The Importance of Middle School Grades and Why They Matter

September 25, 2022
By AdmissionSight

The Importance of Middle School Grades and Why They Matter

Why do middle school grades matter?

The first question we will tackle is “Why do middle school grades matter?”

The middle school grades of students are a key moment of intervention. Between sixth and eighth grade, students’ grades fluctuate significantly, and these changes can have a significant impact on their performance in high school.

To increase their chances of receiving excellent grades in high school, students need to achieve very high grades in middle school. In reality, only children who graduate from eighth grade with GPAs of at least 3.0 have even a moderate chance of achieving the 3.0 GPA required to be deemed college-bound in high school.

Students’ chances of succeeding in college were shown to be around 50% higher for those with a middle school GPA of 3.5. But in middle school, grades can and do rise—and the benefits are noticeable. For instance, a one-point variation in eighth-grade GPAs translates into a 20 percentage-point variation in the likelihood of passing ninth-grade math.

Group of middle school students talking in a table.

Students’ academic performance in middle school grades and the environment they enter in ninth grade both play a role in how “ready” they are for high school.

Depending on the high school they attend, students with identical middle school grades frequently experience varying high school outcomes. In addition, many children enter high school with the appearance of being well-prepared to succeed, only to see their grades and attendance drastically decline by the ninth grade, placing them at risk of not graduating or being unprepared for college. In reality, only approximately half of eighth-grade students who performed better than expected on tests and had a 3.5 GPA went on to graduate from high school with at least a 3.0 GPA.

Students who perform well on tests and receive the majority of As in eighth grade but receive Cs or lower in ninth implies that the high school environment is at least as much to blame for the problem as the students’ preparation. This emphasizes the necessity of regular monitoring of middle school student’s academic performance to ensure they are performing to their full potential and to concentrate on raising their attendance and grades in preparation for high school.

How To Get Better Grades In Middle School?

How to get better grades in middle school? The combination of more subjects, more work, and more teachers may be the biggest problem. Read on to find out the best strategies for getting good grades in middle school through extracurricular activities if you belong to a group whose academic performance has slipped throughout the transition.

Study Smart, Not Study Hard

Although it can seem like simple sense, the majority of students do not use this advice to its full potential. The method of learning you use to achieve a good grade is not important when you do not have a lot of work to complete at school. The way you approach studying, i.e., how much time you spend on it and how hard you work at it, becomes more crucial as middle school begins and the quantity of duties rises.

Here are some suggestions you could utilize to improve your grades because many students have this problem:

Find the optimal learning style. If your academic performance is suffering even though you are spending a significant amount of time studying, it is likely because you are not using the learning method that best suits your temperament and inherited tendencies. You might, for instance, be a logical, autonomous type who uses a learning technique typical of kinesthetic and sociable types, who are extremely hyperactive and need to exchange information with someone.

Distribute your reading material throughout time to allow for time for review. Because humans were not evolved to participate in long-term planning, many people still struggle to make plans and perform obligations in advance rather than waiting until the last minute.

The same is true for many students, who frequently choose to save their test preparation for the final day before the exam. It is not a good idea to frequently overwhelm yourself with material the day before the test because research has shown that you are unlikely to recall much information at once. Even if memorizing information works for you, it will probably only stick with you temporarily.

Review your lessons without the use of any study tools that can help you remember them. Recognizing the lesson material is one thing, but being able to recreate it verbatim without them implies that you have learned the lesson.

Establish a pattern by adhering to a regular homework schedule. Those who are successful have a daily regimen. Your daily routine is crucial for giving your day a sense of order and predictability. Doing your schoolwork regularly is one approach to establishing a routine; if you stick with it, you’ll never fall behind and you’ll keep your duties from building up.

Work on your areas of weakness. Every student has a learning style or a subject that they just don’t connect with. You must focus on your “weaknesses,” or the areas or abilities in which you are lacking, if you want to maintain your academic performance and achievements at a consistently high level, including later in high school and college.

Greater Focus In Class

First and foremost, do it for yourself. It will be simpler for you to get started studying after class, which will serve as a kind of revision from the start while the memory is still fresh. Due to the teachers themselves, second.

