Effects of Grading System on Students – A Critical Analysis

Indian Education system took a metaphorical leap in the year 2009-2010 when CBSE introduced Grading System to assess the educational performance of a child. The dominant idea behind this was to do away with the deleterious effects of the primeval system of awarding marks to students. It was surmised that it would help the students by reducing their stress levels and pressure to perform which often compelled them to adopt dire steps like committing suicide. However, a pertinent question is whether the grading system could prove its mettle or the entire exercise was simply futile.

The introduction of the grading system has long been debatable focusing on its advantages and disadvantages. This article further discusses both perspectives.

Advantages:

  • Reduced pressure to score– In the Grading Systema student’s real scores are not accounted on the official transcript, which significantly curtails undue pressure to fight for every single mark in any exam. The students just need to target a grade and are spared from getting preoccupied and becoming fussy about scoring more in each of the subject.
  • Easier assessment of performance – The Grading system entails a fairly regular system of assessing the student’s performance on the basis of monthly assignments, objective and subjective tests, presentations, quizzes, and the final term paper. With elimination of one paper marking system, the students can now concentrate on enhancing their performance in every small task and score an overall good grade.
  • Gives a better idea of students’ strengths and weaknesses – The Grading system puts a finger on weak and strong spots, the students can easily decide where to concentrate and direct their efforts. They know about their lacking abilities through the assigned grades and work on them to improve overall performance.

Disadvantages:

  • Diminished performance standards – While targeting a certain grade, the students know that they will achieve it even if they make some mistakes. This lets them adopt a casual approach towards their preparation and might refrain from putting in their best efforts.
  • Grades don’t represent the knowledge gained – Passing in an examination cannot be considered plausible enough to declare that the same student has gained sufficient amount of knowledge. As the marks obtained fall in the bracket of a certain grade, the students at the lowermost percentile of the bracket are placed alongside those who score the highest percentile. This is an inaccurate representation of the performance of the students.
  • Takes away the spirit of competition – Competition among peers is not necessarily bad as it can act as a catalyst for improvement. In the grading system, all that required is a mere pass mark, which diminishes the urge to outperform others and the wish to excel with the overall grades.

While we can keep debating on the weightage of the pros and cons of the Grading System, we must not shy away from the fact that ultimate motive of any assessment method should be to ascertain the level of knowledge gained by a student. Grades without knowledge is a fleeting phenomenon which will not help the students in the long run.

 

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