Students with borderline grades stress as finals near


Viveka Kurup

A student looks with dismay at her borderline grade.

Viveka Kurup, Staff Writer

With three weeks left until finals, many students find themselves scrambling to get their grades up.

Certain students from Carlmont High School, such as those with borderline grades, find themselves in a tough situation.

Borderline grades are those that are at the brim of turning into an either higher or lower letter grade. With finals coming up, students are trying to maintain or raise their current grade to keep it from lowering.

“I have a 90.2% in my Spanish class, and I am really afraid it will dip into a B,” said Kaitlyn Jones, a sophomore. “It’s so hard because finals are a test based off the whole semester, and even if I mess up in the slightest, it can be detrimental to my GPA.”

Students may also have a B to C grade slip. Maddy Sim, a sophomore, worries about this in her French and Advanced Placement (AP) European History classes, her two harder classes. In French, she has 79%, and in AP European History, she has 81%, both of which are on the peak of changing letter grades.

“Honestly, this situation could have been prevented. I wish I had put a little more effort in and not procrastinated. This would’ve raised my grade to the point of where it wasn’t constantly stressing me,” Sim said. “With finals nearing, it is really hard to not give up on trying to raise it. It really tests me mentally.”

Certain students who don’t have a passing grade in their classes reflect on what they could have done to avoid being in this situation.

“I have an F in one of my classes, and in another class, I almost have a D, so all I can do is turn in some late homework and hope for the best. At the beginning of the year, I had such a busy schedule with work, and I thought I could handle it,” said Milan Bologna, a sophomore. “With someone who suffers from mental health, motivation is hard to find while studying. Next year, I won’t be working, so I plan to get extra help and focus on my grades more.”

Along with a busy schedule, other factors can influence grade drops such as the absence of teachers. Samantha Young, a sophomore, finds that with her teacher being absent for a week, her struggle to understand the material that is being taught raises her stress about her grades.

“In one of my classes, we are learning a unit without the teacher even being there. It is one of my harder classes too. Our final for this class is 400 points as well,” Young said. “Tests basically make up our entire grade in that class, so learning new content without our teacher definitely contributes to borderline grades slipping.”

However, not all students go into finals worrying about their grades dropping. Kaitlyn Parohinog, a junior, feels as if she can manage the pressure of managing her grades prior to finals.

“I am not that stressed about borderline grades because we still have more opportunities to raise them. I am usually pretty able to understand the material quickly and get the concepts down, so I don’t see it as a tough obstacle during the last weeks of school,” Parohinog said.

With finals coming up in such a short amount of time and with students trying to get as much work done as possible to avoid having a borderline grade, many try to focus on their mentality.

“I began studying a month ago for finals so I can get my close-to-A grades up,” said Nina Chung, a junior. “Along with studying, I want to make finals as least stressful as possible so I won’t tire out my brain and so that I can avoid super stressful situations. Eventually, what really helps is hard work and patience.”