Finding someone who does not mind if you do not pay attention to what they are saying will be difficult. So, try to imagine the teacher’s feelings as they strive to impart the knowledge they believe will be useful to you in the future. Being attentive in class can help you and build a stronger relationship with the teacher because they will notice that you are engaged in the material.

Students taking an exam.

You may improve your ability to pay attention in class in several ways:

Remove all potential distractions. Especially smartphones, which are frequently used in class for entertainment or communication. It would be better to either turn off or put your phone in airplane mode. Also, try to ignore your friends’ distractions in class; there will be plenty of opportunities for casual fun elsewhere. Friends in the classroom who don’t understand the value of improving grades can also be seen as distractions.

Keep a journal during class. The easiest strategy to stay focused in class and get the most out of your attendance is probably to take notes. In addition to helping you stay focused physically, the notes themselves are a great way to remember the lessons’ key concepts. As a result, taking notes can help you revise, especially just after a lecture when the information has just been learned.

Put your life in order by making a study schedule. This advice is applicable outside of the classroom and can be very helpful in all facets of your life. Therefore, the best course of action is to begin structuring your life based on your daily routines, including your rituals and habits, before you construct a study timetable (as we have touched upon in the Study smart, not hard segment).

A list of your long-term objectives should include your academic commitments, such as assignments and tests, as well as extracurricular activities and other pursuits you deem significant. You can use a planner to create such a detailed list to better manage your time. It would be helpful to list all of your upcoming school commitments each evening before you go to bed so that you have a clear idea of where you want to start each morning.

Ask For the Instructor’s Assistance

When they have questions about a unit of instruction that are unclear or confusing, many middle school students, especially introverts, are typically reluctant to ask their teachers for help. You should be aware that there is no cause for concern and that you should not be hesitant to question your teacher for clarification when necessary. It is both their responsibility and their mission to impart knowledge to you that you will subsequently need to validate on a test or through an assignment.

Students beings instructed by a teacher.

When you ask further questions when you are unclear about something, you put yourself in a better position to establish a positive connection with the teacher since it shows that you are genuinely interested in learning the material and getting a good mark.

Sharpen Your Focus: Get Enough Rest, Move Your Body, And Eat Healthily

There are several advantages to sleeping for adolescents who want to perform better academically in middle school. If you consider knowledge adoption as a long-term objective, these advantages include stronger memory (particularly long-term memory) and greater energy throughout the day, which also translates to higher levels of productivity and a lower risk of obesity, which is on the rise among teens.

If getting enough sleep is the key to getting good marks in middle school, then exercise and diet should be seen as the pillars that help us go in this direction. Physical activity, especially aerobic exercise, has numerous positive effects on human brain cells. Along with sharpening memory, they also improve mood and reduce anxiety and despair.

We often hear the adage “we are what we eat,” which a wealth of studies has largely shown to be true. Large, processed-carbohydrate meals will cause your insulin level to rise, giving you the impression that your energy level has been properly boosted, but this will quickly be followed by a sharp drop in insulin level and fatigue. This is why it’s crucial that you eat fresh food whenever you can because it gives you a lot of energy and vitamins; it will fill you up and stop you from seeking sweets.

Participate In Class

The amount of class participation can frequently prove to be the deciding factor when a student’s performance is in doubt between two grades. The teacher can probably tell how engaged and interested you are in the material being covered in class based on your level of activity and expression of interest. And while getting a good mark is important, it may be even more crucial to attempt to learn as much as you can from your teachers and peers while exchanging ideas and working through problems.

This is a win-win situation for you since in addition to gaining knowledge, you also gain soft skills like oratory abilities, communication skills, and emotional intelligence, all of which can only be developed through interpersonal communication. Therefore, if you are timid, get out of your comfort zone and gradually, rather than suddenly, start interacting with the teacher and your peers; eventually, you will see the advantages.

Join After-School Activities

When it comes to starting high school and even more so when applying to colleges, starting extracurricular activities in middle school can be a terrific stepping stone and provide extra credit. The fundamental advantages of extracurricular activities include improved teacher-student relationships as well as some leniency and understanding if you are late with an assignment.

