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It’s your first big test in college, and you’ve sweated and prayed and studied . . . and failed.  You might stare in horror at the test results, swearing and vowing vengeance, or you might begin weeping in horror.  It’s understandable, college does that to us all.  However, you might be interested to find out that this failure is not going to be as big a deal as you fear it to be.  In fact, while getting the best grades you can is always a good idea, your grades in college are really not going to be nearly as important as the skills and knowledge that you actually get out of it.  That means that if you bombed the test, it’s really not going to matter.  Here’s why:

Grad Schools Don’t Care

You are going to be applying to grad schools, and the last thing that they are going to want to see is crappy grades.  So, if you want to get into the school of your dreams, you’ve got to do well – right?  Well, it turns out that most grad schools actually care a lot more about things like job experience, GRE scores, and the credits you took than about the grades that you got.  Of course, if you failed every one of your pre-med courses, that’s going to look bad, but a low score in an economics class isn’t going to faze them.

Employers Don’t Care

While a lot of employers care that you have the proper degree, they are never going to look at your grades.  In fact, if you have the necessary skills, you could have failed every one of your courses.  As long as you’ve got the legally required degree, you’re set.  Employers really don’t care how good of a student you were.  They want to know what kind of employee you are going to be.  If you are professional, willing to learn, and have learned the basic skill set that your degree was aiming for, chances are that you are already set.

Professors Don’t Care

In High School, your teachers freaked out a lot about your grades.  They had special meetings to discuss the fact that you were failing and they offered extra credit so that you wouldn’t have to suffer that tragic C.  In college, if you don’t mind getting a C, your professor probably doesn’t care either.  Professors in college are way more interested in helping the interested students excel, than in helping the uninterested ones survive.  They certainly aren’t going to get on your back about a C.  It will all be up to you to care.

Why You Should Still Care (a little)

Now, all of those reasons aside, you probably shouldn’t start coasting through your classes quite yet.  Grades are still important for a couple of reasons – graduation, and getting your money’s worth.  Grades do reflect how much you are getting out of your education, so bad grades might be a sign that you are wasting your money.  Add that to the fact that passing grades are still required to get a degree, and you might rethink writing that paper.

Do your grades in college really matter