True or false: Grades don’t lie

In Opinion

Professors have always expected students to comply with their requests, no matter how unreasonable they might be. The majority of the time students do not comply. However, sometimes students can exceed expectations.

During my long years of education, of course I have earned grades that would make my parents question my existence. It happens. On one joyous occasion I received a “D” on a paper, the reason not being incompetence, but being too competent.

The professor simply said to me, “This paper is too good, it’s master’s thesis-level work.” Shouldn’t that excite a professor, not cause them to question why I am turning in such exceptional work?

When professors teach one subject, over time they feel they are the authority on that one subject. They encourage their students to give their opinions, only to be shot down, not being aware of the knowledge one possesses outside of that subject.

Granted, I have had some great professors who are open-minded and genuinely encourage students to share their thoughts. Kudos to them, appreciation is well deserved.

Everybody has their own way of translating their smarts, in hopes of earning a decent grade in the class they are begrudgingly taking. Some students are excellent test-takers and have the ability to cram all needed information in their brains in one all-night session.

Others are horrible test-takers and need to show their strengths through assignments, class participation and papers. Nonetheless, we all need to get through each class, with each teacher’s specific qualifications.

Multiple Choice: Need I say more? Claiming there is one clear, right answer is just lies. Those tricky second-best answers can get the best out of anyone.

Readings: Yes, we all can read. But assigning us three books a week will not end well, especially with pop quizzes that remind us what slackers look like. Not it.

Curve? What curve? When I, as well as the rest of the class, do the math, the numbers do not add up. I’m desperately hoping that was an honest mistake.

Assessing: Grades are supposedly a representation of a students’ performance, a type of measure. But measuring it can be tricky. Since it us unobservable, you cannot just look at it or weigh it. Especially when there are 80 bodies in a spacious lecture hall, the teacher is not able to place a name with a face.

Grades are the only way in judging students’ performance. But until some genius deciphers a new way, we are stuck.

Thank you, professor who inspired this article, who will not be named. In the future you just might find an anonymous packet in your teacher’s mailbox, anonymous until you notice the byline on my many, many articles.

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One commentOn True or false: Grades don’t lie

  • You should write up the prof.

    I agree that grades don’t necessarily reflect the student. I mean, hell, I am not my grades. That includes the As. But it really is the only gauge we have, at least in regards to much of the school system. It would be cool to do the whole no grades–go hippies! thing, but.. yeah. Doubt that would be any good either.

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