Three students walking in the hallway.

The main reason why professors support students who participate in extracurricular activities is that these kids demonstrate a level of maturity, a passion for a certain activity or subject, as well as a thorough approach that will be highly beneficial in further education.

Will Colleges Look At Your Middle School Grades?

If you wonder “Will colleges look at your middle school grades?” Before you apply to universities, the only information they can see on your official transcript is what transpired from your freshman to your senior year. The rest is irrelevant! Because universities aren’t interested in lower-level academic results, middle school GPAs don’t count toward college applications.

They want to make sure their application is up to date and college-ready right now, which usually happens throughout their time in high school. They are curious about your academic standing when you applied to college, including if you took AP classes, skipped a grade, received an IB diploma, aced your AP tests, maintained a strong GPA, etc.

They have no means of knowing whether your accomplishments prior to your freshman year of high school would convert to success in college-level coursework, therefore they are not interested in what happened then.

When is the GPA from middle school important for college?

Because of this, the majority of people find that middle school grades have little bearing on college applications or admissions choices. However, they might indirectly matter to a very small number of people.  They will only be significant if your child is applying to a selective magnet program or an elite private high school. High grades from your middle school are required for consideration for admission to these prestigious institutions.

Some college admissions committees consider and rank applicants based on the caliber of the high school or program they attended, especially the most selective universities, therefore the student’s high school does matter.

Simply put, this is stating that if a student attends a well-regarded high school or program, there may be some weight on their college application.

How To Prepare For College In Middle School?

Preparation for high school takes place in middle school. Too many high school students wait until they are in their ninth and tenth grades to catch up. That implies that only 50% of their high school grades were as good as they could have been. That can matter in a tough college admissions process. Although your seventh and eighth grades and extracurricular activities are not listed on your college application, they can have an impact on what is.

Now, how to prepare for college in middle school? These recommendations can help you increase your chances of getting into the college you want to attend during the seventh and eighth grades.

The recommendations for academic preparation come first.

Sign up for rigorous courses right away.

You can get on track in middle school to prepare for AP courses, advanced placement classes, and higher-level language, math, and science courses in high school. If you didn’t take Algebra I in eighth grade, it will be challenging for you to take calculus in your senior year.

Enroll in a language course.

Colleges want to see evidence of strong linguistic skills. Starting in middle school gives you the opportunity to learn a language for longer and gives you a higher possibility of enrolling in other language classes in high school or achieving very high levels of competency in one or more languages throughout high school.

Female student working on a table while using a laptop.

Practice time management and study skills.

You should not be slacking off now in the hopes of catching up in high school. Why not enter high school prepared with the fundamental knowledge you’ll need to succeed in all four years of high school? Do not waste your ninth and tenth years trying to learn how to manage more work.

Seek assistance if you are struggling in math and science.

You want to be deficit-free when you start high school. You want to be able to fully dedicate yourself to new stuff without needing to make any corrections.

Also, READ.

Beyond what is required in a class, read independently. It’s beneficial to read while having fun and feeling at ease. Reading more will improve your vocabulary, critical thinking, and writing skills, which will enhance your SAT or ACT scores for college applications.

Consider participating in extracurricular activities.

Discover your interests. Colleges are seeking leadership and depth in one or two areas outside of the classroom. You won’t waste time in high school experimenting if you can figure out what you like in middle school. Instead, you can focus on developing your leadership skills in a sport or learning more deeply about volunteering from more than just one or two outings.

Middle school college preparation shouldn’t cause you to feel anxious and feel aging too quickly! This is the time to hone your academic skills and explore your hobbies. You’ll be able to enjoy the best high school experience possible thanks to this, and you’ll be on the right track to enrollment in college as a result.

Whether colleges check your middle school grades or not, it’s really important to start working on improving your grades at an early stage. If you are currently having trouble staying focused at school, AdmissionSight can help. We have pre-high school consultation which will be discussed by AdmissionSight experts to assist you in getting into high school. Book an initial consultation first to know more.

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