TOEFL Essay Topic 72 - Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Grades (marks) encourage students to learn. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.
Grades encourage to learn
Nowadays probably great majority of schools use grades to track students’ performance, give them feedback and assure they meet the requirements to graduate. However, do the grades encourage students to learn? In my opinion they do since they encourage competition between students, assure similar level of knowledge among the graduates of schools and in many cases are clear indicators to job market.
Firstly, grades are what students compete for. I remember from my school that almost everyone wanted to be a top-performing student and get the best grades during each test. Students who scored straight As would keep together. For example, I remember I was in such a group in my school and I knew I had to study to keep up with my peers. There were courses that I did not like but I knew if I do not get a good grade, I would lose my position within the group of top students. That really kept me motivated.
Secondly, by giving grades schools make sure their graduates reach a certain level of skills and knowledge that the school wants to stand out for. For instance, if there were no grades at Harvard University, probably the best university in the world, the school would start graduating people who have not mastered the required knowledge during their studies. This, in turn, would deteriorate the school’s reputation and Harvard would no longer be the brand it is at the moment. In this case, the grades do not directly motivate the students to study more but as the students want to get diplomas from top universities, they need to study for good grades and meet the graduation requirements.
Finally, increasingly more employers look at student’s grades, or at least their GPAs, during the recruitment process. Not only does the candidate need to graduate from a renowned university, but they also need to document outstanding performance during their studies or specific courses taken. A recent article I read in economic magazine stated that almost 90% of companies considered â€˜top employers’ by students of business schools expect candidates to provide their grade transcripts. Moreover, during the interviews they would ask about specific courses and reasons for lower grades. For example, such situation happened to me as well â€“ during my interview for internship in consulting business I had to show my grades transcript and discuss specific grades. This definitely motivates students to study more as for majority of students employment is the major objective of their education.
Therefore, I believe that grades really motivate students to study more. It may be for the reason that students want to get diplomas from renowned universities, get hired with top employers, keep up to their peers who get good grades or all of the above, which was the case of my studies.
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