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Marks and Marking System

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Grading students requires teacher’s highest concentration and unbiased approach. When the “curve” method of grading is used, certain distortion of the grades occurs in general and some students’ results may be underestimated, while the results of the others will be overestimated.  The reason teachers use the method of grading “on a curve” is that an average score per class may be too low due to the complexity of the assessment, taken by students. Grading “on a curve”, teacher can enhance the class average performance in a few ways, e.g. by adding an equal number of points to all the students’ grades. It allows the top-scoring students get a 100 out of 100, and the rest of the class get their points improved as well.

There is one significant shortcoming about this method both for teachers and students. Teachers grade the students with higher marks, while their actual level of knowledge is lower. Students who get their grades “on a curve”, become self-reassured that they actually deserve the higher marks they were given by the teacher, not the actual ones.  We can see the decrease of the level of motivation of teachers to improve, especially while working on the creation of the tests for the students. The marks, obtained by grading “on a curve”, allow to have an artificially created advantage, as students get higher grades at no extra efforts.

Overall student motivation might either improve or decrease, depending on the student’s expectations and reality.  Good students will lose motivation, as they will be getting higher marks, close to perfection, and will not see any need to improve. Meanwhile, students with usually lower grades will be motivated, as they will be presented with their own successful improvement of the academic achievements. They would be working harder, motivated to get to the top ratings of the class and beat the average.

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