Grade Point Average Academic Performance Essay

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As any student knows, grades are reflective of their accomplishments in a given class. However, grades mean much more to students than whether they know the material or not. Grades mean whether or not someone will get into their college of choice, whether or not they have to retake that class they had failed as a result of an emotional semester, whether or not they are hired for a position against someone who graduated with a higher grade-point average (GPA). Students are under more duress than ever to be academically excellent because of the mounting pressure in the American education system. This pressure is due to GPA inflation and expectations of above-average academic performance. Because of this increased stress, students often have poor academic performance, changes in social and personal behavior, and even physical and mental illnesses.

Grade-point averages have always been used to assess students’ class performance. While an A can be seen as a “perfect” grade, it is no longer representative of superior academic performance as it had been in years prior. Due to an increase in average grades, an A now stands for “above-average” or in some cases, simply “average”. An A is awarded 43% of the time in American universities, making it the most frequently awarded letter grade. According to the 2005 National Assessment of Education Progress, the average high school GPA increased by almost 10% between 1990 and 2000 whereas the average GPAs of private colleges have…

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