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is this normal for high school students?

A photo of Marvill Marvill
When I was in grades 9 and 10, I barely allotted time at home to any of my studies. I still excelled in my classes, perfecting quizzes, tests, and assignments. I found that it was easy for me to keep up with content learned in school with very little effort. My averages were in the low to mid 90's and I considered myself a top tier student with respect to most of the school. I was in the upper echelons of academic performance. Everyone thought I was a genius then.

However, now that I am in grade 12, my grades have slipped by about 10 to 15 percent. I fast-tracked in grade 11 and that was when I undertook advanced functions, ending the course with a mediocre 87%. I was in shock at how poorly I had been performing compared to past grades. While in grade 10 I had a 98% in academic math, I am sitting at about an 88% in university level data management (so far). In grade 11 physics I was sitting comfortably at a 96% at mid-term, but this year I am at a mere 84% going into mid-terms.

Is it generally common for students who were as capable as I was in grade 10 to suddenly see their grades plummet in grade 12? I do not understand what I am doing wrong. Obviously I have gotten more serious and am spending more time at home doing homework and studying, but my efforts seem futile and I am losing patience. Other students have surpassed my abilities when they never really compared to me in the freshman and sophomore years. My friends are still achieving 90's in school while I am struggling to stay afloat in the 80's range. Have I lost my edge, my intelligence? Have I suddenly dumbed down in two short years? I was once considered a genius but now I am lost, drowning in a pool of mediocrity, a pool of "average-ness". I feel so inferior to my peers when just a few years ago I was the envy of everyone in my classes. Just to add, I have been identified as a gifted student, so why am I faltering this way? How is it possible that I am not ahead, or at the very least, up-to-par with everyone else?


I find it extremely discouraging when I receive tests back nowadays. While writing it, I have the utmost confidence in what I am doing, but my marks do not reflect this confidence. It seems like I know what I am doing but in reality I I know nothing. It is quite scary for me to think I am doing something right, but it turns out it is completely wrong. It is getting increasingly harder to maintain an average above cutoff for universities to accept me, and I just have this overcast feeling of despair at all times. I can never bring my marks up anymore, but my friends are still thriving! How many times do I have to fail in order to finally have my glory days back? I am sorry for ranting and digressing but to reiterate, is it normal for someone with my track record to struggle this much? And what should I do in order to be good enough?

Is a low 80 average still a good achievement? Can I still be considered for universities with this grade? And please don't tell me "It depends on the program" or "It depends on the school", I mean subjectively, in general is it a good grade?
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A photo of jelly jelly
I've seen a lot of people struggle as the years pass, but personally I wasn't one of them. I've had pretty consistently mediocre grades throughout high school. Never really excelled in anything, my overall averages were always in the 84-90 range. Going into grade 12 I really don't find a noticeable difference - my math marks were 93 in grade 9, 88 in grade 10, 83 in grade 11, and 92 in grade 12 (advanced functions, fasttracked as well). I finished with low 80s in gr 11 physics and I'm getting high-80s in it now. Of course, there is somewhat of a factor that I've been working harder, but I doubt I would be getting lower than my previous marks if my effort was the same. Honestly if you're that worried, just start doing some work. I'm personally comfortable with my marks so I'm not trying to aim for mid-90s or anything. If you have the capability to get high 80s low 90s without trying, you should easily be able to pull your marks back up if you're willing to put the work in. That being said, 80s are still respectable marks and will get you into reputable programs in pretty much every field.
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A photo of KingKhan KingKhan
Most likely you didn't develop proper studying/working habits in grade 9/10 when the concepts were easy to understand and now that it's somewhat more challenging, you're having difficulties keeping up due to your lack of work habits.
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A photo of Jack555 Jack555
Marvill, sorry to hear that man. But there is still plenty of time to catch up.

In order to improve, simply spend more time on homework. Which may mean not going out with you friends on the weekend or something...


Anyways in regards to is low 80 a good mark, it depends on your subjects. If you got a low 80 in like Gym and Food and nutrition i dont think thats too great, but if you got a low 80 in english or chemistry, i think thats pretty good. Overall though I think low 80 is an average mark and you can still get into decent programs with it.

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A photo of ForeverPi ForeverPi
to do so bad in grade 12 compared to your other grades is strange....especially when it's around 10-15% difference from grades 9 and 10...

think about why you're doing so bad. Is it because you don't understand some concepts in the courses? or you're not doing your homework? which area is usually your lowest mark (knowledge, communication, application, or thinking)? What do you get wrong on tests? Is it only "stupid mistakes" or is it actually because you don't know how to do it?

Improve on any areas that you KNOW that you're weak in.

Or maybe it's that confidence you have gained in grades 9 and 10 that is causing your grades to lower. Personally, when i write tests, i find that when i'm confident that i'll do well, i usually don't. and when i'm not confident and am freaking out before a test, i do well.

when i'm confident that i know everything, i always accidentally skip some important concepts because i believe that i don't need to study it since i already know it. perhaps you the same?....

