Under time, under pressure

Students need more than six weeks to complete academic work

Every six weeks, students get a progress report reminding them of their grades. This affects students in different ways like academic stress. (Cielo Muniz Sigala)

As the class settles in their seats, a lecture that students know all too well is performed by the teacher: a reminder of the annual six week progress report. The familiar lecture is recited again at the end of the period, only to be retold in each class to follow for the remainder of the week until the Friday of the report’s release. While the progress report itself is stressful, the days, sometimes weeks, leading up to the report can induce even greater anxiety upon students. The mentally damaging nature of progress reports is ultimately counterproductive in producing academic success.

Throughout a student’s academic career at Bonita Vista High (BVH) every six weeks they will be badgered with the news of progress report grades. These reports reflect the student’s grades thus far in the semester. While this quarterly report is sent with the intention of academic accountability, the report is also a prime source of academic stress.

The way the progress reports operate, teachers are tasked to send in grades as far as a week before the actual report is sent out, with the timing varying from teacher to teacher. To ensure that their grade is depicted at its best, students work to get all missing and current assignments turned in by their teacher’s set due date. While completing these assignments is a challenge in itself, dealing with the numerous different deadlines from teacher to teacher only adds to the anxiety students face with six week progress reports.

Due dates are a standard part of being a student, with good time management and responsible skills being a true archetype of what it means to be academically successful. However, overstressing students with the additional due dates on the brink of every six week report is detrimental to the well-being of students. As the academic pressure continues to regularly build on students, their mental health begins to decline.

The pressure that six-week progress reports generate can be so detrimental to students’ mental health that it produces serious mental health disorders. According to What are the Effects of Academic Pressure by Pacific Teen Treatment, levels of academic stress can result in increased prevalence of psychological and physical problems like depression, anxiety, nervousness, and stress-related disorders, which in turn can adversely affect academic results.”


“As the academic pressure continues to regularly build on students, their mental health begins to decline.””

— Amanda Cortes


Not only does this demonstrate how the stress of progress reports can be extremely destructive to the well-being of students, but how progress reports can create issues that ultimately affect a student’s success in school.

When students are overwhelmed with stress, that weakens their ability to achieve academic success in a variety of ways. A study conducted by New York University [NYU] found that of 59.9% of students facing above average academic stress, 25.9% felt a negative impact on their academic performance. Thus, academic stress can be so harmful that it affects a student’s academic success.

It is evident that progress reports are an extreme cause of stress and a significant problem among students. When the stress of report cards gets so hard for students that it produces serious mental health disorders that weaken their academic success, this ultimately makes the six week progress reports counter productive. 

Continuous releases of the six week progress report encourages the destruction of a student’s mental health. The wellbeing of students should be prioritized over a recurring progress report. When the school sends progress reports with the intent of maintaining academic progress and responsibility, the negative effects of academic stress make progress reports ultimately unsuccessful in upholding these values.