Absolute grading is helpful because it encourages hard work among students. Grades are given using predetermined cut-off levels, which, if not hit, the particular grade is not awarded (Conway, 2020). Students, therefore, have to work hard to realize their target grades. The grading system gives teachers an easy job awarding grades because the cut-off levels are already provided, so student marks fall in definite grade levels (Conway, 2020). Absolute grading reflects the actual grasp of the content to both the students and teachers because the marks are raw and absolute (Conway, 2020). Therefore, students cannot lie to themselves or their teachers because the marks tell the truth.
The grading system is problematic because it may make students lose hope when their marks are low. It directly reflects students’ efforts, and some may be discouraged by their absolute marks (Conway, 2020). Where students compete for the same position, absolute grading may not work well because it aims to give a true reflection of each student rather than showing the winner.
Relative grading is advantageous because one’s actual marks are overshadowed. Here total marks do not matter, but the highest mark is essential. Grading begins with the highest mark, which will be graded as an A even if low, and so on. Therefore, it helps students not give up on their pursuit of academic excellence. Their actual mark is not scrutinized unless everyone else scores exceptionally high marks except a few or a particular student (Dekhtyar et al., 2018). Relative grading is a perfect system for competitive exams because it makes it easy to categorize students (Dekhtyar et al., 2018). Where students are competing for the same position, it gives teachers an easy task grading their students.
The grading system is disadvantageous because students’ grades do not reflect their actual grasp of content. Where all the students score low marks, the grading system awards low marks as an A grade, making it difficult for teachers to gauge understanding (Ou et al., 2018). As a disadvantage to the student, the teacher can choose to skip grades if the performance is below expectation, giving students low grades (Ou et al., 2018). Lastly, relative grading fosters unhealthy practices such that the spirit of outperforming others transcends the nature of helping each other excel.
Conway, C. M. (2020). Assessment and grading in music courses. Teaching Music in Higher Education, 31–46. Web.
Dekhtyar, S., Weber, D., Helgertz, J., & Herlitz, A. (2018). Sex differences in academic strengths contribute to gender segregation in education and occupation: A longitudinal examination of 167,776 individuals. Intelligence, 67, 84–92. Web.
Ou, J., Sambai, A., Yoneda, H., Pei, H., & Uno, A. (2018). The applicability and limitations of the Pupil Rating Scale Revised-Screening for learning disabilities in Chinese children. Asia Pacific Journal of Developmental Differences, 5(2), 163–176. Web.