The Grading System – Good or Bad?
Most of us are familiar with the popular grading system having been subjected to it all our schooling years. While the objective of the grading system is to chalk the students’ academic progress, it fails to indicate the effectiveness with which students are grasping, absorbing, retaining and applying the knowledge they have gained.
The flaw in the system lies in the fact that a single letter is expected to convey way too much information. While the grade might be successful in conveying the level of performance it is not helpful to the student or the administrator in determining further course of action. The performance of a child in an exam depends on a number of factors, viz preparation, intellect, emotional set up etc. So two children could end up getting the same grade despite having different levels of intellect simply because one was better prepared or because the other was under some emotional stress. Hence using the grading system to gauge a student’s academic progress is flawed and leaves much to be desired. Another drawback Is that students, teachers and parents shape their perceptions around grades. They encourage students with similar grades to form groups.
We need a new system to evaluate the progress of our students. The grading system should not be about performance in a test but about recording the child’s progress between evaluations. It should be able to gauge a student’s level of knowledge and performance so that a lower-ability child should be able to see his progress no matter how slowly he charters his course, and a high-ability student should be aware that there are still some things to learn.