Albert Einstein, the world’s most loved genius, has always had a controversy-laden history, especially when it came to his basic academics. Urban legend firmly states that Albert Einstein was a below average student and only excelled when he gave up such trivial pursuits as a school education. However, a very rare manuscript has proven that Albert Einstein was not only a good student, but had the early signs of a genius.
Albert Einstein wasn’t a bad student by any of today’s modern standards. His matriculate certificate bears witness to his efforts at becoming a good student. The certificate shows he received straight sixes in algebra, geometry, physics, and history as well, reported Einstein-Website. In his “Certificate of Qualification” for university matriculation, the lessons which he was less interested in can easily be detected. But the average grade in his certificate was a 5. This grade was officially recognized as “Good.”
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Then why does the world consider Albert Einstein to be a bad student? Perhaps the urban legend is founded on the fact that the Swiss school system has a 6 as best grade, and 1 as poorest, while the German is the other way round.
Hence the world considers young Albert to be a student of the German education system, when in fact, he studied in a Swiss school. In 1895, at the age of sixteen, Einstein appeared for the entrance examinations for the Swiss Federal Polytechnic in Zurich (later the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule ETH). He obtained the best results in the mathematical and natural science subjects, but in the linguistic and historical subjects his achievements were considered “unsatisfactory.” His overall result was rated as “insufficient.”
On the advice of the Principal of the Polytechnic, he attended the Aargau Cantonal School in Aarau, Switzerland, in 1895–96 to complete his secondary schooling. Within a year, in September 1896, he passed the Swiss Matura with a remarkable improvement. Needless to say, young Einstein earned top grade of 6 in Physics and mathematical subjects. At the tender age of 17, Albert Einstein was absolutely clear about his life’s pursuits and hence enrolled in the four-year mathematics and physics teaching diploma program at the Zürich Polytechnic.
Having derived theorems that still baffle and bother scientists across the world, Einstein is often mistaken to be a poor student. So poor in studies was he that many go as far as saying he quit school. But as the records prove, Albert Einstein was never a dull student.
[Image Credit | Rare Historical Photos, Siliconeer]