Performance Reviews are like report cards, and I hear that they stay on your permanent record. Best of all, you don't have to get them signed by your parents. So, don't sweat them. However, they can be used as justifications for pay increases, so, don't completely blow them off, or it might come back to haunt you. For your convenience, I have developed a handy "Performance Metric to Report Card Grade" comparison Chart.
Below Expectations (similar to a D or F...your gonna get in trouble for this)
Met Expectations (a C...which has become known as average. Since everyone is average, expected a lot of these)
Exceeded Expectations (maps to a B...You did something really good for someone)
Greatly Exceeded Expectations (maps to an A...this rating is actually an urban legend in cubeville).
So, I know what you are thinking, since there is no way that you can get a GEE, you certainly must "Exceeded Expectations." Common mistake, but wrong. You are, most likely, going to have"Met Expectations." Why? The Person who is evaluating you may be trying to give you decent feedback, but, they are also distributing these ratings based on a bell curve. And at the top of that curve? You got it: Met Expectations.
So, does your self review really matter? Sure it does. If anything, it gives you an opportunity to reflect back on what you have achieved in the past and plan out where you would like to be in the future. Should you wait until the last day to compile this reflection? Probably not.