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Why do letter grades exist

  1. Apr 27, 2005 #1


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    As mentioned in this thread, letter grades are not standardized. People can't even be compared with letter grades, so what's the point of such a system?
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  3. Apr 27, 2005 #2


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    I always thought letter grades were dumbass ideas. If they're not accurate and fluctuate in ranges from place to place what's the point? :confused:
  4. Apr 27, 2005 #3


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    Well the fluctuating grades are not the real problem. You could have an emensly hard class with a 15% deviation per grade and the work put in for a B (which would be at the least, a 70% or a C in any other class) would not be equivalent to B effort in a 10% deviation class.

    If you could say... gauge real world effort, its kind of like this. Lets say you put in 500 'work' points in this scale we create. Lets say that 500 is worth a B in a normal 10% deviation class. Lets say you have a hard as heck class though. In that hard class, its appropriate to re-define grades because 500 work points may only be worth a 70%! Thus, you would make a 70% worth a B so that the letter grades on your transcript match up with the work you do. Whether this is used correctly in practice is a very case-by-case problem.
  5. Apr 27, 2005 #4
    Grades exist to define where people are at. It is really the duty of the teacher to decided how difficult it is to get a certain grade. Just because you may need a 95 for an A in one class, and an 85 for an A in another class does not mean that one is easier than the other. Meaning that, imo, an A is an A regardless of whether you needed a 97, or a 78, to receive it.
  6. Apr 27, 2005 #5
    For me, i prefer if they make a scale of 100 points to the grades, instead of 4 letters...

    I am almost goin back home, since i am almost losing my scholarship. And this becuase of two letter grades where i got EXACTLY on the border to pass tothe next letter, while in terms of numbers, it apears much nicer, much more nicer. [WTF? getting B+ and losing 0.5 point per credit in that class just by losing ONE POINT from 450 and gettin in the border of two letters, i am hanging myself soon... :bugeye: ]
  7. Apr 27, 2005 #6


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    The letter grades are standardized within a school system which is usually at least an entire city and really don't seem to vary much across the country. Private schools are usually a bit tougher. My older daughter went to school in 5 different states (GA, NY, IL, PA & KS) and no noticeable difference. I really don't see a problem with it.
  8. Apr 27, 2005 #7


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    Good grief! Wouldn't anybody keep her? I thought it was the younger one that was Evil. :tongue:
  9. Apr 27, 2005 #8


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    Well yah that sucks but i think it normalizes itself out. I think you'd probably get as much 81%'s as 79%'s so it kinda equilizes. What i hate is how different class levels affect your grade. LIke this one girl who was one of the magna cum laude (or whichevers the absolute top) had 1 AP class and a few honor classes and the rest were regular high school classes. She gets 4.32 while this one guy i know who took... i think about 20 AP classes and the rest were honor classes (except a few regular high school level classes you have to take and he got a single B and got 4.31
  10. Apr 27, 2005 #9


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    There is no way to standardize grades across different teachers, subjects and schools, so letters are as good as any other. All it really does is roughly sort students out into general categories.
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