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Grades: Help or Hindrance? Essay

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"Without grades we can not learn." (Farber 333) Many people believe grades are the single strongest inhibitor of learning. Grades motivate me more than anything else to try and learn in school and do well on tests and quizzes. Grades are what set all students apart from each other. I believe grades are a tremendous motivational tool and can be used to "trick" students into learning. They sometimes can cause fear, and they can be "received" not earned due to unfair circumstances. Grades can be good, bad, and ugly.

Grades can be a great motivator. Most of the time grades inspire me to do my best. Without grades I would have no reason to try in school. Grades trick students into learning. Most students want to receive good grades,
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" For them the goal of going to class, writing papers, taking exams, and so on, is simply the grade itself." (Vogel 338) Students may not even know that they are learning but when they are doing the work and reading to help them get good grades, they are also learning. They might not learn the material well enough to always remember it, but they will at least learn the material for the time being to receive a good grade.

Grades can be "bad" because they cause fear. Many kids fear receiving bad grades more than anything else in school. The fear of receiving a bad grade will prevent kids from trying to learn "hard" subjects. Some students will be afraid to take a certain course that they are interested in because it might be too difficult to earn a good grade. Vogel states that "the important thing is learning, not grades" (Vogel 339)but for many students this is not the case. Getting a good grade is more important than learning. I have experienced this myself. I have always wanted to learn Spanish but have always been afraid to take it because I don't want to get a bad grade. In highschool I had the choice to take either Spanish or German and I chose German only because I knew it would be easier to get a good grade. I would have much rather learned how to speak Spanish but I could not
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