More than letters and numbers

What right does a person have to judge others? Who is to say that they’re smarter than others? Many students say that they’re smarter than him or her, but what defines intelligence? According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, intelligence means “the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one's environment or to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria (such as tests).” Nowadays, people are considered smart due to their scores and grades in school. If they get one of the higher grades in the class, people will automatically assume that he or she is smart or intelligent. However, scores and grades do not define the intelligence of a student because of different criteria.

There was a survey done at Costa Mesa High School, California in 2014 about grades reflecting intelligence. The authors, Catherine Kricorian and Jeirany Chavez, said “For every class, the teacher sets up a system to ‘weigh’ the importance of tests, homework, participation, etc., and the combination of all of these aspects create a grade.” Meaning that grades doesn’t only come from the intelligence of a student but also from how the teacher aspects the student to be. Different teachers have different standards and rules in which they want the students to follow. Some teachers grade on effort, dedication, etc., so not all grades and scores are based on full intelligence or knowledge. It’s true that every teacher grades differently because they all have different rubrics that they go off of. Even though it might have the same categories, each category might have different description on meeting the expectations.

Similarly, there was a website that had people’s response to the question, “Do grades reflect intelligence.” On this web page, people vote either yes or no and also wrote their reason behind why they chose their answer. A post from mexicanmhitman said, “One can be lazy and not do their schoolwork. Millions of people in the world are intelligent, yet we choose not to do work. I don't do my classwork frequently, yet my test grades are higher than your average grades. I never hand in homework, but I have never gotten lower than an A in quizzes.” Another post by a user name, luvlee37 says, “Grades are usually based on a limited testing arena, which is usually a pen and paper test and does not take into consideration the student's frame 0f mind while writing the exam.  A three hour written test has its own limits and cannot judge a child's true calibre as such.” Those two comments is simply stating that grades and scores are from tests. The first comment is saying that many people might be smart but lazy, that can give them a “bad grade” because they’re lazy to do what the teacher is telling them to do. Meanwhile, in the second comment, that person is saying that grades are only based on tests, using a pen and paper. It’s also saying that tests aren’t enough to judge a student’s intelligence because there’s a limit of how much a person can take a test for so long.

Therefore, grades are mostly an overall score of all of the work that’s given to the students. Even though they tell a little of how much a student know, grades does not fully define the intelligence of a student. There are many different factors that make up a good grade, so it’s not only the intelligence of a student. The intelligence of a student is defined from what they understand as an individual not because of a grade. Students’ are more than just letters and numbers.

Works Cited

"Do Grades Reflect Intelligence? by Catherine Kricorian and Jeirany Chavez." The Equestrian. Web. 01 May 2017. <>

"Do Grades Reflect Intelligence?" Web. 01 May 2017. <>

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