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Why grades?

  1. Apr 8, 2007 #1
    I think colleges have been more grade focused over the past few years. Does someone with an 89 average know less than someone with a 90 average? Also, I think courses go WAY too fast. We should just focus on one topic and understand the theory and concepts instead of doing problem after problem. Then when the exam comes, your future is dependent on four problems. And when you get a bad grade, you ask yourself, "Am I stupid?"

    Proposed plan: have one semester where you can handin your homework and take exams whenever you want. What's the point of abiding by artificial guidelines when you don't truly understand the actual concepts?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 8, 2007 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Because people like to measure things, which in this case would be academic acheivement or progress. The problem comes from applying the same metric to everyone and doing it uniformly and fairly.

    Of course, someone who has an 89 probably knows as much as someone who has a 90 or 91 or even a 95.

    I think one complaint these days is that grades are more a reflection of the ability to perform on a test rather than actual knowledge.

    I seem to remember one university that does the first year on pass-fail, which makes sense.

    I certainly prefer learning at my own pace - which my vary depending upon my level of interest or amount of distraction.
  4. Apr 8, 2007 #3
    I agree with you, some people just memorize formulas and plug numbers in just to get the answer on an exam; a lot of people get As just using this method because others are doing exactly the same thing. As long as one does more problem (more practices) than the others, he/she get As.

    But then, the whole purpose of learning physics ideas are gone. physics becomes like biology.

    Despite this... there still needs to be exams though. It would be better if the exams are based on derivations and physics postulates instead of number punching.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2007
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