Should Students Have Access to Their Grades?

Teens go through many stressful things throughout their day. School and extracurricular activities, along with their home environment, factor into their mental state. Many teens feel overloaded and overwhelmed by the amount of work teachers give out. According to a study conducted by Finances Online, 75% of high school students and 50% of middle school students feel stressed about school work. In some ways, the amount of work dealt out can help build mental strength and create hardworking students and future employees. People are satisfied with themselves when they overcome that level of adversity. However, mental health treatment centers, such as the High Focus Center, state that school and schoolwork may heighten anxiety in teens. Specifically, being up to date with said work. Trying to stay on top of all the work thrown at students can get overwhelming, but it is important for students to stay mentally strong and push through the tough work.


Some students constantly worry about their grades, and for good reason. Grades are the gateway to colleges students wish to attend and act as proof that they are dedicated to the work they do in school. Report cards have been around since the 1930s, but back then, students could not monitor their grades. When they received their report card, that was the first time they saw the grade they had earned. Things have since evolved and with online grading portals, such as Genesis, students can be updated up to the minute on their grades.  It’s benefited students in the fact they have on-demand access to their grades and how they change with each assignment. However, it puts a lot of stress on teens who constantly check. Teens can see when tests are put in and when their grades are published. NNHSNorthstar wrote an article called “The Culture of Grade Obsession.” It says that, “Grade obsession can cause anxiety among students who are hyper-focused on their achievements. Students can lose sight of the reason they are at school — to truly understand new material, not just memorize and recite. Instead of focusing on mastering material, students put their energy into performing well on tests because of the grades attached.” This then raises the question if grades should be viewable or even still be given. If grades are going to detract from the experience of learning and really understanding the things taught, why make it so they can always be checked? This unlimited access to grades makes it very difficult for students to concentrate on really understanding the class’ content. Also, when their parents see those grades, some students report that it stresses them out even more.  Just because the technology has advanced to allow it, we need to be asking the question: “Is it truly beneficial and convenient for teens to have constant access to their grades?”


Ben Preston