Can you still be Successful with Bad Grades in College?

Many people entering college always have in mind to study hard and come out among the best during graduation year but that is not always the case. Few people will be getting bad grades and will Wonder what the future holds for them. Can I still be successful with bad grades in college? What will I do with bad grades? These and more questions will surely come to your mind if it happens that your grades are bad in college.

In this article we will be discussing about having bad grades in high school and also understand that it will not hinder us from being successful in life if you follow some good advice and strategy that others who face such have passed through.

One important thing to note is that failure will always make us feel bad. No one will be happy seeing E’s and D’s or even F’s on their score cards. It is really painful and you will always desire to have good grades. But bad grades doesn’t mean you are a failure in life and will not determine how successful you can become in the future.

Many people have become successful in life with bad grades in college, so you too can be successful. Remember that failure is part of the stages in becoming successful. Everybody you see high on the success chain has failed in one way or the other during their starting days.

One of the reasons why people get bad grades in college is if they are sharing their attention with something else. Some people while at college might be interested in other things like music, dance, arts, or sports and this will take most of their time and as such will not have time to read their books and this will lead to bad grades.

In addition, some people might have bad grades in college when they don’t know what they want to study but jump into a major. When students don’t know the major that they will do well on, and they take the classes, it is likely that they will perform badly on them. So before you choose a major in college, do well to determine if you can be able to do well in that class. Though good grades doesn’t mean success but it will lead to success. 

Another reason why people have bad grades in college is that they are forced to major in what they don’t like. Some students might have a great interest in becoming a street dancer but when choosing a college major, their parents will force them to study engineering or medicine and this is far beyond their hobby. So if what you are studying in college is not what you like, there is a high probability that you will have bad grades. Having bad grades doesn’t mean you are not intelligent. This also doesn’t mean you will not be successful after college.


Do grades determine intelligence

There is no one who would not like to have good grades in college. With good grades, you will be happy and it will serve as motivation to you to add more effort to your studies. But do grades determine how intelligent a person is?

Though some professionals claim that grades are a form of true measure of intelligence, one’s comprehension skill is far deeper than their ability to correctly note a text or to define or describe a term. Grades can just be seen as a set of numbers used by academic institutions to demonstrate students comprehension skill in a particular field and ability to learn new concepts.

One important thing that grades define is people’s effort and work ethic. For example, Any smart student will make C’s without a great deal of time, commitment and energy. On the other hand, if students put more work in their classes, assignments, practicals and study time, they will perform better and as such higher grades. So this means that the ability to have good grades like A’s is determined by the student effort in the field. When students make sacrifices like time, energy and are committed to their classes, they will perform better. So this doesn’t really mean intelligence but with motivation and commitment, good grades will come.

Most of the academic tests are largely based on memorization skills, which is something any discipline student can do. In most cases during exams, students who read through their books very well will see what is asked and circle it on the exam paper because they saw it earlier. Even though they might not really know what it means or can explain it after the exam. So the ability to remember a specific concept does not accurately measure comprehension skills or students’ intelligence.

To also help us understand why grades don’t determine intelligence, it is important for us to remember that not all students learn the same way. Some students understand better with visual teaching material while some do better with audio and other means. But sadly, most of our colleges will only use one method for all students. This will not be very helpful. Students who were taught with the method they understand best will understand better than others and as such will have better grades. So in this scenario, grades cannot be said to be a good measure of intelligence.

While grades don’t show how smart someone is, they still play a huge factor in many aspects of a person’s life, such as what colleges they can get into and what their GPA is. However, grades have nothing to do with how smart a person is. Intelligence is not measured by a student’s memorization skills and effort level, and it should not be treated that way. Students need to know that grades are just numbers used to classify people and are ineffective in separating smart people from others.

What do grades measure

Since we have seen that grades are not the best measure of intelligence, then what does grades measure? We can simply say that grades measure the ability of students to remember what they were taught or what they read before exams or tests.

The tests that students are given in school, determine how good they are at remembering things, not how intelligent they are.

Do grades determine success

One general belief is that college students need to graduate college with a high GPA to become successful later in life. Many college students see getting good grades as the best thing that will happen to you and also important to achieving good results academically.

Though getting good grades is the goal and aim of most college students, current research has shown that graduating with a high GPA is not the determining factor to getting a well paying job and being successful.

