Posted by: | 29th Oct, 2008

Grading Systems

Arghh!!! Excuse me while I rant a bit here. After all, that’s what blogs are for right? I don’t think I have quite fulfilled my quota of angst on this blog, so here goes.
I am pretty certain that universities were made to destroy egos. Now, in some cases this can be a good thing. But, most of the time, destroying the spirit of innocent first years is just mean. All through high school, ninety percents are handed out for practically zero work, then you come to UBC and suddenly you can’t get them no matter how hard you try! (there are some exceptions of course, like in the language classes, but still) You come to expect certain grades, then you feel like a total idiot when you can’t achieve them. Why does this happen? It’s because they use the same marking system as high school (percents). I get that university papers have to be marked harder, but why can’t they use a different system so that you evaluate your performance based on the marks you got on previous university assignments, and other people results, and not your high school results which are completely unreasonable to expect yet you can’t help doing it anyway. There would be way less depressed students if high school was only letter grades, and university was only percent (for example) and there was no similarity.
Well, that is my idea. Any others?


Well that’s the thing. If the system is not the same, it’d be hard to decide on admission, wouldn’t it? With letter grades, you don’t know if your A is 80%, or a 90%. The percentage makes a (rather huge) difference in deciding admission–those with higher percentages are deemed to be more…”adapted” for university work than those with a low average. They need some sort of standard to compare students to.

And as you said it, high school marks are way over inflated. I don’t like how high school spoon feeds you everything, you don’t need to work for a mark, and it’s all given to you on a golden plate. I guess the difference in grades is a really big shock to first years–I still vividly remember my first midterm at UBC. Not pretty.

I totally understand what you mean. Coming here, getting my grades back, being disappointed, it all makes me doubt my intelligence. I feel stupid.

“(there are some exceptions of course, like in the language classes, but still)” – unfortunately I blogged about a language class earlier, even it’s not an exception..

I was in your shoes about three years ago. Before heading into the IB program at my school, I was used to receiving 100’s and being disappointed at 95s. Let’s just say I haven’t seen marks like that in three years, but I don’t think that deters me from trying hard or believing in myself.

More essential than marks is how you rank compared to your peers. We all had good marks in high school (okay maybe except IBers who got screwed by the ridiculously hard course load), so university is here to separate the wheat from the chaff. Knowing you Jayne, you’ll rise way about the curve!

Awww thanks Pheobe you are the best. By the way, we need to get together as a blog squad sometime before the exam rush sets in.
Its good to know that a lot of people felt the same way as me. I have heard other people talking about it too.
As for IB, holy cow! I was not in it and I really respect those of you who were. High school was much much easier for me (which meant i could do a million extra-curriculars which was great). IB sounds ridiculously difficult. the only thing I don’t really get is IB for elementary school. They won’t make it super hard on the little kids will they? because that would be totally unecessary.
And Irene, I get what you mean about some language courses. My friend is taking intro to german and getting like 97%. Im taking french for people who took french 12 and it is getting pretty intense now.
Night everyone!

I agree; it has definitely become how you rank in comparison with everybody else. I don’t like that too much, though, because now some people are starting to get overly competitive.

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