You still have a chance to boost your marks up. you'll probably be still accepted to most universities. but to be truthful, a low 80 overall average is nothing. don't set your goal to such low standards when you know that you can do better. imagine all the other students applying to university. Many of them have low 80 averages as well. You're basically the "average" person. Even low 90s are not that impressive once you consider how many students are the same as you and are applying to the same universities.
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A photo of ktel ktel
It sounds like you were able to rely on nothing but intelligence in grades 9 and 10, and now it's more about hard work than intelligence. If you put the time in you should see a corresponding increase in grades. And it will prepare you for university, where I can assure you you will have to have good work habits. Do you study for tests? Do you do your homework? I ask because it sounds like in grades 9 and 10 you may not have.
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A photo of OnionMage OnionMage
I think 80+ is good for like grade 8s and 9s but not good for grade 12s. There are lots of people at my school who get 90s in like EVERY subject. So yeah...80+ is ok but there are people with averages that are a lot higher (a lot of competition). Still, it does depend on the school and program that you want to go into.
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A photo of cassoo cassoo
Well I've heard from a LOT of sources that universities pay close attention to which school you went to when they look at your grades; some schools are considered "easier" than others. Basically, a 90% average coming from one school might be like an 85% from another school. So it's really hard to tell what's good and bad... I've also had guidance counsellors tell me that it's better to hold lowish (mid 80's) averages throughout your highschool years, than to have grades flying all over the place...
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A photo of Mevel Mevel
I"m in the exact same boat right now. My math mark is dismal compared to where i was in grades 9 and 10. For me, I know it's because I had terrible work habits. Now that the courses are more specified and theoretically the people taking them actually care, the work is so much harder. Teachers spend less time making sure you know the stuff in class, they expect you to figure most of it out on your own outside of school. Spend that extra time on your homework, asking questions and whatnot. Hopefully that'll bring your marks up to where you want them.
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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous
Which high school do you go to? Grade 12 courses are very different in their nature compared to grade 9 courses. Also, low 80s is not a bad average, and you will be accepted to most but not all university programs. Nonetheless you being a gifted student should be able to achieve more.


Other students have surpassed my abilities when they never really compared to me in the freshman and sophomore years. My friends are still achieving 90's in school while I am struggling to stay afloat in the 80's range. Have I lost my edge, my intelligence? Have I suddenly dumbed down in two short years?



This sounds about right for a gifted class. Grade 9 and 10 courses are graded based more on discipline and effort than ability. Many gifted children are just totally bored by these courses (especially the brighter ones) and coast along, often getting rather average marks. But this changes starting in grade 11 when the students start discovering their true interests and start taking courses with non-trivial content for the first time. Some of them will pull ahead very far, and make you look average. I can testify that in my particular gifted class, the people who had the highest averages in grade 9 and 10 never did exceptionally well in grade 11 and 12.

Also, "glory days", lol. Your writing style is pretty hilarious to me. You should consider writing humorous articles for publication.

PS: One side effect of being in the gifted program is that being surrounded by all these highly capable students may give you an illusion of being merely average. You'll get a reality check once in uni, and that's when you'll start to realize again just how far you're ahead of everyone else. All the students in my gifted class who graduated with 50-70's averages ended up being at the top of their classes in university, and of course those with 90s did even better.
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A photo of Meridian Meridian

@cassoo wrote
Well I've heard from a LOT of sources that universities pay close attention to which school you went to when they look at your grades; some schools are considered "easier" than others. Basically, a 90% average coming from one school might be like an 85% from another school. So it's really hard to tell what's good and bad... I've also had guidance counsellors tell me that it's better to hold lowish (mid 80's) averages throughout your highschool years, than to have grades flying all over the place...



The only Ontario University that compares (adjusts) high school marks is Waterloo Engineering. No other Ontario Uni (officially) adjusts where you come from for admission purposes.

Your Guidance counsellor's advice appears strange. What you need is a high enough top 6 average in grade 12 to get into the program you want. If an 80 will do that, then you met your personal goal. If you want McGill science or Waterloo Engineering, you are going to need low 90's to get in. 90's in grade 11 will get you early admission at most schools. Uni's don't look at grade 9 or 10 (or even see those grades) other than for the major application based scholarships.

-----------

Marvill --- my guess on your sliding performance is same as Ktel's. You are probably naturally very smart, but have not built the correct study habits to be able to ACE grade 12. You are going to need those skills if you want to "ACE" most Uni programs.
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A photo of Caroshin Caroshin
I'm in the same dilemma. After hours of concentrated study, 1 hour of daily review and enrichment, I'm scoring the lowest marks I've received in my entire school career. I've deleted my video games and reduced all possible distractions, and yet I'm doing worse than when I stayed up during a test night, playing games until midnight. Its very degrading and demoralizing..
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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous
This might be a little off topic, but way back then I guess I was considered to be one of the top students in class, and I guess I still kind of was in gr. 9, 10 and 11, but now I look at the admission requirements for business programs for uni, and I feel like a complete dumba** because the highest average I ever got was last year (87) and that's like a bare min for uni.
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A photo of KingKhan KingKhan

@utube9195 wrote
This might be a little off topic, but way back then I guess I was considered to be one of the top students in class, and I guess I still kind of was in gr. 9, 10 and 11, but now I look at the admission requirements for business programs for uni, and I feel like a complete dumba** because the highest average I ever got was last year (87) and that's like a bare min for uni.


An 87 is considered a "top student" at your school? That's really strange.
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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous
lmao I don't mean top top student. I mean like in terms of maybe 5% highest
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