Why are Grades Slipping this Year?

Classes seem to be harder than ever - why is that?

National Education Association

Classes seem to be harder than ever – why is that?

Imaan Moten, Photojournalist

If you were like a vast majority of the students at Yorba Linda High School, you may have noticed that your grades are starting to slip a little more than usual, or your classes are becoming a little bit harder to understand. I certainly know that this is the case for myself –  especially in classes like math where there is so much background information necessary in order to understand the lessons that you are receiving. Another thing that is extremely different this year is the testing environment and the way that tests are set up. After being online for almost a year and a half, there is no question that we are not used to the norm anymore. 

For most students that are taking classes like Algebra 2/Trig, you need to know all of the basics that one might have learned in Pre-algebra or Algebra 1; however, in March of 2020 our school had become basically optional and completely online. This change severely impacted what we were learning and how we were learning it.  This was a big adjustment for a lot of people and many were lacking the motivation to really try and understand the material. When you are trying to learn a new problem without the background information and true understanding of how to set up a problem, how are you expected to do it successfully? 

Another situation that came up during the 2020/2021 school year was that the testing format was extremely modified. All tests were a hundred percent online and not as strictly proctored, so it was easier for students to cheat on them and pay less attention in class. This has certainly been an issue for me personally because I feel as if I’m not used to certain types of tests anymore, such as multiple-choice tests. I’m also not able to maintain a lot of the habits that I had during in-person school because I lost so many of them when I was online. 

When asking students how they felt about the school year thus far, a lot of them had responded with the general idea being that it’s harder to adjust to the workflow and the testing environment. A sophomore at Yorba Linda High School, Hendrix Morris (10) commented that “My theory is that grades are slipping this year because students now are having a harder time understanding the material and studying for tests after being online for so long,”