Free Essay: Colleges in America Should Use a Pass/Fail Scale

Published: 2022-07-25
Free Essay: Colleges in America Should Use a Pass/Fail Scale
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  College Education
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 883 words
8 min read

The education system is a multifaceted and complex structure that requires tutors to evaluate the level of understanding of their learners and rank them. Assessing the level of understanding of learners confirms that they have understood the content introduced to them in the classroom. It also means that learners are ready to apply the theory learned in class to practice, depending on the field of study that one pursues. Learners comprehension differ in the classroom as they have different psychological, emotional, and rational abilities (Reed et al. 1367). Some learners may understand content taught in class with the first lesson while others may require the tutor to repeat or do revisions on their own to increase the possibility of comprehending. Normally, there are two major ways of evaluating whether learners have understood lessons or not which include ranking their performances in grades or giving them a pass or fail result. Each method is unique and once learners receive the results, they can gauge areas that they failed, which helps improve their learning process in the future, in case one is unsatisfied with how they performed. Grading students put pressure on them as they have to meet a specific standard whereas a pass and fail system encourages learners to reach the minimum score and be considered to pass in a specific subject. American colleges should use a pass and fail scale by implementing a percentage of over 60 and do away with grading learners.

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Learners in most American colleges go through internal and external pressure to perform and reach certain grades so that they can be considered successful in life. It provokes psychological and emotional stress which triggers feelings of inadequacy or suicidal thoughts (Gasevic et al. 68). Most learners would rather kill themselves than face their parents or sponsors with fail grades. Other learners choose to drop out of colleges altogether which affects the quality of life they live both in the short-term and in the long-term. Teachers also expect learners to have high performances which translate to their ability to teach students. During examinations and assessments, learners choose to cheat so that they can reach the specific grades. Consequently, graduates produced are not prepared to work in institutions.

Conversely, a system of pass or fail introduced in colleges would mean that learners are only required to meet the minimum score of 60%, out of the possible 100%. Learners pursuing different courses in schools put an effort into their studies as registration in college means they succeeded in high school. Further, being in college is an indication that learners are intelligent and can interpret and understand different subjects. Getting a more than 60% is more than half the score, which shows that a learner is more than average. It takes effort, commitment, and constant revision of reading material for a learner to have a more than 50% score. However, learners need to know that they can put an effort in their studies so that they can score more than the minimum score of 60%.

Colleges should adopt a pass or fail system since it encourages learners to work in groups which increases every member of the team chances of scoring well in assessments. Working in a group also prepares learners for life in the workplace where employees are expected to do their duties as a team, but still, maintain the concept of personal input (Reed et al. 1370). On the other hand, a grading system pushes learners to perceive each other as competition. Therefore, each person is expected to work towards a grade A or B, and the means he or she uses to attain the mark is not important. The method discourages learners from working together to find solutions as each student expects to be the best. Once learners join the workforce, they are unable to fit in since they are used to working alone without being assisted or helping others. in the long-term, such learners do not thrive in a work environment.

Colleges should embrace a pass or fail system in evaluating learners understanding since it encourages a fair grading (Gasevic et al. 76). It is difficult to assess how well a student has understood some technical subjects like math. Teachers in colleges can give a student a pass or fail to depend on whether they understood the concepts and completed an assignment by following the instructions. Further, other subjects like art and languages require a learner to use his or her critical and creative skills to answer the questions asked. Learners have different skills which mean using a grading system would be unfair to them. Conversely, a grading system also provides a loophole for teachers to give some learners better grades (Reed et al. 1372). Lecturers would also be discouraged from engaging in unfair grading since they would rank learners who got above the pass-mark as those that have successfully completed a course or subject. In conclusion, learners who get over 60% show that they have successfully completed one level and are ready for the next.

Works Cited

Gasevic, Dragan, et al. "Learning analytics should not promote one size fits all: The effects of instructional conditions in predicting academic success." The Internet and Higher Education 28 (2016): 68-84.

Reed, Darcy A., et al. "Relationship of pass/fail grading and curriculum structure with well-being among preclinical medical students: a multi-institutional study." Academic Medicine 86.11 (2011): 1367-1373.

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