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What Makes Middle School Grades Really Matter?

Do grades matter in middle school? Middle school is an interesting time when you are transitioning from elementary school to high school.

As a middle school student sometimes there are sports teams and musical endeavors that you can partake in. Other times this is where you find friends for life or your first love. 

Let’s find out if grades truly matter in middle school or not.

Does it Matter if You Get Bad Grades in Middle School?

does it matter if you get bad grades in middle school

Unless you want to repeat that same grade multiple times then yes. Is it going to affect your chances of getting into a good college? Kind of.  

The thing is that bad study habits from middle school can carry over through high school. We all know that high school grades do matter significantly.

Your GPA in high school can follow you for a long time after you graduate. Your middle school grades aren’t going to necessarily follow you through life.

If you want to have good grades in high school then you should start striving for excellence in middle school. It’s a training ground that’s meant to prepare you for high school.

Middle school is a good place to find out the study methods that work for you and develop those methods into study habits. It’s also a place that can show you your weaknesses and focus on turning those into strengths before the grades start to count.

It’s a great time to experiment, try new things, and learn how to succeed academically. You’d have a better chance of succeeding in life in the long run if you are trying your best and you get a D on the test than if you just cheat and get an A.

In this case, getting a poor grade (D) doesn’t matter at all. This just shows you and your teachers that there is an area that you are struggling in and they can step in and help you so that you can learn the necessary material to get a better grade on the next test. 

It also shows that the method that you were using to study for the test may not be working for you or maybe you find out that you need to extend the amount of time that you spend studying for the next test. 

Getting a bad grade in middle school is more of a way to show you where you can improve rather than a measure of your intelligence. It’s a great time to see what works and what doesn’t before the grades start to matter.

Do Colleges Look at Middle School Grades?

If you want to go to a good college you should start in middle school. The threshold for getting into college is typically a 3.0 GPA. You want to start thinking about college as early as possible, like, right now.

It’s a good time to think about your future and what you are going to do with your life, These are formative years that are going to set the foundation for how you perform during the rest of your academic career.

There are no colleges that look at middle school grades, not even Harvard. This doesn’t mean that you should just slack off in middle school though.


This does mean that you should probably relax a little and just do your best. Take the time to learn as much as you can in middle school and even out your GPA. Some people are good at English, but not so good at Math or vice versa. 

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Colleges want to see that you are well rounded so it’s a good time to brush up on your problem areas so that you can be comprehensive in all subjects.

If you hate writing or English then you’d want to focus on that or if you hate Math then that’s the one you’d want to focus on.

If you hate school in general then you are not going to enjoy college, but that could change.

However, we’ve created an online tool that can help you find the right college for you wherever you live, check it out here.

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Usually, the reason that we hate something is due to the fact we don’t understand it and that’s okay because the purpose of school is to learn and understand new things and not to use it as a measuring stick of our intelligence.

There are some alternatives to be a bit more motivated and that is by getting school courses if the institution offers them, courses that you could be more interested in.

If you hate a certain subject, then middle school is the perfect place to change your perspective on it.

You want to approach things you don’t understand with an open mind to ask for help to understand it because in college you are going to be introduced to a lot of things that you won’t understand and you are going to have to have the humility to ask for help and the determination to seek understanding.

What’s a Perfect GPA?

GPA stands for grade point average. Every grade from A-F is assigned a grade point and then at the end of each semester, all of the points are added up then divided by the number of classes that you took in that semester to get the average.

  • A = 4
  • B = 3
  • C = 2
  • D = 1
  • F = 0

Then at the end of the school year, your two-grade point averages for each semester are added together then divided by 2 to get your grade point average for the year.

If you took 5 classes in your first semester and you got an A in one class, a B in another class, a C in the third class, a D in your fourth class, and an F in the 5th class, your GPA for that semester would be a 2.0 or a C average. 4 + 3 + 2 + 1 + 0 = 10. 10 divided by 5 = 2.0.

If the next semester you got 3 A’s, a B, and a C your GPA would be a 3.4 or a B average . 4 + 4 + 4 + 3 + 2 = 17. 17 divided by 5 = 3.4.

Every school system in every state is different, but typically a perfect GPA is 4.0. There are certain AP-style classes that you can take in high school that can push your GPA past 4.0, but generally, a perfect GPA is getting straight A’s across the board.

Want to calculate your GPA? Check this GPA Online Tool we made just for that.

Is a 4.0 GPA Good in Middle School?

is a 4.0 GPA good in middle school

You could cheat your way through middle school and get a 4.0, but that doesn’t mean that it’s good. That just means you were good at cheating, and how long is that really going to last?

Your GPA in middle school should be a way to show you how well you paid attention in class, how well you studied, and how well you asked for help from your teachers.

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As a middle school student getting a GPA of 4.0 shows that you did a great job at taking notes, found a way of studying that works for you, that comes down to your study habits, and that you’ve acquired the maturity of asking for help when you need it.

It was found that middle school students with a GPA of 3.5 had around a 50% chance of college success.

Interestingly enough High School GPA scores have been increasing over the years.

Check this graph and more from ThinkImpact.

GPA scores

Photo by ThinkImpact

You want to strive to get a good GPA in middle school, but focusing on the skills that lead to getting a 4.0 GPA is going to be paramount to your future success.

Do Middle School Grades Really Matter?

So ultimately do middle school grades matter? Well, yes and no.

Sometimes teachers will be harder on you because they want you to succeed in high school. Some of your teachers might just be hard on you because that’s where they get their joy in life.

Other teachers might be lenient because they want the approval of their students and their student’s parents. 

The bottom line is that how hard you try in middle school is going to be how hard you try in high school. If you’re consistently getting bad grades in middle school it can show that you have a lack of motivation.

If your motivation is low in middle school then that low motivation will carry over to High School, and if you had a dream college to attend, well, that will be just a dream.

As we touched on before, middle school is kind of like practice for high school. You should practice hard for a sport or when playing a musical instrument so that when you are in a game or you are on the stage you can perform at a high level. 

An important thing to remember is that there are only 4 years in high school and only 2-3 years in middle school. If you want to go to a good college, there are certain school classes such as AP Calculus that you might need to take in high school. 

These advanced classes have prerequisites. A prerequisite is simply a class that you have to pass or show school credit in order to be able to take another class.

For example, in order to get into Algebra II, you have to pass Algebra I. Depending on your high school, there may be a lot of prerequisites before you get to AP Calculus.

You only have a limited amount of time to get all of those prerequisites done so that you can get into those higher-level classes and pass with a good grade so that you can get accepted into your dream college.

Middle school is the best place to start building your strengths in these areas so that you can fly through all of your prerequisites and get to the advanced classes in high school, this is your best shot to get accepted into a college.

Sometimes your application doesn’t go through the college application process unless you have taken certain high-level AP classes. Here is a list.

Getting into those AP classes can take time and your overall GPA is going to count towards getting into AP classes as well.

Good luck in your endevour.

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