Don’t measure success by just good grades

  • Education
  • Sunday, 29 Oct 2017

Despite dropping out of college, the late Steve Jobs was a successful entrepreneur and billionaire.

MOST educators and parents focus on making sure their children obtain good scores in school tests or major exams.

Attaining high grades, is seen as the “passport” to high-paying jobs and future success.

This is a statement of fact for there is no one who would want to hire someone without knowledge, skills and competence in the work place.

However, let me point out that there are more successful people and self-made millionaires who did not earn good grades or grade point average (GPAs) in their studies.

A study showed that 41% of the self-made millionaires were ‘B’ students, 29% were ‘C’ students and 21% were ‘A’ students. The study also stated that 59% of the millionaires came from middle-class families while the rest were not from under-privileged backgrounds.

More successful people have not always been A students. Who or where you are from in terms of one’s background or status, does not determine who you will be.

To achieve something successful, you need to work for it. It is loaded with entanglements, impediments, disappointments, and oversights.

Achievements require consistency, and mental and emotional toughness, in defeating these entanglements.

Successful individuals are good at postponing satisfaction.

They are capable of holding temptation and overcoming fear in order to do what they need to do. They are bold and brave.

Such qualities require mental strength and toughness, so it’s no coincidence these are some of the traits of successful people.

Successful people go for lifelong learning, they never try to stop learning and getting all the knowledge needed.

Just because you were once a ‘C’ or ‘D’ student does not necessarily mean you will be that way forever.

Your IQ can change, but you are the one who needs to change that.

Successful people will definitely not sit idle, they think out of the box and come out with unique concepts and innovations.

The late Steve Jobs dropped out of college yet he became a successful entrepreneur and was co-founder of Apple Incorporated.

Among those who dropped out of school but pursued their passion to have highly successful lives are singer Elton John and Bill Gates.There are many different types of intelligences and exam scores and grades only measure a select few.

A GPA does not measure a person’s ability to think outside of the box and solve problems. It does not measure a person’s emotional intelligence nor does it look at a person’s leadership ability.

These qualities are just as important to an individual’s success in life and almost none of them are measured by grades.

Grades, GPAs and standardised test scores largely measure one’s ability to answer questions and regurgitate information and not much else. This is why our world isn’t run by valedictorians and straight A students. For every CEO of a major company that graduated with a 4.0 GPA, there are scores more who did not.

What matters in business, and in life, is pursuing goals with a sense of purpose. There are many who are not as ambitious when it comes to academic goals.

If students are not ambitious about test scores and their performance in schools, it doesn’t mean they lack other skills or are unambitious.

It is just that we all choose to apply ourselves differently.


Kuala Lumpur

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