Is it OK to get a “B?”

HAPS is a society focused on the teaching and learning anatomy and physiology, but educators are just half of this equation.  We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for our students.  Check out the third post in a series of HAPS blog posts featuring A&P student extraordinaire, Becca Ludwig.  

A message from Becca!
A post from Becca!

Many times in college I have wondered if getting a “B” in a class was acceptable, meeting the expectation, or showing a sound understanding of the material. At the end of the semester and grades are posted I often analyze my growing transcript. I find myself thinking “If I worked a little harder I could have gotten an A.” My question to the professors is this: Is getting a “B” in a class okay?

Many students who are driven tend to feel pressured into obtaining the “A” standard and being the best that they could possibly be. I would classify myself as one of these students. I am passionate about my major and want to learn as much as I can in school. In doing some self-reflection I think a lot of my need to get the “A” is so that I can show my employer that I mastered the material. What I do not understand is that just because I have an “A” on the transcript do I really know the material? I can pass a test, perform a lab exam, present a good project, but does that really show that I know the material and can apply it to my potential patient? I feel like getting an “A” can be over rated at times. I would rather focus on the learning and mastering the material than on the letter associated with it.

When we focus so much on grades, sometimes we forget to learn.
When we focus so much on grades, sometimes we forget to learn.

I feel like getting the proper feedback from a professor can make all the difference in how I feel about the letter grade. If the professor tells me both positive feedback and constructive feedback as to why and where my points were deducted I feel better about my overall score because I know how I could have improved and continue to make changes to show that I am learning the material. The thing that frustrates me the most is when I get no feedback, positive or constructive, about the work that I do. How am I supposed to know what I am doing well or what I can do to improve? I understand that it is a balance. There is always room for improvement and that is why there is school. Getting both the positive and the constructive feedback means more to me than the letter grade.

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