could conquer every exam given to me. Boy high school definitely showed me how wrong I was. And it definitely prepped me for the same trends in college. It sort of made me numb to grades that started with 8, 7, or even 6’s unlike before where I used to look at a report card that was filled with a streak of 9’s.


Why am I rambling about grades anyway? Well, I just saw mine for the first sem of my third year in BS Public Health and my GWA was definitely not holding it. My dreams of going to UP med or to Duke NUS (one can dream, right? :P) was further watered down by the line of 2’s staring at me. I remember what I asked my blockmate Mita, before, ‘Why do numbers always depress us?’ She said that they were meant to rank people so you’d always feel inferior or superior at one point. Aargh, even the slightest decimals tend to affect our whole academic existence, especially when you want so much to achieve a CS or a US standing.  I had to fight for my grade once in Psych10 cos the BehSci department had my grade all wrong, almost not giving me my US standing.  Even in debate tournaments, speaker scores like 72 or 71 makes you want to hang yourself and say WTH and end up sulking the rest of the day.


Admittedly, I am a grade conscious student who thinks grades are the end all and be all of your academic endeavors. My belief is that grades determine how good we perform in school. But lately I guess it doesn’t exactly pinpoint how good we are, in the real sense of the word. Yes, you might have gotten ‘uno’ for having memorized all the metabolism pathways or the functions of this body system or what. But it doesn’t mean you can explain it to someone who asked you about it and actually make him or her understand. So my 2.25 in microbiology doesn’t mean I’m a complete idiot when it comes to bacteria or mycology. And my 1 in philo is no assurance that I’m the greatest philosopher in Block 21.


 My point is, I realized that the call is for us to be good both ways. Meaning, even if grades don’t entirely reflect how great a student we are, it shows how much effort we put into studying for an exam, a report or even a measly quiz. And take note, those numbers are what they’ll be judging if they’ll let you go to med school or end up pursuing some other path that wasn’t your plan in the first place. The challenge is then on for our transcripts to have 1’s and us definitely grasping every concept that we encounter, for real. So when someone asks you what the Kreb’s cycle is, you don’t end up saying you forgot it already even if you had uno or explaining it very well yet they’d be confused why you only got tres.


This means I have to start taking my majors seriously next sem and right now, start reviewing for my NMAT in December. It may be hard but the pay off is definitely rewarding. The quest for ‘uno’s’ has now gotten more oomph to it.



October 30, 2008 at 1:02 pm 6 comments

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