In a research conducted in 2016, it is discovered among others that personality predicts success more accurately than almost all other factors. Though good grades can show a student’s perseverance and self-discipline, they fail to measure emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills, leadership skills.

It is also discovered that strength of grade point average is directly connected to the student’s level of interest in their program of study and how well the student’s academic talents align with the program of study. 

Nobody will argue that having a good grade hurts but it should never be used as the only parameter to measure successful people. So great does not determine success but it can be stimulant, and ladder to your success.

Why are grades important in high school

As we have established that grades are not necessarily an indicator of someone’s intelligence. However, they are a measurement of overall academic performance and hence, it is important that students achieve standards of excellence. There are many reasons why grades are important in high school.

Acceptability and exposure

Students who get good grades in general tests are seen to be good assets to school and teachers are more likely to like them. Getting good grades will open more opportunities for students both within the school and outside. Students who perform more in exams are chosen by school to represent them in inter school quiz and other competitions. 

They also get more opportunities as class leaders, school leaders, or house captains for displaying an ability to work hard and bring in results. Grades reflect how much a student has understood in the classroom, and their ability to retain and use the information when required

Getting admission

Academic grades are not only used to measure students academic performance but are also used outside the high school for getting admission. Most colleges and universities require that every applicant must have a certain score or grade to be able to be admitted into the school. So having good grades in high school is important as it increases your chances of getting admission into the university.

Scholarships opportunities

You can also win scholarships if you make good grades in high school. Most scholarships are merit-based, and as such your commitment to your education can be of great reward since you can be awarded a scholarship. Students who have done exceptionally well in their studies and other activities in school are often high contenders for scholarships at schools and universities. 

When you get admitted into a university with good grades, there is always huge respect from teachers and friends who know your availability but it will always be bigger when you are admitted through a scholarship in a prestigious institution.


Most schools normally present gifts to students during graduation. Most of the students who receive gifts are exceptional students who have demonstrated excellence in academic activities. So with good grades, you can receive gifts and other rewards from school and government.

Do high school grades matter for jobs?

Yes, High School grades matters for jobs that requires maximum of high school diploma. When a company wants to employ those who graduated from high school for a job position, then the grades you make in high school is need.

While it might be relevant for some jobs opportunities, it might not be required for professional jobs. High School grades will not Matter for require people who have University degrees. Jobs requiring degrees will not need you to present grades from high school.

Does your high school GPA matter when transferring?

When transferring, the school you applied to need to know your capabilities and this will help them decide if to accept you or not. So high school GPA will matter if you have no credits in college to offer. But the longer you stay in college, the less that your high school GPA will matter. If you have spent 3 to 4 semesters in college, then the school will have College credits to look to.

Most schools will be most interested in your college transcript, recommendations, and campus involvement. Another critical element will be the reasons you give for wanting to transfer, so be sure that your essays communicate that clearly.

Some colleges and universities look at the most recent grades first; and if that happens to be college grades, then that is what will be considered above anything else.

Does your high school gpa matter for med school

High School GPA will not be considered when you applied for med school. Medical Schools are interested in undergraduate grades so you need to do well here. Unless you’re applying to a combined undergrad med school of 7 year program, your high school grades won’t be looked at by med school. An applicant’s overall GPA is considered, along with the GPA in the major, and the MCAT scores, among other things.

What you will have to think about if you have poor high school grade is getting into pre med.

Do colleges look at high school grades

College admission committee will look at high School grades to give admission. Your child’s sophomore, junior, and senior year coursework is more predictive of your child’s ability to succeed in college courses.

Most universities will consider your child’s overall high school GPA, but will always consider their GPA and transcript together, meaning that an admissions officer will see if your child’s grades have improved over time.

While considering your results, there will prefer to see low grades during the lower levels than senior years. This is because they might be distracted because they never been to high school before and as such perform low but have improved greatly during their senior years.

Do colleges look at middle school grades?

As I said earlier, colleges will look at the most current result you have. College will focus mainly in your high school GPA because that is what is contained in your transcript. Middle School grades do not matter for college admission.

Does your high school GPA matter after community college?

Most people who don’t have a good grade in high school will need extra work to be able to get into the university. But after graduating from community college, you can get intothe university easley if you have good GPA. Your high school GPA will not matter if you have a good GPA from community college. The university you applied for will be looking at your transcript from the community college not the high school.

So if you have a poor result while at the High school but have a very good GPA in community college, then you don’t need to worry about getting into university because you are now qualified.