Grades are actually teacher’s evaluation of a student’s performance. They are often shown in the form of letters (e.g. A, B, C, D, F,) or numbers (e.g. 1-10.), although in some countries they do not use either of these systems. Grades can also be on a number scale. Typically a midpoint score is a pass. Sometimes the numbers can go in descending order to indicate better performance. Grading system in the field of education is a system that helps in assessing the level of educational performance of the child which is based entirely upon the points only. Though the grading system does not at all enhance the ability of the students to think different or to develop a process of creation of any idea still it owns a great place and serve as an indispensable medium to assess the grasping and performing ability of the students. Mainly, the grades were assessed by adding up the marks attained by the student in each subject and dividing the marks obtained by total marks. There are many other ways too to assess the grades. Different schools and colleges adopt different ways of assessing the grades as per their needs and standards.
Advantages and disadvantages of grading system:
Advantages of grading system: Grading system is considered an integral part in the education system to assess the overall performance of the students. Let us look in detail the advantages that arise because of the grading system.
1. Discrimination among the students: The grading system makes it possible to create discrimination among the students. The studious can be easily discriminated from the average students and the below average students. When the studious, average and below average are discriminated they are divided into different group of same category. This makes it possible for the teachers to focus on teaching the average and below average group of students in a much effective manner and making the concepts clear to them. This method has also brought the advantage to the students that their grading will be assessed based on their performance in their assignments, projects, answering abilities and their overall performance in examination.
2. Students get to know about their strength and weakness: The grading system enables the students to have a clear idea about their strengths and weaknesses. They clearly know about the subjects in which they are weak and can work effectively upon those subjects. This helps them in gaining command over the weak subjects.
3. Relieve the students from the pressure of scoring: The general grading system where students are assigned grades from O to A has helped the students a lot in getting rid of the pressure that aroused out of attaining more and more marks. The students now do not strive to score more marks. In fact, they are happy scoring GPA’s and not being compared to other students.
4. Rendezvous of ideas: When students are taught a concept or subject in classroom they develop a sense of responsibility to work upon their parts. Thus, this helps in building the sense of engagement among the students to learn about a particular subject or topic in which they are weak.
Thus, with the help of grading system, students are able to get rid of a lot of unnecessary pressure and they are able to involve in their academic activities with much more interest.
Disadvantages of grading system: There is no single thing in the world that has not popped up with any negative effects. Everything carries its own advantages and disadvantages. Same is the case with grading system. It has its own disadvantages. We are now going to discuss the disadvantages of grading system.
1. It does not serve as an accurate scoring system: The grading system does not serve as an accurate scoring system. Suppose the students may have scored A or C in any subject but these would have made great disparity in the student’s sense of accomplishment. Sometimes, the actual knowledge gained by the students is nil as compared to their grades thus, these do not serve as an accurate scoring system and fail to depict the actual knowledge gained by the students in their academic session.
2. It does not accurately present the performance of student: The grading system also fails to clearly depict the actual performance of the students. These only show the grades attained or marks scored by the students and fail to show the actual level of performance of the students.
3. It does not show the knowledge gained by students: Attaining grades in examination does not clearly show the amount of actual knowledge gained by students. Some students are actually weak at writing and are not able to showcase their knowledge merely through an examination. Thus, the grading system fails to impart a clear view of knowledge of the students.
4. It does not put in a sense of competition: Students these days mainly aim at attaining the passing marks and does not get involved in an intense competition to score more marks. This lack of sense of hitting the competition makes them go lazy and they do not focus much on scoring more.
Thus there are certain advantages and disadvantages that arise as a result of existing grading system. Thus , grading system should be such that students should feel motivated enough to score more grades with an increasing level of knowledge. It should be able to depict the actual level of knowledge and performance of each student. They should be able to develop a keen interest in their academic tasks. Grading system should be such that it encourages the students to score more and at the same time work efficiently.
(The author is a teacher at Govt High School Brakpora Anantnag. Views are exclusively his own)