Ratings. Each student had to deal with grades. From daily assignments to a final exam, grades are used to see whether or not students understand course material. While there are many things I wish I had kept the same about grading, grades and grading styles are one of the few things that middle school has surpassed high school in.
Coming from a high school with a “normal” grading system: the A- to A+ range is 90 to 100, B- to B+ was 80 to 89, etc. in colleges, teachers can now grade on a curve. This means that an 85 could be turned into an A. These curved grades can be presented in the syllabus at the start of the semester, or for individual review, allowing professors to more quickly understand whether or not the class needs a curve. .
The difference in grades also allowed teachers to grade and evaluate the class in a different way than in high school. In math class, there were still exams and quizzes; in others, you had a business that needed to be started; a painting of Greek gods and goddesses, a person’s ability to weave a basket. All of these things were new opportunities that opened up because the grades didn’t need to be so rigid anymore.
Every teacher now has the ability to determine what they think is an accurate understanding of the material based on a grade. My economics teacher last semester had a B at 82, which for my CORE class, was a B-. The idea of a professional in this field thinking about what is considered acceptable is so much more applicable in the world of work than a catch-all system that high school students were forced to submit to.
For more difficult courses, such as Physics 142, the teacher knows that the material covered is extremely difficult, and is able to have situations where they make the notation different, but fair.
The professional world is completely different depending on your profession. Meteorologists can sometimes be wrong in their predictions, but a detective should not be mistaken about the identity of the culprit or what happened during the event.
Meteorologists have a margin of error, just like florists and photographers. So, for example, the grading system for relevant majors in these areas may be more lenient. On the other hand, a detective has no room for inaccuracy any more than a policeman or an engineer. Having notes can help simulate what it’s going to be like. A harsh grading scale is fair for careers or majors that don’t have much wiggle room, like dentistry or neuroscience.
College gave us more responsibility and a simulation of what our careers are going to look like. Now, while the real world will be different from college, universities try to help simulate what the working world looks like, and their idea of grading helps us understand the working world.
The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Torch.