“+” And “-“ Can Make a Huge Difference

Ephraim Lu, Staff Writer

   With the end of the first semester, numerous students are stressed and disappointed about their borderline grades that were only a percent, or even a fraction of a percent, away from the perfect “A.” Unfortunately, many teachers refuse to give the extra point, saying, “Sorry, try harder next semester,” or, “If I raise your grades, then I have to raise everyone else’s grades” Therefore, for the sake of these “almost-there” students, the “+” and “-”grading system must be established.

   Many students oppose the idea of installing this policy, arguing that it would lower their grade point averages; however, it can actually bring grade averages up. For instance, take a person who got an 88.9% in a class and another who got 82.3%; it would be difficult for the person who got the 88.9% to accept the fact that he received the same grade as the person who received six percent less. The new grading system will help thoroughly and precisely differentiate the different levels of academic achievement.

   On another note, this new grading method will also encourage students to try harder. Because there is a chance of getting the extra “+,” students will be less likely to give up on continue striving in class.

   That very incentive, however, may explain why students oppose this new policy. Students are only hoping to reach the bare minimum of their potential—aiming for a 90% rather than a 100%, because they both earn them an “A.”

   Erik Hu (11) says “it would help some and hurt some, but personally it would probably hurt me more than it would help.” In a different light, Abraham Pan (12) says that “it should depend on the person because it gives colleges more to think about.”

   The plus-or-minus grading scale should become available for those who want to show colleges the true value of their grades.