You probably know by now that doing well in academics and graduating with good grades is no longer a guarantee for success in life as it were in the past.

These days, we see many who graduate with excellent grades struggle to make progress in life. In fact, a lot are either unemployed or underemployed.

On the other hand, we also see those who failed in their academics and graduated with very poor CGPAs making progress and succeeding.

So, a good question to ask at this point is this:

Is graduating with good grades or a high CGPA useless?


Even though graduating with good grades is no longer a guarantee for success in life, it is important to note this fact:

It is generally easier for those who graduate with good grades to make progress and succeed in life than it is for those who finish with poor grades.

Having said that, it is equally important to note that a student can fail in academics, graduate with poor grades, and still succeed speedily in life. But then, there are signs.

So, before you write off a student simply because he/she is failing academically, look out for these signs.

A student who has got poor grades but shows these signs will succeed in life after he/she graduates:

1. He/she is pursuing a passion

Students who will succeed in life know their passion or future ambition and are doing something about it.

While other students get busy reading hard and cramming theories to pass exams and get good grades, such students focus on building their future ambition or pursuing their passion.

In fact, their pursuit of passion might be the reason why they’re failing in their academics.

This reminds me of Tunji (an engineering student). When others were busy cramming formulae and solving differential equations, Tunji was busy organizing and managing events ‘opandan’.

Now; 2 years after graduation, Tunji owns a big and succeeding events management outfit while many of his mates with better grades are still hustling for employment.

2. He/she is hardworking

Granted, a student might be failing in academics because he/she has a lazy attitude towards studies.

However, if such student is hardworking in other areas (especially in pursuing a passion or in execution) then he/she is closer to success in life than many others who have better grades.

3. He/she hardly complains

Let’s face it – there’re too many things to complain about as a Nigerian student. But again, there are a few of such things we can help to fix.

Students who will succeed in life don’t sit around complaining about the bad situations; they get out there and do something about it.

And if they can’t help change or fix it, they find a way around it and simply move on.

So, for such students, instead of complaining of “No jobs” they’re busy seeking for ways to avoid being counted amongst the unemployed upon graduation.

4. He/she has got a sell-able skill – at least one

Show me a student who has got a skill to render in exchange for cash, and I’ll show you a student who will not struggle to survive after he/she graduates.

If a student has got a skill (whether soft or hard skill), and people are willing to give money in exchange for it, then he/she is closer to success compared to others who have excellent CGPAs but no sell-able skills.

5. He/she is eager to graduate

Such students are very eager to graduate into the labor market mainly because they’ve got stuff they want to do or offer and schooling is holding them back in a way.

Even though they might be ‘somehow’ pursuing their passion while in school, they’ve got bigger goals to pursue outside of school.

6. He/she ‘rolls’ with the right folks

Of course, the friends we keep go a long way in influencing us. They can even hasten our journey to success.

Their friends are like-minds. Together, they know they’ve got ideas and ‘stuff’ to offer and that’s what they mostly discuss and not academics.

7. He/she has positive believes

Such students have a strong believe in their abilities to become successful in life. Their mindsets are positive!

They believe they will make it despite not having poor grades. They believe their success is not tied to their grades. They believe they can’t fail in life.

To them success is a thing of the mind, and not grades.


It won’t hurt to have excellent grades and still have these 7 signs. But then, if you have poor grades and can see yourself with all or some of these 7 signs, be happy and keep building a success-mindset.

You can also add to the list. Looking forward to your comments!