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Every day, I read news articles that make me laugh, cry, and reach for the tequila bottle. Usually at the same time. Pretty much the same as dealing with my nephew.

Today’s story that had me shaking my head (and googling “fall out shelters” because I fear a coming apocalypse) comes courtesy of the United Kingdom.

Do companies that only interview and hire the best students discriminate against graduates with lower marks? “Yes, yes, yes,” my nephew is screaming. 

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Now That Is One Tough Exam

On 12/29/2011, in Formal Education, by Jordan Wilson

Many readers are on vacation after final exams.

Exams are usually a difficult process. The tests highly challenging.

Hopefully you learned things that will help in life.

When faced with your next nightmarish test, think of the students at King William’s College.

Each year they face an exam where 5% is considered a good score. Yes, only five percent.

Now that is one tough exam! 

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Education in Action

On 12/22/2011, in Formal Education, by Jordan Wilson

Smart companies hire less on a candidate’s grade point average and more on what the applicant can actually do.

As I have written on more than one occasion, it is almost impossible to compare marks between applicants. The grading system fluctuates between institutions. And the quality of post-secondary graduates differs between education systems.

Today a brief example of how education systems hurt future employees. 

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Student Grades and Getting Hired

On 11/13/2011, in Career, Finding a Job, by Jordan Wilson

When hiring staff, I do not put much emphasis on student grades as a predictor of job success.

Sure I pay attention to the outliers. Those in the top and bottom 5%. But even then I do not make a large connection with their potential employment capabilities.

Having dealt with managers from around the globe, almost all my peers share this view when assessing job candidates.

But if we care little about grade point average, what is important? 

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(More) Grade Inflation

On 07/19/2011, in Formal Education, by Jordan Wilson

In Academics Versus Extracurricular Activities, I compared the relative importance of grades versus outside interests when companies assess job candidates.

In my opinion, while grades do play a role in attracting a job offer, other factors play a greater part in the equation. And over time, the importance of grades diminishes significantly.

A lot of this has to do with the difficulty in comparing grades between schools. 

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Grade Inflation

On 07/08/2010, in Finding a Job, Formal Education, by Jordan Wilson

In Academics Versus Extracurricular Activities, I discussed the importance of grades when potential employers compared applicants.

If you read my post on this subject, I do not place too much importance on grades. 

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I was asked whether employers are more concerned with an applicant’s grades in school or with their extracurricular activities.

Should one focus solely on school and try to get the best possible marks? Or is it better to create non-academic achievements and, with less time to study, be happy with lower grades?

What do employers prefer?

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