Grading Strategies That Replace Letters and Numbers

Is replacing the letter and number grades to a pass or fail a good idea? Many schools have thought about making changes to the grading system. Multiple parents and teachers have different opinions about it. Replacing the letter and number grades with a pass or fail is a bad idea because the classroom effort will decrease, competition among students will lower, and colleges will be stumped when it comes to picking the best for the college. Classroom effort will start decreasing dramatically.

Students will start getting lazy with school work. For example, why try hard on schoolwork when a student can receive a low grade, and still pass? Students will start getting bored in the classroom and the lesson. Why would a student try to stay focused on a lesson when they can skip the homework assignment for the night and still pass? Test scores will lower, because if a student can make below-average grades and can be as good as a student that makes above average-grades, then why try? To all of these questions, there is a very simple and straightforward answer, because they will pass.

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The students who do the bare minimum, students who give just enough effort to pass will all pass, and with an A the highest grade. To give an example of this, I just had to take a world history test and the comment for the test said “you must score a 13/26 or higher to receive credit” and before we took the test we were encouraged to look at a nearpod that he had made, the nearpod takes about an hour to get through but it has everything we need to do well on the test.

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So, I do the nearpod and score a 25/26 and I was proud of that grade, very proud, I had done the work, put in the effort, and got the result I wanted. But then, the realization of the situation hit me, my grade on the assignment, didn’t matter!

As long as I got above a 13 on the test, everything was fine, so hypothetically if someone took the test without watching the nearpod, or looking at any slides or notes that the teacher left, and guessed their way to 13, they would have the same grade as me, someone who took the time to do it right and who gave the effort to do it well. Because of this factor, I find myself losing the motivation to do work because I know that even if I try my hardest, someone who just barely puts their name on a paper can get the same grade, and as a result of this A’s are starting to lose their meaning to me. Before, when we were in school and we had a grading system, they used to be a goal that I had, something that I had to strive to achieve and work hard for, I used to have to push past what I thought I was capable of just to get an A.

But now, all you have to do is show up for your meeting, press “submit” on your assignments, and boom, there you go, just like that you have an A. By definition the purpose of grading is “ to clearly, accurately, consistently, and fairly communicate learning progress and achievement to students, families, postsecondary institutions, and prospective employers.” The big question is if grading is meant to accurately represent a student and what they can do, how is it possible to do that in a system that gives them an instant A? And the answer is simple, you can’t. You can not possibly represent a student’s real capability in this grading system for better or for worse, they can not be accurately represented.

So, as far as i’m concerned grading has no meaning to it because you can’t do it, you can’t grade in this system, in my humble opinion, it shouldn’t even be called grading, because that confuses it with the process of representing a students capability, accomplishments and their overall ability to learn. So I think in this new system the name should be called “checking” because all teachers have to do is check if students have done the work or not, and then call it complete or incomplete. In this new system, there is no sense of accomplishment, you either did the work or you didn’t, and that is not fair to the students that try to give out their best possible ability and being met with the same grade that everyone else is getting.

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Grading Strategies That Replace Letters and Numbers. (2020, Sep 06). Retrieved from

Grading Strategies That Replace Letters and Numbers

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